What wet cat food is best for older cats? If you’ve asked yourself this question and if you have been scouring the Internet in search for the best wet cat food for older cats, you’re in the right place. After doing a lot of research on the topic, we concluded that the first product that you should keep in mind is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Grain-Free Wet Food. This is a grain-free recipe that can be given even to cats who experience digestive issues once in a while. It’s higher in calories compared to other formulas, so it mostly addresses underweight senior cats. Plus, it’s safe since it doesn’t contain any preservatives or artificial colors. However, if it’s no longer in stock, I suggest considering the Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Healthy Cuisine Canned Cat Food.
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Grain-Free Wet Food||Grain-free, high-calorie||Single source meat on every recipe|
|Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Healthy Cuisine Canned Cat Food||Low calorie, artificial preservative, color, and flavor free||High-quality animal protein|
|Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Salmon & Tuna Entree Canned Cat Food||Grain-free but contains meat by-products||25 essential vitamins and minerals + taurine|
|Nutro Senior Minced Cod & Tuna Cuisine in Tasty Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food||High-calorie, grain-free, low fiber, protein rich||High-quality animal protein|
Best Wet Cat Food for Older Cats (Reviews)
We know that choosing the right diet for your senior cat can be a tricky thing to do. That’s why we’ve showcased some of the healthiest choices below. Have a look at them if you haven’t made up your mind just yet.
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Grain-Free Wet Food
Blue Buffalo has become a quite popular brand in the industry of manufacturing pet food over the years, and for a good reason, too. This wet cat food for older cats is made with high-quality meat and it contains no by-products whatsoever. Rather than using a mix of animal proteins, this product has single source meat.
This means that the likelihood of your feline buddy experiencing digestive problems is minimal. It’s also worth noting that the Blue Buffalo option is grain-free and that this is why you’ll find that one of its ingredients is sweet potato.
I might argue that this makes a great choice for cats who tend to lose weight as they get older instead of gaining weight. The product is higher in calories than other types of canned food for seniors, so you either have to use it to stimulate your cat to gain weight or you have to pay attention to the portion size.
What’s neat about this choice is that it has a high taurine content, meaning that your cat’s eye and heart health are going to benefit from it.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Healthy Cuisine Canned Cat Food
This is a veterinarian recommended wet cat food for older cats because it contains high quality protein from muscles and organs and vitamins and minerals for a perfect health condition.
The best thing about Hill’s alternative is that it is free from preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors, which means that it doesn’t pose any health risk to your feline friend. It’s also worth noting that the recipe is low-calorie, so you can feed it to cats who tend to put on weight easily.
The only issue with this product is that it contains grains, which makes it unsuitable for cats who might have stomach issues. It is an all-natural recipe, however, but it doesn’t have any probiotics, which would have been a nice addition.
All in all, it is a pretty healthy option that should be considered, especially if your cat doesn’t tend to throw up often or has no history of digestive distress.
3. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Salmon & Tuna Entree Canned Cat Food
If you’re in the market for some healthy wet cat food for older cats, this one might be a good choice, especially if your feline friend favors seafood and fish. Since it is made with real tuna and salmon, you can rest assured that your cat is going to get the right nutrients.
However, the manufacturing company has snuck in some meat by-products, so I wouldn’t personally recommend it for senior cats who have heaps of health problems. It is grain-free, though, so at least your feline buddy isn’t going to experience any digestive distress.
It’s also worth noting that this wet food is not recommended for pets who tend to get fat easily. It is a good thing that it contains as many as 25 essential vitamins and minerals, as well as taurine, which is critical for cat health.
I would suggest giving this wet food to your senior cat only on occasion (almost as a treat), and especially if he or she is really into seafood.
4. Nutro Senior Minced Cod & Tuna Cuisine in Tasty Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
This canned food by Nutro offers high-quality animal protein. It’s also grain-free, which means that your feline friend isn’t going to experience any digestive distress after eating it.
Additionally, the food is fortified with minerals, vitamins, as well as taurine so that your pet gets the nutrients that he or she needs. However, it’s quite high in calories, especially when put side by side with some of the others we have found. This means that you will have to feed your cat small portions to avoid weight gain related issues.
The formula is rich in protein and it contains low fiber, so if you’re switching your cat’s diet to this one, try to do it gradually. Otherwise, he/she might have a hard time dealing with the change and could have loose stools, constipation, or just generally an upset stomach.
Since it’s easy to eat, this is a pretty good option if you’re shopping for soft or wet cat food for older cats with no teeth.
5. Feline Natural Chicken & Venison Feast
Even though it’s among the priciest alternatives that we have come across, many reviews of wet cat food for older cats suggest considering this product. It’s made in New Zealand and it contains at least 9% of guaranteed protein, but its typical daily cost is over $6 a day.
However, it is a winner in terms of its ingredients as it contains chicken, chicken heart, venison kidney, liver, and blood, and green mussels for a healthy dose of omega 3s. The recipe makes it possible for senior cats to get the right nutrients for their internal organs and muscles, and all of that without packing up weight.
We believe that this is a good option as it contains omega 3 fatty acids, it has multiple sources of animal-sourced nutrition, and it’s rich in highly digestible protein. It’s also free from any potentially inflammatory ingredients, which is always worth considering.
Do not buy this food if your senior cat has kidney health problems as it has higher phosphorus levels compared to others. Another of its drawbacks is that it’s quite expensive.
6. WholeHearted Chicken Recipe Flaked in Gravy
If you’re on a budget, but you still want to make sure that you’re feeding your senior cat the right type of diet, this product should be right up your alley. It’s made in the United States and it has at least 10% of guaranteed protein. The cost per day of feeding your cat this food is estimated at around $1.50.
The area where this product is a winner is its ingredients. It contains chicken and chicken broth, but do consider that, to keep the price low, the brand has used sunflower oil and tapioca starch in the formula, as well.
The food also contains tuna oil as a source of omega 3, and this ingredient is widely known for fighting inflammation and also soothing a cat’s arthritic joints.
Based on the feedback received by this option, it seems that not all cats love it. As you might know, this can sometimes be a matter of personal preferences. All in all, the WholeHearted choice has highly digestible animal protein and tuna oil, and it doesn’t contain any potentially inflammatory ingredients.
7. Weruva TruLuxe Grain-Free Steak Frites with Beef & Pumpkin in Gravy
This one seems to be a good wet cat food for older cats since it doesn’t contain too many weird ingredients. It has beef, pumpking, carrot, and sweet potato among the most important ingredients, and it has enough protein to give your feline friend what he or she needs.
What’s really neat about this option is that it contains just 1 mg of phosphorus per each 1,000 calories, which is quite rare among high-protein cat foods. Thanks to the low phosphorus content, the Weruva food is great for cat guardians who want to protect their feline buddies’ kidneys.
The low carb formula makes it possible for your cat to avoid developing diabetes or putting on weight. It also doesn’t contain any potentially inflammatory artificial ingredients, and that’s also worth bearing in mind.
The only thing that it’s missing is some omega 3s from fish oils, for example. Plus, it does tend to cost a pretty penny, especially when compared to others in the same line.
8. Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Wet Cat Food
If you’re searching for something a little more budget-friendly but you don’t want to sacrifice anything in terms of quality, this option might be the right one for you and your feline friend. The best thing about this one is that it contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
The combination of chicken, salmon, and duck in the recipe makes it possible for your feline buddy to get the correct nutrition without experiencing any digestive distress. However, that doesn’t mean that the formula is grain-free as it does contain some — mostly from vegetable sources.
The Natural Balance product has taurine and omega 3 included in the recipe, so your cat gets all the benefits of these two. Every can is about 200 calories worth, so you might have to use portion control for cats that tend to gain weight quickly and easily.
Some cats like it while others don’t, but as you know, it’s a matter of personal preferences. Based on the feedback acquired by the product, it seems to be a great choice for underweight cats.
9. Royal Canin Aging 12+ Thin Slices in Gravy Canned Cat Food
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Royal Canin. When I used to work in the industry, I learned from some of the folks that distributed the company’s products that in the manufacturing process, there is a special room where the dry food is sprayed with oils so that it’s extremely palatable to cats and effectively makes them addicted to the taste and consistency.
But when it comes to nutrition, as a vet, I have to admit that Royal Canin cat (or dog) food is clearly superior to other brands. While this recipe is great for cats who have problems with their teeth, it might be less recommended to those that have an upset stomach — since it contains grains.
It’s also worth noting that the recipe includes animal by-products, which means that it’s not made with the best ingredients in the world. Is this the best wet cat food for older cats that vomit? Not really, since it can be problematic.
However, it is a good option for cats who experience no digestive distress and who might need the essential fatty acids in the formula. It has reduced phosphorus and sodium, which means that the senior cat’s kidneys are going to be protected.
Plus, on the whole, the recipe is pretty low-calorie, which means that you aren’t going to have to worry about your cat gaining weight. It’s quite tasty, but as I said, it might get your feline friend hooked on it to the point that he/she refuses other food.
Wet Cat Food for Older Cats – Buying Guide
If you’ve been tossing and turning about getting the right food for your older feline friend, it’s a good thing that you’re reading this post. We did a lot of research and to make sure that you’re getting all the right info, we put together a comprehensive guide on picking the right recipe for your senior cat. Read on to find out more.
1. Protein, carbs, and fat
These are the three basic types of ingredients that any food, whether it’s IAMS wet cat food for older cats with hairballs or anything else, should contain. Carbs are less necessary for cats since they are carnivores, but if you are looking to purchase a commercial diet, make sure you pick one with digestible carbohydrates.
Protein should come from beef, poultry, or fish (lamb and rabbit are okay, as well) but make sure that you avoid brands that use ‘meat by-products’. While animal organs are considered by-products, too, we have nothing against them. What we do have against are non-digestible ingredients such as beeks, hoofs, and other such parts.
Digestible carbs range from grain-free alternatives such as chickpeas to sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and legumes.
Essential fatty acids make all the difference when it comes to your senior cat’s health. These can be omega 3s for healthy skin and coat (salmon oil) or fat from chicken fat, for example.
2. Ingredients to steer clear of
Artificial colors and preservatives are among the most dangerous ingredients in commercial cat food nowadays. I’ve written another article on this in the past and in it, I’ve underlined how some artificial colors are carcinogenic and how pet food brands are aware of this and still add them to their recipes.
Pick an all-natural cat food if you can afford it. Better yet, if you have the time, feed your cat a mix of natural cat food (commercial) and raw cat food. Check YouTube for some raw cat food recipes.
3. Extra ingredients
As you might have told by now, cat food manufacturers add fillers to their recipes so that the resulting product comes out cheap enough. But this also means that the overall nutritional value of the food is lowered. To counterbalance this, companies add synthetic vitamins and minerals to the blend, but also other supplements.
Probiotics are some of the most common added supplements to recipes made primarily for senior cats and that’s because they can improve their digestion.
4. Consider your cat’s teeth
If I were to write an article about dry food for older cats, I’d go into how important it is to pick a recipe that can clean your cat’s teeth, at least to some extent. However, that doesn’t apply when it comes to wet food.
If your cat has lost almost all of their teeth, you should consider getting wet food that’s as soft and/or liquid as possible. Pates and soups are the better options, in this situation.
5. Get informed
There used to be a time when I was really thrilled about recommending Hill’s Science Plan and Royal Canin diets. Personally, I don’t think that animal nutrition is studied enough at most vet schools, and the emphasis is often put on creating the right recipe rather than making the difference between one type of commercial food and the other based on their ingredients.
As a vet, I recommend reading as much as you possibly can about potentially dangerous ingredients in your cat’s food. You aren’t going to believe what you’ll come across — some pet food manufacturers even add ethylene glycol (mostly known as antifreeze) to their formulas so that the kibble remains moist and palatable.
Try to opt for a natural diet if you can, and avoid formulas that contain colors such as Red 40, Yellow 6, or Red 3 — they are known to cause cancer.
Why should older cats be fed different food?
Cats usually enter their senior period when they are over 10 to 11 years old. This can vary a lot from one breed to the next, but this is the age at which most of our feline friends are considered seniors.
When cats enter their older years, they can experience an array of health problems that they didn’t have when they were younger. First off, we recommend having a talk with your vet to find out what kinds of health concerns you should have as your cat gets older.
There are several reasons for changing your cat’s diet from one designed for adults to one made specifically for seniors. Senior cats can develop food sensitivities and allergies, for example. Old cats have to get high-quality digestible protein without having to eat the meat by-products present in most commercial diets made for adults.
Some cats can develop a food allergy even though they’ve eaten the same fats and proteins for years and years.
Common health problems
Senior cats are more exposed to developing kidney issues, weight gain, dental health issues, as well as digestion problems. Their stomachs are a lot more sensitive than those of junior or adult cats, which is why many of our senior feline friends are known to vomit more often.
Grains and artificial additives can cause such digestive distress, and if this happens, the cat can also suffer from malabsorption. This means that while your feline buddy might try to eat enough to get the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, this might not be possible with an adult diet.
Senior cats who don’t have minimal amounts of phosphorus and sodium in their food (in the sense that they have to be as little as possible) can develop kidney health problems.
Most older cats lose or have lost their teeth, which means that wet food is the best choice for them. However, tooth loss can make it difficult for some cats to grab the meat chunks, which is why you will have to go for a pate or sauce consistency instead of traditional canned cat food.
Last, but not least, most older cats are less interested in playing, mostly because they are less active and have less energy compared to their younger counterparts. What this means is that even though the cat eats roughly the same food and the same amount, he/she might put on weight due to lack of exercise.
Obesity is particularly dangerous for cats, so you might have to get a calorie-controlled diet. Have a talk with your veterinarian about all of these concerns and about what your cat needs as he or she becomes a senior.
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