The Best Cat Food for Older Cats in 2020 – Buying Guide

As cats age, their dietary and nutritional needs change as cats mature. Pet owners are becoming more aware of this and, as such, we have seen that more owners are searching for the right cat food for older cats than ever before.

If you’re already totally clued in on the ins and outs of senior cats’ dietary considerations, then we’ll get straight to the point and make some suggestions.

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The formulations of senior cat food vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer, but a common theme is a small increase in fiber to improve digestion support. A decrease in fat content, suggesting their less active lifestyle, is also likely to be seen. Each of our picks provides a perfectly healthy diet; for you and your senior pet, it’s a matter of making the right decision.

The Best Cat Food for Older Cats

While important factors are caloric content and protein counts, they are not the only figures that determine a good cat meal for older cats. There is a little more to it and that but as we walk through each product pick, we’ll speak in more detail.

Note that the protein, fat, and other macronutrient content is measured “as served” while reading. Usually, wet foods list 5-10 percent of protein content, while dry packaging reads 25-30 percent; these levels typically equal approximately the same protein content of dry matter (once moisture is accounted for). The best pet foods for older cats are here, offering a great mix of protein, fat, and fiber for seniors.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Cats

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Dry food from Hill’s Science Diet is primarily intended for indoor cats aged 11 and over. At optimum stages, the chicken recipe contains essential nutrients to promote joint health, as well as kidney, heart, and eye functions. The added natural fiber improves digestion, prevents hairball formation, and makes it a little easier to clean the litterbox.

Its scientifically validated blend of antioxidants, including amino acids, vitamins C and E, is intended to help strengthen the immune system of your cat and enhance the overall health and vitality of older cats. This product contains whole grain wheat and corn gluten meal, made without any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. If you have reservations about feeding your kitty with these ingredients, then Hill’s Science Diet might not be for you. But otherwise, the natural chicken receiver would love your fluffy feline.

Key Features

  • Built especially for older indoor cats,
  • Nice flavor for chicken
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
  • Amino acids, natural fiber added, vitamins C and E, and protein added


  • Brand: Hill’s Science Diet
  • Model: 2530
  • Weight: 7 pounds

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food

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In order to encourage safe immune systems, IAMS Proactive Wellness is particularly planned for felines aged 11 and over. It preserves healthy muscles and provides the unique balance of amino acids that older kitties need, produced with high-quality protein from chicken. The digestive health of your cat is helped by a personalized fiber mix, including beet pulp and prebiotics.

By adding L-Carnitine to its kibble mix, IAMS also helps your cat maintain a good weight. Feeding advice, however, should always be followed to ensure that your fuzzy pet is not over-feeding. This kibble, made without artificial colors or additives, instead of a wheat foundation, use corn meal, corn grits, and whole-grain sorghum, making it an excellent wheat-free alternative to other dry cat foods.

Key Features

  • Includes necessary nutrients and healthy joints for good bones
  • The crunchy kibble helps reduce the build-up of plaque
  • Includes 7 critical cardiac health nutrients
  • Added L-Carnitine for safe maintenance of weight


  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10133666
  • Weight: 16 pounds

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Natural Mature Dry Cat Food

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BLUE dry cat food is created from real chicken for mature cats and promises to contain no by-products of poultry. Their blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is planned in their later years to keep your feline fit and safe. BLUE processes these food components at lower temperatures in order to retain potency and avoid degradation. To promote joint wellbeing, the delicious kibble also contains chondroitin and glucosamine.

All the natural, carefully balanced ingredients in the kibble include complex carbohydrates from carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley, and cranberries. The protein-rich recipe also contains brown rice, barley, and oats with whole grains. By adding a little warm water before serving, the full flavor and aroma of the kibble can be released. This makes it an idea for felines who might already be having tooth problems associated with age.

Key Features

  • A formula rich in protein derived from a whole chicken
  • Whole grains and vegetables included
  • Contains no sub-products of poultry
  • For joint wellbeing, glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to


  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • Model: 79
  • Weight: 7 pounds

Hartz Delectables Bisque Senior 10+ Tuna & Chicken Lickable Cat Treat

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To produce a smooth sauce that your kitty will enjoy, Hartz Delectables are made from blended tuna and chicken flakes. Although still supplying the vitamins an older cat requires, the wet texture provides them with a very different eating experience. Vitamins E and B are used in the liquid treat and can be squeezed right into the bowl of your furry friend.

Although there is no wheat or cornmeal in Hartz Delectables, it also does not contain any vegetables or whole grains. Owners who are worried about this may want to alternate or use the Bisque with another food to supplement their daily feeding schedule for felines as a treat. For older cats experiencing dental problems, the liquid quality of the sauce makes it suitable. But, providing kibble or other crunchy snacks alongside the bisque for those who still have their teeth will help preserve jaw, gum, and tooth health.

Key Features

  • Supports the roles of the digestive system and kidneys
  • Added Vitamins B and E included
  • Produced from a meat and meat juice mix


  • Brand: Hartz
  • Model: 3270011058
  • Weight: 1.92 ounces

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food

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The best older cat food for owners who want an all-natural approach to feeding is Wellness Complete. It provides a full and well-balanced diet, with fiber and fat levels primarily aimed at helping to control weight and providing elderly cats with mutual support.

Wellness Complete is derived from deboned chicken and contains no by-products of animals at all. It is also free of synthetic colors, flavors, and preservatives and does not contain soy, wheat or maize. However it is not fully grain-free, since it includes barley and rice, so if these are additives that can cause your pleasant feline problems, another food may be more fitting.

Key Features

  • For older cats, full and healthy diet
  • Ingredients All-natural
  • No by-products for livestock
  • No synthetic colors, preservatives, or flavors


  • Brand: Wellness Natural Pet Food
  • Model: 8976
  • Weight: 6 pounds

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Best Cat Food for Older Cats Buying Guide

There are so many wonderful items on the market that it can feel like a difficult job to purchase the correct one for your feline friend. Just some of the choices you need to make are deciding between wet and dry foods, understanding which ingredients are the best, and which added vitamins to look for. That is where we are here, however, to assist with our guide to the best cat food for older cats.

Senior Cats Special Dietary Criteria

There are some unique nutritional needs for senior cats that vary from those of their younger and middle-aged peers. A variety of diseases and degenerative disorders are more vulnerable to older cats, as well as just the usual effects of getting old. Their energy needs decline as cats enter middle age until they hit around 11 years old, then they start to increase again. This is one of the reasons why in older cat food, good quality protein, and complex carbohydrates are important. Other dietary considerations include:

Changes indigestion

Older cats, as well as younger cats, have been found to have trouble digesting fat and protein. This implies that the quantity that they need to preserve good health is not consumed by them. The lack of protein will weaken their immune system, so older cats need higher levels of easily digestible fat and protein to combat this.

Lower Vitamin Levels

As your cat ages, the levels of different vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes can decrease. They appear through the digestive tract to absorb less of the nutrients they need and are more likely to lose them through the kidneys and urinary tract. Oral diseases and age-related tooth loss may also lead to fewer meals for older cats, meaning they may not obtain their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals from diets that are not explicitly intended for their age. In order to protect against some aspects of the normal aging process, antioxidants such as vitamins A (beta-carotene), E, and C can play a role.

Age-related illnesses

As with all species, as they age, cats become more vulnerable to different diseases; good nutrition is crucial to the gradual development of such illness and to minimize its effect on your beloved pet.

  • Cats suffering from anal gland disease, constipation, colitis, Mellitus, or diabetes can be improved by increased dietary fiber.
  • As well as inflammatory bowel disease and kidney disorders, highly digestible sources of fat, carbohydrates, and protein can also reduce colitis pain.
  • Cats with heart disease are supported by reduced sodium and higher levels of taurine (an amino acid).
  • For cats with dental problems, liquid or dry food is helpful.
  • For cats with cancer, a higher omega-3 fatty acid content is recommended.


Older cats prefer to drink less than they need to. The risk of kidney problems and constipation may be increased by this. Flavoring water may help to dry food or to add small amounts of warm water. This can help to inspire reluctant eaters as well.

Also, See Bayer Advantage for Cats

Things to Remember When Selecting a Senior Cat Food Quality

Of course, when selecting a cat meal for your older cat, the taste is one of your main factors. However, as we mentioned above it takes precise nutrition as well as good tasting food to keep your cat healthy. So, here are some of the things you need to remember when ordering food for your older cat.

Understanding Ages

At what point is your cat becoming an older or older cat? In general, it is known that cats avoid being treated as adults at about the age of 11 and continue to be seniors. This is not a hard and fast rule, and depending on breed, there are some variations, but when looking at different foods, it is a good guide.

High Protein content

In order to maintain a healthy muscle tone, skin, and fur, cats are mandatory carnivores and need a protein-rich diet. Older cats, however, need a higher protein content than younger cats and need to be both easily digestible and of good quality.

Animal Protein

Just as essential as the sum is the source of the protein in the food of your older cat. Your main source should be animal protein since it contains certain amino acids that can not be derived from plants. The first item on the food’s ingredients list should be animal protein.

Complex Carbohydrates

Older cats need to generate more energy than younger cats from their food. The easiest way to do this without risking feeding your feline is to have complex carbs.


For the preservation of gut health, fiber is important, but the source and form of fiber makes a big difference to your cat’s overall health and weight maintenance. Rather than insoluble fiber, search for dietary fiber. Carbohydrates and nutrients are found in dietary fiber, as well as increased bulk to facilitate the movement of food into the gut.

Colors, Flavors, and Preservatives

It is often safer to opt for foods that use only natural colors, flavors, and preservatives where possible. Not only does this make the taste and scent of the food better, but it is better for the overall health and welfare of your pet. There is no nutritional benefit for artificial colors and tastes, and many animal practitioners agree that artificial preservatives can potentially be detrimental over the long term to pets. The best way to avoid artificial ingredients is to opt for foods that explicitly state that there are no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors on their ingredients, especially if you are uncertain of the compounds you are looking for.


Antioxidants, obtained from fruits and vegetables, help reduce the symptoms of aging in older cats, and encourage general vitality.

Is gluten / Wheat Free?

There are also cat owners and a gluten-free diet among some experts who are supporters of feeding cats. In fact, as their digestive systems are not equipped to handle such ingredients, there are those who would go as far as suggesting that there should be no grains in a cat’s diet at all. However, along with vegetables, whole grain is one of the key sources of complicated carbohydrates, so the argument can become very nuanced.

Also, See Bayer Expert Care Dewormer

How Much To Feed Senior Cats

Just as the type of food your cat needs changes as they reach their senior years, the amount of food they need changes as well. You need to take into consideration their activity levels when deciding how much to feed your older cat, whether they are mainly an indoor cat, any current health problems, and their general state of well-being.

It is possible that outdoor cats are more physical and thus need to take in a higher amount of calories. A food that is made for more active and outdoor cats should also be fed to them. If your cat is mostly an indoor cat, they require fewer calories and food tailored to fulfill their needs.

Feeding treats is one of the main causes of obesity in older cats. All pet lovers want to treat their pets, but it is necessary to keep treats to a minimum and only feed treats intended for cats with more sedentary older cats. Not only does consuming human food raise the risk of obesity, but other health issues may be caused.

Following the feeding instructions for the particular food, you select for your pet is the best way to ensure that your cat gets the proper amount of food. Adapt these quantities in small intervals to suit the individual needs and activity levels of your older kitty. And if you’re ever unsure, talk to your vet.

Your senior cat will continue to have several more years with you if you are fed the right high-quality food in the right quantities. Not only that, but they will keep their stamina and agility, being able to live happily and in the best of health throughout their days.

Final Thoughts

Stick with luxury labels that explicitly offer formulations targeting older cats. These specially formulated pet foods for older cats would have the right nutritional mix needed for the lifestyles of older cats and help them remain healthier for longer.

Higher-end senior cat food manufacturers such as Royal Canin are worth the money if you can stretch your budget, but the price tags can often make them difficult to justify as daily food. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to appeal to the middle price point, such as Blue Buffalo or Purina. You’re going to be in safe hands, sticking to well-known suppliers, and selecting a food labeled for older cats.

Also, See Top 5 Wet Canned Cat Food