Dry Food For Senior Cat

Beebster

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I have an almost 12 year old cat named Fluffy. She has always been a picky eater and we had issues in the past with trying to get her to eat wet food, so we always stuck to dry food. Sadly I know that has contributed to her weight gain over the years.
Anyway, for the longest time she was obsessed with the Friskies chicken flavored dry food (I forget the actual name, but she always walked away from fish flavored food)
The last 3 years we had issues with her always barfing up her food afterwards and hairballs. Okay. I decided to switch to Purina Cat Chow Indoor and that seemed to help for a while.
Now it seems like the barfing is creeping up again as every once in a while I'll notice her barf up her food rather than just hairballs.
We recently got a kitten, currently 12 weeks old and her name is Eevee. This kitten eats her own kitten dry food + Fancy Feast classic pates.
I decided to be curious and found out that Fluffy actually likes the Fancy Feast! So now I'm starting to give her a 1/2 can of wet food in the evening, but still giving her usual cup of dry food in the AM. I'm hoping this will help her lose some weight, we'll see.

Anyway....does anyone have any recommendations on dry food that I can get for Fluffy? Something that won't break the bank and I could easily get at Walmart (we prefer to go there for most of our pet needs as it's affordable and usually has a better variety, plus it's closer than any other pet stores)
 

daftcat75

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Throwing up her dry food was the first signs of IBD for my Krista just before her 14th birthday. If Fluffy does well on Fancy Feast, maybe increase her Fancy Feast and reduce her dry portions. You don't want to take throwing up too lightly especially in an older cat. Repeated vomiting can lead to weight loss and contribute to muscle wasting that older cats are already susceptible to. It can also lead to dehydration quickly.

WOPet makes a timed feeder that works well with wet food. This will help bridge the gap between meal times if that's what the dry food is for right now.

 

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Dry foods in general are the worst thing to feed a Cat regardless of what the ingredients are, so if she'll eat the canned food it would be best to ditch the dry entirely and feed her just the canned. Senior Cats are more prone to digestive issues, and constantly switching between different foods can make existing issues worse or contribute to new issues especially if it's between dry and wet foods.
 
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Beebster

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Throwing up her dry food was the first signs of IBD for my Krista just before her 14th birthday. If Fluffy does well on Fancy Feast, maybe increase her Fancy Feast and reduce her dry portions. You don't want to take throwing up too lightly especially in an older cat. Repeated vomiting can lead to weight loss and contribute to muscle wasting that older cats are already susceptible to. It can also lead to dehydration quickly.

WOPet makes a timed feeder that works well with wet food. This will help bridge the gap between meal times if that's what the dry food is for right now.

Thank you.
Before I switched her to the indoor cat chow, she would vomit every other day just about. Luckily it's been a lot better, but since being over a year since I switched her dry food it's slowly starting again. I'm really hoping this wet food will help, even if it's just one meal. The last 5-6 years we have only been feeding her dry food twice a day because the vet suggested it with her weight issue. She's not overly obese, but definitely not where she should be.

Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to incorporate more wet food into her diet, but still keep the dry food as another option for her. Being as she gets fed once in the morning and then again in the evening.
 
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Beebster

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I still would like to keep dry food available as I know it lasts longer, just in case we run low on the wet food between the 2 cats and can't get out to the store right away.
 

daftcat75

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Wet food is better for weight control and maintaining lean body mass (another problem with senior cats) than dry food. Wet food will also be better for maintaining her kidneys as she gets older too. Adding extra meals to her feeding schedule (a second dinner and maybe a second breakfast depending on how early you wake) will also be of great help to her health as she gets older.
 
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Beebster

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Wet food is better for weight control and maintaining lean body mass (another problem with senior cats) than dry food. Wet food will also be better for maintaining her kidneys as she gets older too. Adding extra meals to her feeding schedule (a second dinner and maybe a second breakfast depending on how early you wake) will also be of great help to her health as she gets older.
I know Fluffy will wake my boyfriend up very early for food, so like 4am she'll end up getting her breakfast of dry food. I'm wondering if I should try giving her wet food maybe around 6-7am and just decrease some of the dry food we normally feed her. Just give it to her to hold her off until her main meal of wet food.
 
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Beebster

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Depending on how demanding she is for food, she will start meowing around 3-4am to wake my boyfriend up. So usually anywhere around 4-5am she'll be fed depending on which one of us gets up and gives in to her meows for food. :p
Around 5-6pm we'll feed her dinner, I'm always trying to stay consistent with that even if she tries to meow earlier.

Either way, she does not free-feed on dry food and I don't plan on doing that like we did when she was younger.
 

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I know Fluffy will wake my boyfriend up very early for food, so like 4am she'll end up getting her breakfast of dry food. I'm wondering if I should try giving her wet food maybe around 6-7am and just decrease some of the dry food we normally feed her. Just give it to her to hold her off until her main meal of wet food.
Check out the timed feeder I posted above. I feed Krista a diet of all wet food. She's 15 with IBD and has had multiple pancreatitis flare-ups. She has a fair number of strikes against her digestion. She gets four scheduled meals: the breakfasts at 6am and 9am and the dinners at 6pm and 10pm. I have two of those feeders above. I split an extra meal between two feeders and set them to open at 4 hours and 6 hours on the daytime and 3 hours and 5 hours on the night time. I use two feeders in case one fails to open. In the one month since we've been using them, a feeder only failed to open once. I also use two feeders so she has "fresh" food more often. The seal on those feeders keeps the food fresh for a long time. I put food from the fridge into the feeders and don't even use the included ice packs. Krista no longer wakes me in the middle of the night or at 4 or 5 am for meals. For that reason alone, those feeders are worth every penny.
 

daftcat75

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Cats, left to their own devices, would prefer to eat as many as 12 small meals a day. My Krista, who has no thyroid problems (we've tested a number of times over the last year) can eat every two hours if food is available. I don't let her free feed on dry anymore. But I do use the timed feeders so that she can eat nearly as frequently as she'd prefer.
 

daftcat75

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Also, it only took two nights for Krista to get on board with this. The first night she had to be shown what the feeder was and the second night she knew what the "pop!" of the feeder opening meant and she was off to the races. Those feeders have given me my sleep back and my daytime independence for a cat that prefers to eat less food more often rather than taking two gut-buster bombs a day.
 
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Beebster

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I will definitely have to consider getting the feeder in the future
 
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Beebster

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Okay so what I've really been giving Fluffy is about 1/3 cup of dry food twice daily. (I had to check our kitchen measuring cups to compare as they still have the measurements on them, lol)

Right now I just gave her 1/2 can of FF and then half of that 1/3 cup of dry food. It seems like she is currently going back and forth between the dry and wet, so I'll take that as a good sign for now.
 

daftcat75

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The change to all wet doesn't have to happen overnight and it's better that it doesn't. But it is a change worth aiming for as you get to know how well she tolerates the Fancy Feast and the new feeding ratios. Steering a cat's digestion from one diet to the next is a lot more like an ocean liner than a sports car. Changes have to be gradual. I always use the next day's poop to evaluate the last day's ratio to see whether we proceed (well-formed poop), hold (softer but still mostly formed), or abort/go back to the last successful ratio if it's a liquid poop. Those rarely firm up with repeated feedings. That's the strategy I use going from one food to another. It will probably take longer going from dry to wet. Weeks or months instead of days depending on how picky your cat is or how stubborn her digestion.
 

daftcat75

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I will definitely have to consider getting the feeder in the future
Instead of waking me for food,
:dancingblackcat:
Krista will sit in front of the feeder and wait for it to open.
:whiskers:

I'm sure you've spent more than $30 on cat toys or trees that Fluffy never took to. Or maybe that's just me with the menagie of scratchers and toys that didn't do it for her.
:doh2:
Your sleep (and her health) is worth trying these out.
:purr:
 
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Beebster

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Instead of waking me for food,
:dancingblackcat:
Krista will sit in front of the feeder and wait for it to open.
:whiskers:

I'm sure you've spent more than $30 on cat toys or trees that Fluffy never took to. Or maybe that's just me with the menagie of scratchers and toys that didn't do it for her.
:doh2:
Your sleep (and her health) is worth trying these out.
:purr:
We never got her a cat tree, but definitely have gone through quite a few toys over the years. Mostly aimed for the cheapest Walmart toys. She used to chase around the bell balls and little catnip mice. Every once in a while I'll catch her in a playful mood, she'll be playing with one of those toys, but it doesn't last long.
At least outta the cat toys I still have they have gone to better use lately with the new kitten, so we didn't have to buy any for Eevee.....only had to get a new laser pointer! Haha!
 
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Beebster

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Fluffy's lifestyle is definitely more sedentary, especially after I moved twice in the past almost 2 years. The house she originally came to know for her first 10 years was a 2-story home, so she had her exercise of running up and down the steps a lot among other areas of the house. Now we live in a 1-story house, so not much for her to run around....especially with a dog in the house, she's not very pleased with him, so she prefers my room.
 

daftcat75

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Fluffy's lifestyle is definitely more sedentary, especially after I moved twice in the past almost 2 years. The house she originally came to know for her first 10 years was a 2-story home, so she had her exercise of running up and down the steps a lot among other areas of the house. Now we live in a 1-story house, so not much for her to run around....especially with a dog in the house, she's not very pleased with him, so she prefers my room.
I think she'd like a cat tree (or three) to get up and out of the dog and kitten's way.

Krista still likes a shoelace tied to the back of a chair and "Da Bird". I have to keep the Da Bird, a wand toy with feathers, locked in a closet or she'll try to eat the bird. But she knows where it's kept and she will sit patiently at that door as her way of saying, "Well, sir? Are you going to bring it out or do I actually have to ask for it?"
:whiskers:

You'd think this 15 year old who often carries herself like Eeyore ("everything hurts and I'm old") would be too old for this toy. But she wants to give it a jump or two and then rolls to her back in what I call, "peel me a grape" play. If I bring it within her reach, she'll bat at it or bite at it. But if it's out of her reach, she'll just look at me like, "c'mon! work with me here!"

I make a homemade turkey meat stock for her (like a bone broth but not cooked as long) as a source of gut healing gelatin and joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin. It's liquid medicine. It's next-level senior care (or any cat really can benefit from this nutrient-rich irresitible broth.) She loves it and I see daily improvements like she's found the fountain of youth. Each day we get a little more play and a little more active play before the "peel me a grape" play.

I think it's even more valuable to have interactive play sessions with your cat in her senior years than when she was young enough to play on her own. Play stimulates the release of a lot of feel-good chemicals that will make your senior kitty feel young again even if just for the moment. And bodies in motion tend to stay in motion while bodies at rest tend towards rest. Keeping your cat active will keep your cat active into her golden years. ;)
 
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Beebster

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I definitely try my best to get Fluffy to play with the wand toy we have and the laser pointer. The wand toy has different connection ends, like one is a feather, another is a few strands of yarn type material, and the other is strands of crinkly shiny paper. Rarely she'll go after the wand toy, but will stare at it as I wave it around her. The laser pointer gets her going a little bit here and there, I think it's her favorite.
Eevee LOVES the wand toy! I brought it out to her the first day we brought her home and omg she's too funny with it!
 
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