Proper Nutrition for your Aging Cat

As your cat ages, it may be necessary to make adjustments to your pet’s diet in order to maintain good health. Many cats tend to gain weight as they age. If your cat is overweight, you should ask your veterinarian to help you modify the diet you are feeding so that a normal body condition can be restored. Some cats actually become too thin as they get older, apparently as part of the normal aging process. But progressive weight loss can also be caused by serious medical problems such as kidney failure, cancer, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, or some other conditions.

Subtle changes in weight are often the first sign of disease; ideally you should weigh your cat every month on a scale sensitive enough to detect such small changes. Keep a record of the weight, and notify your veterinarian of any significant changes.

To ensure proper nutrition, select a nutritionally balanced and complete diet specifically for senior cats. I t is also important to feed a cat food that has been formulated according to guidelines established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The AAFCO endorsement can be found on the food package nutrition label.

Specific dietary changes may be necessary for cats with certain medical conditions. Your veterinarian can be of invaluable assistance in helping you select the most appropriate diet for your senior cat.

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