According to the feed industry, a cat is considered a senior from the age of eight - a questionable assumption that is not so true in practice. You can find more on the topic in the guide: "Old cat: When do cats count as seniors?". But first on the subject of nutrition. Why do elderly fur noses become picky about food and what can cat owners then do?
Why do cats become picky about food in old age?
As mentioned in the introduction, the needs of cats change over the course of their lives, since the body and metabolism inevitably change. In addition, the senses subside when the kitty turns gray around the nose. The sense of taste and smell are no longer what they used to be - the cat food that was loved a short time ago no longer smells so great, which has a negative effect on appetite. Another reason your cat gets picky about food is psyche: stubbornness or an age-related, changed view of all sorts of things can cause preferences to change, not just food. In this case, it is often simply sufficient to offer a different cat food adapted to the needs of older animals or to experiment a little with food.
Important: If cats do not eat their bowl empty, this does not necessarily have to be related to age. In coordination with the veterinarian, you should clarify whether your kitty is sick and therefore does not eat normally.
Proper food for old cats: health decides
The right food for old cats differs from that for younger ones. But why?…
Old cat does not take food: what to do?
You have several options if your cat suddenly becomes picky and spurns the cat food. Of course, you should first adapt the feed to the age and needs. If in doubt, contact your veterinarian, who knows what your cat needs now. If new feed does not help, the following tips could help.
1. Wet food
It is often the teeth that make it difficult for old cats to chew dry food or at least harder food. Who likes toothache while eating? A change of feed to wet food can be the solution to the problem, since this puts less stress on the teeth.
2. Warm water
If moist feed is not enough, you can also mix it with warm water. Many fur noses like particularly mushy food and the warmth is often felt to be pleasant. Make sure that the water is only lukewarm to warm and never hot!
3. Fish oil
Mixing in some fish oil can also help. It ensures that the food for your older kitty, who can no longer smell as good, smells pleasant and makes you hungry for more.
4. New food bowl
This tip is not only applicable for older cats, but also applies to all pets: replace the food bowl if it has been in use for a long time and may smell unpleasant. Plastic in particular takes on odors over time - regardless of the fact that you wash the bowl regularly. Tip: There is less trouble with ceramics or metal.
5. New feeding station
A new feeding place can also work wonders. Your older velvet paw may not fit the previous place where it munches. Perhaps it is too cold or noises that used to be no problem are now interfering - for example from a washing machine or the refrigerator.