Senior cat food - is it worth while?

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alanc
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Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by alanc » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:16 pm

Tilly will be 7 next month. According to the cat food suppliers (Royal Canin, anyway) I should start feeding her senior cat food. It is now 7 years since I owned a senior cat (and she was on kitten food in her last year, anyway) so I would appreciate some advice from members with senior cats - is senior cat food worth the hassle of persuading a cat to eat something different? Does it actually provide any benefit to an older cat?
Thanks, Alan

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by booktigger » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:40 pm

I wouldn't change to senior that young, it can help reduce strain on kidneys but I'd leave it tii at least 12

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by alanc » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:45 pm

Thanks, Booktigger. I won't bother with it for a while yet, then.

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Ruth B
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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Ruth B » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:49 am

I've never bothered with the Senior cat foods, and even when I have picked them up by mistake a lot of the time the cats are really not impressed. The only reason i could really think of to use it is that they tend to be lower in calories and as most cats become more sedentary as they get older it can help prevent them becoming overweight.

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:43 am

I just buy whatever is on offer! I've read the blurb on the side and there is very little difference and to be honest when it comes to different diets for different breeds of cats (as Royal Cannin does) I can't believe there is a 'cottage industry' out there doing individual mixes for different breeds. Surely it all comes off the same conveyor belt? Or is that just me being a cynical old bat? :D

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Kay
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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Kay » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:02 am

senior dry food has reduced phosphorus - at least the ones made by Royal Canin and James Wellbeloved do - so that should make a difference - Royal Canin have formulas for over 7 and over 12, so although they produce a ridiculously large range of specialist foods, there is a genuine advantage in feeding them, if your cats eat dry, and my two really like the RC 12+ Ageing, although one of them is only 9

I doubt there is the same advantage in the wet senior foods though, and very few show the phosphorus content anyway, so I don't bother with them - the choice is too restricted for my fusspots

Zooplus gives an analysis of a lot of foods so you can check them out if you have a few hours to spare!

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by MarkB » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:37 am

It isn't there any more, but Tanya's CRD page used to list phosphorus content for various foods, (they still do, but Felix isn't on there now) Felix senior wet food had a lower phosphorus content. I think it is also Felix that say their senior food contains 25% more vitamins, to allow for reduced appetite and reduced absorption in senior cats. The list is here, but without Felix.

Interesting to see the Pets at Home senior food has one of the highest phosphorus contents, so definitely one to avoid http://www.felinecrf.org/canned_food_uk.htm

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Crewella » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:25 pm

With a houseful of oldies I do feed some senior foods, though not religiously, mainly with their kidneys in mind. I don't tend to worry until they reach double figures, though.

For cats with kidney issues that won't eat the prescription diets I've been very grateful for the reduced phosphorus senior foods - they've kept a couple of mine on an even keel.

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Kay » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:42 pm

I'd like to know when the reduced appetite kicks in - so I can tell 14 year old Tiffany!!

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by alanc » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:16 pm

Thanks for the information, folks, much appreciated. Think I will wait a bit before trying any senior food on Tilly. If I remember I will ask Tilly's vet for his opinion when she goes in for her annual check up in June. The phosphorus business does seem worth considering, will certainly remember not to use Pets at Home variety (thanks Mark)!
I wasn't aware there was another variety of food for 12+ year old cats - will have another look in the pet shop this weekend. I certainly don't recall anything specifically for 12 year old cats the last time I had one that old. (Actually, I seem to recall at that time the starting age for senior cats was 8 or 9, not 7.)
One of the oddities of the Royal Canine breed specific foods is that they don't do breed specific foods for the older cat. Although I feed Tilly Royal Canin Maine Coon dry (and did for Badger as well) as part of her diet, this has mainly been because of the large size kibble to exercise her big jaws, not because of other additives.

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Judy Barnett » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:44 pm

Hi folks, I don t know whether my last post got through but I was wanting to know if anyone knows of any tasty food my very elderly cat might eat to bulk him up as he is in slow renal failure. He is on Royal Canin renal diet and on daily meds for his kidneys

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Crewella » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:57 pm

If you can get him to eat eggs in any form they are very good for cats with renal issues - a high quality protein that is easily digestible, and the egg white also serves to soak up phosphorus in the same way that binders do.

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Lilith » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:21 pm

Hi, I'm a total non-expert on renal problems (and hope to stay that way, paws crossed) but after decades of cats, I've only ever known them accept an an egg raw, beaten up in milk. They'll yell the place down for my omelette or soldiers but will they eat it? No. But some nice eggy milk, yes. However, I had no idea if a renal diet permits milk and had a google and found this site, just in case it helps -

http://www.cat-world.com.au/forums/inde ... -for-cats/

Also, although I'm owned by 2 cats approaching their 15th and 16th birthdays and a 5 year old, I must say I've never really paid much attention to senior diet food (unless it's on cheap offer) but it's been interesting to learn what it contains and what benefits there are.

My guys seem to be doing well on Purina One (with the rice) Butcher's meat flavour and Royal Canin Fibre Response for constipated Mouse (un-constipated with a few daily nibbles of this.)

However, recently Mousey had to visit the vet with the constipation problem, and when she came home got cossetted with posher wet food like Gourmet and Perle - and the other guys had to have that too of course. Then the others developed stress sniffles with all the upheaval and my absences and Mousey's absences (they were fostered a year ago and I suspect feared they were going to be fostered again.) The sniffles needed no more care than warmth, calm ... and a little tempting with posher foods than Butchers for any sniffly nostrils that might not have smelled Butchers' but which could scent Encore a 100 yards away ...

Sorry, off topic and a big case of TMI but my guys are getting spoilt. (And today Mouse developed a pathetic croak when asking for her tea...)

OFFICIALLY, it's Butcher's. Nothing wrong with it!

Good luck with Yowlee, Judy :)
Last edited by Lilith on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Judy Barnett » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:58 pm

Crewella wrote:If you can get him to eat eggs in any form they are very good for cats with renal issues - a high quality protein that is easily digestible, and the egg white also serves to soak up phosphorus in the same way that binders do.
Thanks for that, I'd never have thought of eggs and thank you Lilith I'll beat them up in his nightly dish of milk, (that's one thing he never refuses) I'm going round to the vet's tomorrow to get some more Semintra for his poorly kidneys and I'll check with them :D

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Judy Barnett » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:54 pm

OMG! I couldn't wait to see the vet first. I've just tried eggy milk with Yowlee. He loves it, LOVES IT. He couldn't drink it fast enough. Thank you so much for the suggestion. :o

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Kay » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:42 pm

There are some warnings out there about feeding cats raw egg whites, though yolks are apparently very good for them

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Judy Barnett » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:00 pm

Thanks Kay I'll ask the vet about that tomorrow.

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Lilith
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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Lilith » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:30 am

Shucks - sorry about that, Judy.

I read about feeding raw egg in a cat book decades ago - but times have changed, as I've realised time and time again after joining this forum; treatments and medical knowledge are very different. I googled briefly and found that raw white of egg (in excess) contains a protein that can cancel out another protein that is essential to the cat. An egg, who'd have thunk it?

Glad Yowlee liked his eggy milk though. Perhaps he would be ok having that as an occasional treat and you could try him with an egg scrambled with a little sardine or tuna mixed in to alleviate the blandness for other meals.

The story I read about in the cat book was this, by the way:-

A Siamese stud was given a raw egg every time a queen visited, to keep his strength up. As soon as he heard the queen arriving and being settled in her quarters next to him, he would cause an almighty commotion.

Lust? Oh no. He was shouting for his egg! :lol:

ps edit - I should have put 'raw white of egg', as Alan points out below, have corrected :)
Last edited by Lilith on Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by alanc » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:36 pm

Just been looking up egg in my most trusted cat care book (Grace McHatties "Supercat") and raw egg white is a no-no. Apparently contains avidin, which prevents biotin from being absorbed into the bloodstream (well, that's what the book says). This can lead to dermatitis. Egg should be cooked, when it becomes a good food for cats.
I had a closer look at the senior cat foods in the pet shop today. I think some more enterprising flavors will be needed before Tilly takes to any of them. As for the ones for 12 year olds, they only seem to come in gravy version, Tilly much prefers Jelly!

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Judy Barnett » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:10 pm

Yes, Yowlee prefers meat in jelly. In his last check up they had a look at his teeth and for a 17 year old they're not bad. We thought that might be the reason he's got so skinny, he's eating but not thriving. Which is why I wanted to get some tips to bulk him up a bit. He use to be huge actually a little over weight. He's been in renal failure since he was 12 when some b.....d went round our neighbourhood poisoning cats with antifreeze. Several cat in the area died or were made seriously ill like Yowlee. Our other cat Lysanda lost his fight three days later at the vet's. Yowlee was on a drip for 2 days to flush him out. The vet said that it was only because he was a big strong cat hat he survived. It's a miracle he's still with us but he's really beginning to feel his age now and with the kidney problems on top of that its becoming difficult to make any decisions for him :cry:

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Crewella » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:00 pm

I'd actually not tried feeding raw egg ....... but if I had a cat that would only take it raw in milk, then, personally, I think I might try it with mostly yolk and just some of the white, and perhaps less often? So often, with older cats and especially ones with renal issues and fussy appetites, you have to find a compromise and strike a balance? :?

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:17 am

We reached that point with Tommy - whatever he wanted, he got, including duck ... (Right I'm back - on my laptop - Kindle's frozen AGAIN.) ... and turkey stolen off the worktop. :D

He loved MEAT and we always bought back some beef if we went out for Sunday lunch. Still not used to coming home empty-handed. :cry:

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by MarkB » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:07 pm

We have a Wetherspoons nearby. We often used to go there for breakfast or lunch (but have boycotted it since the Brexit beer mat thing) I always used to wrap up one of my fried eggs and maybe some bacon for Alice - she loved egg yolk more than anything :) - she would start yowling as I walked in the door :lol:

3 years now, but I still think of her every time I brown mince, as I always had to put some aside before seasoning. Even marinading a side of salmon, I would leave an end bit without Nando sauce or whatever. The cats we have now aren't that fussed about fish (other than tuna) and real meat (other than chicken)

Another favourite of hers was cod from the chippy. We always bought extra large cod so she got her share and I ended up wit more than a piece of batter.

Ps - I think egg yolk is high in phosphorus, but also full of good stuff, so it is a case of lesser of the evils.
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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by Judy Barnett » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:55 pm

Yeah, Yowlee love chip shop cod, and chicken and cheese and milk... if fact its only his own damn food he picks at and its supposed to be good for him! :roll:

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by bobbys girl » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:30 pm

Judy Barnett wrote:Yeah, Yowlee love chip shop cod, and chicken and cheese and milk... if fact its only his own damn food he picks at and its supposed to be good for him! :roll:
Sounds about right! :lol:

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Re: Senior cat food - is it worth while?

Post by alanc » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:06 pm

An update on this. When I took her for her booster, I asked Tilly's vet about Senior cat food and she said that as Tilly was in fine fettle, not to bother with it.

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