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Our eating habits and lifestyle change according to our age. As we grow older, we become more conscious of what we eat. The overall nutrition depends on our health and certain restrictions must be followed. Cats may not look old after a certain period of time but they do grow old and their feeding habit changes accordingly.
As opposed to dogs or human beings, a cat’s metabolism does not decrease as they age. Till the age of 11, their energy needs decrease but after that it continues to increase. As a result, older cats eat more but do less physical activity and it leads to obesity.
Studies have shown that older cats don’t digest their food and therefore absorb the protein and fat. The same is the case with younger cats as well. It means that senior cats must consume more protein and fat to get the same level of energy as younger cats. The adjustment in their diet leads to greater consumption of food.
It is interesting to note that cats require more proteins than most animals. Therefore, the amount of protein in a cat’s diet should be adjusted according to its age.
Like other animals, cats don’t like drinking water unless it is needed. Both older and younger cats can show signs of dehydration if they have kidney problems. One way to help cats increase the consumption of water is by flavoring it. Another way is to keep small bowls in places where the cat likes staying.
A cat’s dietary needs change according to its health. Cats who suffer from diseases like diabetes or bowel inflammation find it difficult to digest food that is rich in fiber. There are specific diets available in pet stores for cats who suffer from heart or stomach diseases. Again, cats with oral and dental disease have separate diets. So, a cat’s diet, irrespective of age, depends entirely on its health.
Animals need supplements in food for growth and development. As cats grow older, the level of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals keeps decreasing in their body. When cats eat less food, the required level of supplements don’t get absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys and must be supplied separately. Supplements can be added in cat food but it is better to consult a doctor first before giving the supplements.
Feeding habits in cats are quite different from other animals in that they don’t necessarily eat less when they grow older. In fact, older cats consume more food than their younger counterparts. The water intake and dietary requirements doesn’t differ much for young and old cats. Food supplements are usually needed by older cats who lack them in their body.