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Feeding Your Older Cat

catOur cats get older but to us they still look young and vibrant. Despite their appearance, their needs have changed.  As responsible pet owners you need to make sure that you are taking care of them accordingly.  You should ask yourself, is it time for your cats diet to change?

By the time your cat is 12 years old, they are the equivalent to 64 years old. This makes them a senior.

Older Cat Diet

A lot of senior cat food is lower in protein and higher in fat. This is because older cats are lower energy and don’t require as much protein. However, this may not actually be the case. Kathryn Michel, DVM, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, says that there is no research to prove that the nutritional needs of a healthy senior cat is different from his younger counterpart.

What is comes down to is evaluating the individual needs of your senior cat. Ask yourself:

  • Are they overweight?
  • Are they underweight?
  • Do they have arthritis?
  • Do they have stiff joints?
  • Do they have a medical condition?
  • Do they have skin issues?

Look at the overall health of your senior cat and tailor their diet to meet those needs.

Fat Old Cat

Young cats tend to be very active, even indoor cats. They will stalk and capture prey, whether their prey is a bug, a mouse or a ball of tinfoil. Cats are natural hunters, but as they get older their hunting activity will slow down. Most people leave cat food out all day for their hunter. This can lead to very easy overeating or generally lazy hunting habits, because they know they are not hunting for food but hunting for fun.

The dry food that is left out all day tend to be high in calories, and even 10 extra calories a day can add up to a pound of fat.

To keep your cats weight under control

  • Work with your veterinarian to get the food with the best nutritional value for your cats needs.
  • Read the label of your pet food so you know what you are feeding them. If you are not sure the nutritional balance that is best for your cat, talk to your vet.
  • Feed your cat the right amount. Don’t just leave food out. Give your cat the food that is right for their weight and size.

Kitty Vitamins

Most cats do not need nutritional supplements  However, if your cat has a health condition that could potentially interfere with his ability to absorb all the nutrients he needs from his food.

Most supplements have not been studied in animals. Some have been shown to be fine in dogs or humans, but not cats, due to differences in metabolisms. Some supplements can also interfere with medication.  Make sure to check with your vet on whether your cat needs supplements and which ones are ok to give her. Your vet may recommend a special food that already has the supplement added to it, as opposed to adding a supplement to the food you are already giving.

My Cat Won’t Eat

Sometimes older cats stop eating. This is usually indicative of something being wrong. If your cat stops eating, call your vet and make an appointment.  Older cats may stop eating for a lot of different reasons.

Sometimes you can use things like tuna juice, warming the food, or giving your cat wet food. These things can help encourage your cat to eat. Your vet may also give you a calorie dense supplement paste you can feed your cat to help him gain weight, or he may prescribe an appetite-stimulating drug.

Though if your cat is not eating, you need to treat the underlying cause. There is very little you can do to get them to eat without proper treatment.

 

If you have an older cat, pay attention to their weight and overall health. If your cat starts losing weight, consider increasing their calorie intake through higher calorie foods. If your cat has creaky joints and is stiff, consider a food that promotes joint health.  As your cat ages, just make sure to pay attention to their overall health and talk to your vet about managing their golden years.

How to Give Your Puppy CPR [Infographic]

CPR isn’t just for people. You can also give CPR to your puppy. However, what works on people could cause serious damage to your canine friend. Take a look at this infographic by Carrington University to see how to give CPR to your puppy.

dog cpr

Protect Your Pets – They Are Not Mold Proof

Pet MoldMolds are one of the most ubiquitous organisms in the world. In fact, molds along with other members of the fungal family, constitute about 25 percent of the biomass on earth. They are found extensively in buildings across the United States. They enter your home through open windows and vents, and settle in the warm and moist areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. The ideal conditions promote rapid multiplication of the fungal cells. Molds produce spores and toxins known as mycotoxins.

Most homeowners are aware of the detrimental impact of mold spores and toxins on their health and well-being. Parents with young children also take steps to protect their little ones from mold spores. But what about your pets? Remember that they are not immune to molds. They are at risk as well.

Any of these Sound Familiar?

Although your pet cannot express itself in words, it may exhibit several symptoms related to the mold infestation such as:

Excessive itching

Chewing its own feet and skin

Broken skin

Sores

Fatigue

Depression

Do these symptoms sound familiar? If yes, your pet may be suffering due to the mold spores and toxins in your home.

Mold can Harm Your Pet

Veterinarians have always believed that molds can impact pets just the way they impact humans. However, they did not have any documented evidence to prove their suspicion. That has changed now. A recent press release by the American Veterinary Medical Association has confirmed the hazardous effect of mold on your pet’s health. The conclusion was based on the findings of Florida-based veterinary specialist Douglas Mader. He was performing a dental procedure on two cats when he noticed frothy blood in their anesthesia tubes. He discontinued the procedure immediately but the two animals died within the next two days. The blood samples of the cats indicated the presence of toxic black mold in their lung capillaries. Both the animals died of pulmonary hemorrhage. Upon further investigation, toxic black mold was found in the walls of the home where the cats lived. Although the animals did not show any external symptoms, the fungus was causing significant internal damage.

Health Risks

The health risks associated with black molds can vary significantly. Some pets may suffer from mild respiratory illness, while others may experience severe lung trauma. The mold may weaken the capillaries of the lungs. The weak capillaries may not tolerate even moderate amounts of stress. They may burst and bleed.

The condition may also lead to serious complications. Your veterinarian may notice bloody respiratory discharge during anesthetic procedures. The procedure should be discontinued immediately under such circumstances.

 How To Protect Your Pet?

Contact your veterinarian immediately, especially when you notice excessive itching, biting, chewing, fatigue or depression. If you are aware of mold infestation in your home and have family members suffering from mold-related symptoms, it may be a good idea to take your pet to the veterinarian. He can check the animal to make sure there is no latent or underlying infection.

The veterinarian may prescribe corticosteroids to stabilize the capillaries. He may also recommend antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infection. You should also take steps to remove the mold from your home. Seek professional help if required. You may also consider moving to another house until the mold problem is cleared in your existing one


Ben Sawyer and his wife were subtenants in NYC appartment full of mold. They had to move out because mold grew big and their appartment became unsafe environment. Their pets also had halth issues because of the mold. Ben asked moldbusters.com for advice, and got these tips he is now sharing with you.

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Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.