Many cats have fluctuations in appetite. When a cat becomes older, a cat may not eat as well as it used to. If a cat owner is concerned about a cat’s appetite, the cat should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out causes for a loss of appetite such as dental disease. Cat owners may want to know what to feed old cats.
Some older cats experience few problems with eating. If the senior cat is eating well and has no health concerns, the cat owner should be able to feed an older cat the same food that the cat has eaten. It is often recommended that the cat owner feed an older cat slightly smaller portions since older cats are not as active and therefore do not need the same amount of calories.
A senior cat may stop eating the cat food that the cat has eaten. Some cat owners with finicky older cats choose to feed baby food their senior cats. Baby food is not the best choice since it may not have the nutrients that a cat needs. Baby food can also contain onion powder which can be toxic to cats. Baby food also contains much more water and not as many nutrients that a cat needs as cat food does.
Instead of baby food, the cat owner may want to choose a cat food that is designed for senior cats. Some cat food for senior cats has fewer calories and more fiber than other cat food formulas. The veterinarian may recommend a special diet for senior cats. Hill’s Science Diet Senior Cat formula may be recommended.
The veterinarian may suggest nutritional supplements if the cat is not eating very much. If the senior cat is refusing to eat, the veterinarian may prescribe an appetite stimulant. If necessary, the veterinarian will show the cat owner how to force feed a cat with a syringe until the cat eats more on its own.
Some cat owners may choose to feed homemade cat food to their senior cats. Grilled or baked chicken breasts chopped with a small amount of cooked carrots may encourage the senior cat to eat. A cat owner may want to experiment with different lean meats and vegetables.
Any cat owner who wants to make homemade cat food should be aware of what table foods are toxic to cats. Cats should not be given any food containing onion or onion powder, garlic, chocolate, raw eggs, or raw potato. Some experts warn against giving a cat too much canned tuna.