We have discussed what my dogs have been eating, now lets move on to pet nutrition for my cats. I have two senior kitties, Furla and Vegas. They are in the same life stage and don’t have any underlying diseases (yet) that require a prescription diet so I am able to feed them the same food. They split a 5 oz can of food in the evening and each get one-quarter cup of dry food in the morning. Most cats only need 150 – 200 calories per day regardless of their size or lifestyle.
I recommend feeding cats mostly canned food with a small amount of dry kibble that they can snack on throughout the day. The fat, protein and carbohydrate makeup of canned food more closely resembles what a cat’s body was designed to eat – small rodents and birds. Ideally they would eat multiple small meals each day but I don’t have the ability to do this every day so their food is put out twice daily.
For their dry food I have been feeding them Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d to help prevent dental disease. This stuff works wonders! Now that they are getting older I have switched them to Hill’s Science Diet Age Defying Adult 11+ dry food with a few t/d sprinkled on top. For canned food I buy a variety of flavors from brands I trust staying with a senior or indoor formula. I check blood-work on my cats twice a year and they really seem to be in excellent shape.
I would like to have them on a joint supplement and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement but they refuse to indulge me and will not consume anything that has either supplement on it. I have started them on an oral B12 supplement that is a flavored chew called Cobalequin made by Nutramax. This might not do anything but I see so much weight loss and gastrointestinal disease in older cats I feel like it should help support them.
Having four senior animals (two dogs and two cats) in the house is a handful. It is a lot to stay on top of but with frequent blood-work monitoring, a healthy diet and supportive supplements hopefully I can keep everyone around for several years to come.
Ashley Gallagher, DVM