All about cats

What is considered a senior cat

According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) a senior cat is any cat that is over the age of 10 years.

The Association of Feline Practitioners states that senior cats are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as obesity, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

How can I help a senior cat?

Many senior cats will suffer from poor health as they age. A senior cat's owner can help reduce this by being aware of the signs of poor health and offering the right kind of diet and exercise.

Here are a few suggestions:

Choose the right diet

The diet of a cat is very important as it influences the way they feel and look. A senior cat should be fed a "senior" diet.

A senior diet is made up of a high level of low to medium quality protein and fat, and a lower level of carbohydrate.

The protein and fats in the diet should be in the form of meat and fish, with a small amount of vegetable protein. The diet should be rich in high quality protein and low in carbohydrates.

A senior diet may also include some low quality protein such as poultry by-product meal or corn gluten meal.

Kittens need a higher level of protein than a senior cat. A kitten's diet should be high in protein, but lower in carbohydrates and fats.

A diet formulated for a senior cat is between 30% and 35% protein, while a diet formulated for a kitten is between 30% and 35% protein.

The diet should have all the essential amino acids, and a low level of linoleic acid.

A senior diet should also include a source of omega 3 fatty acids and a source of omega 6 fatty acids.

The diet should be supplemented with a high level of taurine, and a source of glucosamine.

The taurine and glucosamine should be in the form of a high quality supplement or in a kibble form that is specifically formulated for a senior cat.

Low quality protein supplements may cause vomiting, diarrhoea or diarrhoea and vomiting. It is important to choose a high quality supplement.

Ensure a senior cat's diet is rich in high quality protein, low in carbohydrates and fats. Animals can get too much fat from the wrong diet.

Exercise

A senior cat needs a good level of exercise, but not too much.

It is important for the senior cat to get enough exercise, but not too much.

Regular exercise helps to keep the muscles and bones strong, and helps to reduce the chances of a senior cat developing arthritis.

A senior cat should be provided with a safe place to exercise.

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