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Video: Three Principles Of Nutrition For An Elderly Cat
Modern cats live longer than those that lived 30, 40 years ago. Then cats only occasionally lived up to 20 years or more, but now it is a common occurrence. Several factors have led modern cats to such longevity, most notably the victory over many feline ailments, in particular, "feline blues" (depression). Still, the lifespan of cats depends primarily on improving cat food.
Compared to the unbalanced food that cats used to eat, which consisted primarily of scraps, they now eat specially prepared food for them. The needs of cats of different ages and their diet have been deeply studied in recent years. As a result, such phenomena as a lack of calcium in the animal's body are a thing of the past.
The nutritional needs of aging cats have been the subject of special research. Aging cats have their own diet, as do aging humans. Although there are few publications on this topic, we can extrapolate nutritional information from other animal species, as well as our own experience, to determine the needs of retirement cats.
Three principles of nutrition for an elderly cat
Let's discuss a few principles that need to be followed in order for your elderly cat to have a happy life. The first principle is to keep the cat from obesity. Overeating animals suffer from hypertension. They are prone to disease, which naturally shortens their lifespan. These diseases are mainly: diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, liver disease, respiratory diseases and cancer. And this is only a small part of the disease. Feeding cats to the bone at this age is tantamount to murder, "killing with kindness."
To avoid obesity, it is necessary to weigh the cat, since a slight change in weight is washed very soon lead to a more significant one. While your cat is young and in an "active age", control her weight, try to keep her at the same weight at all times. Throughout all life cycles. Keep in mind that neutering a cat or neutering a cat will significantly reduce the amount needed to maintain weight.
The second principle: the diet must be balanced. Deficiency of substances such as calcium, phosphorus and taurine leads to pathology, which will then be difficult and sometimes impossible to cure.
Avoid overfeeding your cat. Both the deficiency of essential substances and their excess can adversely affect the health of the cat. For example, an excess of vitamins A or D leads to irreversible changes that will shorten the life of the animal. If your cat's diet is well balanced, she doesn't need any artificial supplements. If you give your cat artificial feeding in the background of abundant nutrition, such actions can lead to serious problems in the future.
The last principle: from early childhood, feed your cat so that it gets used to 2-3 types of nutritious foods, well balanced, and do not change it. Do not allow the cat to overeat fish and liver, because this food is unbalanced.
Changes in your cat's health
Now that we know how to feed young cats, let's focus on the specific changes that need to be made to the diet of healthy cats as they start to age. But how can you tell if your cat is getting old? As with people, the onset of old age depends on many reasons and it is difficult to indicate the exact date. Some animals remain agile after 10 years, while others can become immobile at a much earlier age. I can’t tell you the day or hour your cat will be “retired,” but this usually happens between 12 and 15 years old.
Some signs that indicate your cat's advanced age include: reluctance to play, sleepiness, and a tendency to increase your cat's weight, even though you are not increasing your diet. When it comes to determining whether your cat is old or not, your own impressions will tell you this unmistakably.
At this point, when your cat begins to "enter age", you should make some changes in its diet. The first is to reduce the amount of food consumed, since your cat does not spend as much energy now as before. A young cat spends 40 kilocalories of energy per pound of body weight per day. The energy expenditure of an older cat is much less - 30-35 kilocalories per pound of body weight per day. So, a healthy 4-pound senior cat should eat less than a hundred grams of food per day than a young cat of the same weight.
Most cats feed mainly on high amounts of fat, as this improves the palatability of the food while increasing the calorie intake. To avoid obesity in older cats, the owner must either reduce the amount of food or feed it with a lower fat content.
If you fed our cat of your free choice when she was young, now you have to give up this practice. Disorganized feeding is always the path to overeating in an aging cat. Reducing the amount of food will not harm your cat, then you can let her know that this is the best food to calm her pride.
If you think that your cat should eat as much food as she wants, you should turn to food with less calories. This can be done in a number of ways. The first way is to reduce the amount of fat in food and increase the amount of fiber, the third way is to reduce the fluid content. The latter method is ineffective, since the supply of energy does not decrease in dry food and the cat continues to be saturated with the same amount of dry food as before. Cats must fill the stomach with a certain amount of food and this is an important factor in satiety.
Some foods for older cats have this characteristic - low in fat and high in fiber. Specifically, the "Cat Diet Prescription" issued by Hill's pet food company. When choosing food for your cat, look for boxes that have an accompanying leaflet that says the food is 95% fat-free.
As in human food, so in feline food, this means that the fat content is 5%. For example, a canned product contains 75% water, 5% fat, therefore this 95% fat-free contains another 20% dry filler. Such a diet is not suitable, since 40% of the calories are still fat, if it is suitable for a young active animal, it is not suitable for an elderly cat.