Dry Food For Senior Cat

daftcat75

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I think some cats are more interested in rodents than birds. Fluffy may like a mouse attachment to that want dragged across the ground for her. Krista likes both. But I think she prefers air murder to ground murder. Birds over rodents in her play.
 
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Beebster

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Sometimes I think Fluffy is saying in her head "I'm too old and fat for this ****!!!" when I try to play with her because she'll give me a look like "yea...okay mom...":lol:
 

sweet jane flash

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We are a fat cat too, but have switched to grain free, and now are losing weight sensibly. Soon we will be able to clean our own bottom and happy when that day comes. I always had thin cats before so I believed all cats were self-regulating, but they are not. Fat cats are beautiful, but have problems cleaning. Also, of course we want to live to be at least 20 years old!
 

sweet jane flash

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I prefer birds too, especially when I see them through the window. Love them little mousies too, but mom does not like to see dead anything!
 

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Be warned Beebster Beebster I'm not confident with any of my food suggestions partially because these things also depend on the individual cat but mainly because this whole diet thing is hella confusing.

With that said, at 12 especially I would pay extra attention to dental health/gum sensitivities about dry food. My Hima is younger than senior but she has gingivitis which is very common among cats. Most kibbles out there are too hard for her in texture. She loves the taste of some of them but she can't continue to eat ONLY because it hurts her gums. The same thing is sometimes mistaken as "being a picky eater," I have seen it happen.

So far the only dry food that didn't cause as much trouble for Hima has been Acana Wild Prairie. Purina and at least until recently Hill's also have grain-free options if you like to try grain-free.

Out of the big, veterinary brands that go on feeding trials in the USA, my personal choice is first Royal Canin. I've been feeding my dog with RC for years now and been satisfied. It's not the same with cats, of course, so I can't tell you if it's the best but these would be the ones I would try first:

Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food - Royal Canin

Digestive Care Dry Cat Food - Royal Canin

Protein Selective Dry Cat Food - Royal Canin

My brother's super allergic cat has been on a prescription diet dry food from Hill's for many years now (z/d). He is also a senior cat.

And for the cost, quite a few more expensive dry foods cost cheaper because they are more dense in calories so the cat eats less and the food lasts longer. I don't have the dry food comparison in mind but this week for example I noticed Hima's cheaper wet food from Purina is "give 3-4 a day" kind of food and her a bit more expensive wet food from Purina which has a very similar ingredients list but more meat is "give 2-3 a day." That absolutely makes the more expensive one cheaper.
 
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Beebster

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I'm definitely going to take my time to browse through dry food available at Walmart next time it gets closer to getting her dry food again. We tend to buy the largest bag, so it lasts a while. Now this bag is gonna be lasting longer than usual since I decided to add in wet food.

I think I need to find a smaller measuring cup than the 1/3 scoop that I've been using, that way I can transition her more into having 2 meals of wet food. 1/2 can in the morning and then 1/2 in the evening will be the next step hopefully.
 

daftcat75

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I like to weigh Krista's food rather than trust scoops or spoons or eyeball the servings from the can. I like this scale because it has capacity enough to weigh her plate. Fortunately, she has two identical plates that we switch between. So I can zero the scale with the empty plate and then put her half or mostly eaten plate on the scale and know how much food is left (vs how much I plated.)

Digital Scale 2000g x 0.1g Jewelry Gold Silver Coin Gram Pocket Size Herb Grain 664870129836 | eBay

I use a washed out pint ice cream container to fit a plastic baggie into and this assembly is what gets tared (zeroed.) Then I spoon from can into the baggie. Once I have the amount I want to feed her that meal, if it came from the fridge, I'll run that bagged portion under hot water in the sink to take the chill out of the food.

Another thing I will do is keep a washed out empty can of her food. I can zero the scale with this. Then I set down her current can from the fridge and I know how much is left in the can. This is helpful because some of the can will go into the feeders and the food stays fresher longer in the feeder if it's from a refrigerated portion rather than from a new can off the shelf.

For dry food, you can figure out the calories per gram off the bag. There will be a big number for ME (Metabolic Energy) in Kcal/Kg. Divide this number by 1000 and that's calories/gram. Now you can weigh out her food based on how many calories you want to provide.

You can do the same with her wet food. Ask the vet what her calories target should be based on her weight loss/weight management goals and then decide how much of those calories should be from wet food and how many from dry. Then it is dividing your number of calories by your calories per gram number to get how many grams of that food to feed.
 

daftcat75

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If her dry is Purina Indoor Cat Chow at 3372 kcal/kg or 358 kcal/cup and her wet is Fancy Feast Classic Chicken at 1,159 kcal/kg or 99 cal/can,

1/3 cup dry is 358/3 or 119 calories * twice a day = 238 calories
1/2 can twice a day is 99 calories

How much does Fluffy weigh and do you know how many calories per pound she should be eating? This is a question for the vet based on her age, activity level, and weight management goals.

Let's assume, for the sake of the math, that she's 10 lbs and should eat 25 calories per pound for 250 calories per day.

Let's also assume that you want to feed 1 can of Fancy Feast per day for 99 of those 250 daily calories.

The remainder is 151 calories. That will be either 42% of a cup--more than 1/3, less than 1/2, a pair of 1/5 scoops would work here if you could find a 1/5 cup scoop. Or it is 151/3.372cal/g for 45 grams. That's a lot easier to weigh out on a food scale.

I used to feed Krista a mix of different wet foods before she got sensitive to just about all of them. She's stable on Rawz turkey and she seems to like it well enough to eat it everyday. When I had to figure out her calorie goals with more than one food, I created a spreadsheet using the cal/gram numbers so I could play with ratios to figure out how many grams I needed to feed of each.
 

sweet jane flash

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Thank you Miss Clouseau. Of course dental cleanings are so important. I once had Kitty, she lived 21 years, but the vet I remember taking out what looked like rocks-scraping them off her teeth-11 of them!! She was also deaf at the end but I alerted her visually to a mouse and she caught it and brought it to me. I dealt with the hearing problem by whistleing when it was time to eat. We lived on an acre of trees in a paradise. I still sometimes look or expect to see her there. Of course she is in heaven waiting patiently for me.
 
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Beebster

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I honestly need to get Fluffy to a vet, but timing and finances haven't been ideal to do that since I moved because my grandfather used to cover that back when I lived with my grandparents. I feel like a bad furmom for not doing so, but aside from her weight, she hasn't acted any different than usual and eats, drinks, uses her litter box like normal so I haven't been overly concerned.

Last time she was there maybe 3-4 years ago, she's never taken kindly to the vet and being handled. We need to have her sedated for an exam, so that brings the cost up a lot unfortunately! I believe the last time her weight was hovering around 13-14 lbs at the most. It could very well still be around that as it doesn't seem like she's gained more than that from looking at her. It'll be difficult to weigh her because again, she does not like being picked up and handled. She's a very sensitive cat and you can only pet her in certain areas before she gets annoyed.
 
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Beebster

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Try to do the math is confusing to me.
So her food is:
Purina Indoor Cat Chow at 3372 kcal/kg or 358 kcal/cup
Fancy Feast Classic Chicken at 1,159 kcal/kg or 99 cal/can (give or take variety of wet)

If I give her:
1/4 cup of dry food twice daily
1/2 can of wet twice daily

Can someone help me out?
 

sweet jane flash

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Try to do the math is confusing to me.
So her food is:
Purina Indoor Cat Chow at 3372 kcal/kg or 358 kcal/cup
Fancy Feast Classic Chicken at 1,159 kcal/kg or 99 cal/can (give or take variety of wet)

If I give her:
1/4 cup of dry food twice daily
1/2 can of wet twice daily

Can someone help me out?
 

sweet jane flash

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The math truly is confusing to us also. But what you're doing sounds about right. Hope some math wiz can come up with a better answer than we did. What a good cat guardian you are! Bravo!!!
 

sweet jane flash

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I honestly need to get Fluffy to a vet, but timing and finances haven't been ideal to do that since I moved because my grandfather used to cover that back when I lived with my grandparents. I feel like a bad furmom for not doing so, but aside from her weight, she hasn't acted any different than usual and eats, drinks, uses her litter box like normal so I haven't been overly concerned.

Last time she was there maybe 3-4 years ago, she's never taken kindly to the vet and being handled. We need to have her sedated for an exam, so that brings the cost up a lot unfortunately! I believe the last time her weight was hovering around 13-14 lbs at the most. It could very well still be around that as it doesn't seem like she's gained more than that from looking at her. It'll be difficult to weigh her because again, she does not like being picked up and handled. She's a very sensitive cat and you can only pet her in certain areas before she gets annoyed.
 

sweet jane flash

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Fluffy may be best sedated, she's a scaredy cat, we don't like the vet either. It seems like incarceration, and MEOW! we dislike it too. It's nice when mom visits me while I'm at the vet too, and have found if I am covered up in the dark in my cat transporter, the dark makes it less scary and traumatic for us both. Good Luck and good health to you!!!
 
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Beebster

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The math truly is confusing to us also. But what you're doing sounds about right. Hope some math wiz can come up with a better answer than we did. What a good cat guardian you are! Bravo!!!
At least the 1/4 cup twice daily + 1/2 can twice daily is what I want to try feeding her starting tomorrow. Hopefully that is ideal for her.
 
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Beebster

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Fluffy may be best sedated, she's a scaredy cat, we don't like the vet either. It seems like incarceration, and MEOW! we dislike it too. It's nice when mom visits me while I'm at the vet too, and have found if I am covered up in the dark in my cat transporter, the dark makes it less scary and traumatic for us both. Good Luck and good health to you!!!
Yea, with her needing to be sedated, she needs to stay at the vet for a good portion of the day so they can examine her and then monitor her after she comes out of sedation for a bit. It's so costly, but she's so difficult!
 

daftcat75

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Try to do the math is confusing to me.
So her food is:
Purina Indoor Cat Chow at 3372 kcal/kg or 358 kcal/cup
Fancy Feast Classic Chicken at 1,159 kcal/kg or 99 cal/can (give or take variety of wet)

If I give her:
1/4 cup of dry food twice daily
1/4 cup twice daily = 1/2 cup daily

358 kcal/cup * 1/2 = 179

1/2 can of wet twice daily
1/2 can twice daily = 1 can per day = 99 cal

So she's getting 278 calories. At 13-14 lbs, that's about 20-21 calories per lbs.

That is a reasonable starting point. Indoor cats are recommended to have 20 - 30 calories per lbs depending on activity level. Senior cats will also need more calories as their digestion doesn't work as well as it used to and they often have some chronic illness processes (even if it's just arthritis) that is requiring more nutrients than before.

The only way to truly know the right number for your cat is to weigh her regularly. Weekly, monthly, quarterly, that's up to you based on how fast you are noticing weight changes or how closely you want to monitor her weight. I would recommend at least monthly as long as you aren't noticing any changes in eating habits or body condition. I would also keep an eye on her body condition as senior cats can start losing muscle mass if they aren't getting enough protein. This is why I think foods labeled "senior" foods should probably be avoided because senior cats need more protein, not less, as they age.

Krista gets weighed weekly. I'm pretty fortunate in that she tolerates some light, respectful handling. If you hold her like a baby or under her arms, she's going to protest. But if you support her one hand under the chest and one beneath her feet or her bottom, she'll tolerate it long enough to get a scale reading or two.
 

daftcat75

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I'm also lucky in that Krista either sits on my stomach or in my lap daily (usually several times a day) so I can keep a close watch on her condition. Her shoulders still feel bonier than when she was younger, but her bottom has filled out again. I no longer feel her pelvis anymore. I used Katris modular cat tree pieces to build her steps and perches to places she doesn't jump to anymore. This keeps her still climbing and active even when she spends much of her days eating and sleeping.
 
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Beebster

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Thank you! At this point, with incorporating wet food into her diet, I wanted to be sure she was still getting enough to eat. I'll see if that possibly helps in some weight loss at all just by giving her wet and dry food instead of just dry food like she was originally getting. I'm going to try to space out the dry and wet food instead of around 12 hours apart for both. Maybe give her 1/4 cup of dry and then an hour or two later I'll give her 1/2 can of wet. That may suffice seeing as she does try waking us up really early to be fed.
 
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