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can old cat eat kitten food?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Is it ok to give 20 year old cat innova kitten/cat can or other kitten food? My cat loves kitten food and hates food made for senior cats.
post #2 of 27
Yes! Older cats actually need more protein than adult cats as their systems are no longer as efficient at processing nutrients. When I get back to my home computer, I will give you a link with more info on this.
post #3 of 27
You might be concerned about the calories ???
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
The calorie of Innova kitten food is 201 kcal/can. Innova senior can is about 191kcal/can. All Evo adult cans are 200+kcal/can.
I searched on internet about senior cat nutrition, most just said I should reduce fat and calorie. Are fat and calorie the only concern?
My cat is slightly fat (about 10 pounds). I know his weight would drop if I give him senior food because he doesn't like it and wouldn't eat much of it.
Anyone knows something about senior cat nutrition??
post #5 of 27
I tried to get on the Cornell website, but it must be down for maintenance?
http://www.vet.cornell.edu

The Special Needs of the Senior Cat
www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/seniorcat.html

Since I couldn't get on, I don't know if the above article would be of any help - maybe you could try it tomorrow.

When I did a Google on "Senior Cat Food", I got a lot of results from the pet food manufacturers - but, I take their info with a grain-of-salt attitude.

I don't know, maybe I'm just silly, but I don't think 10#'s is a lot - depending on how large the cat actually is.

I have a cat that I think has some Maine Coon in him - and he weighs out at 20.6#'s - I'm not happy with that weight, but he is a large cat - the vet isn't yelling at me about getting him to lose weight yet.



Until someone else, here, says otherwise, if it were me, I'd feed him what he enjoys if it's giving him good nutrition - and watch his weight. The calories that you talked about doesn't seem a lot more than the adult cans your mentioned.

If I get a chance tomorrow, I'll look for more info to link you to.
post #6 of 27
If the cat isn't eating, just give it what it enjoys IMO, unless of course kitty is a bit pudgy to begin with. I had read a while back though that kitten food may be high in some minerals for seniors.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link, Gloria. so I guess the major concern for a healthy senior cat is still calorie according to the article. Your cat looks cool in that picture. My cat also has big bone frame, but certainly not bigger than your cat, haha. I just weighed him again, actually 11.5 pounds, another cat is 10 pounds. Just the saggy tummy makes him look a bit fat.
Does your cat need to eat and drink more than other cats? My cats eat about 180 kcal per day.

Ducman, I agree I should give him the food he likes. My cat also likes evo 95% venison wet food, but for some reason, he would get really smelly and huge poop after that. I donno if that means the food doesn't agree with his body.
post #8 of 27
We havea 21 yo cat and we feed him whatever he will eat. His system is getting more and more delicate and he will get sick very easily now and when he does, he starts dropping weight rapidly so whatever we can get in him we do. I like the kitten food when he has lost weight so that we can get a few ounces back on him rather quickly. I see no problem with it as long as you are managing his diet.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
RAFM

I sometimes search for things that would boost immunity for old cats, and very tempted to buy them, but donno if it's a good idea to give old cat supplement. Do you give your 21 year old cat any supplement?
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by space1101 View Post
Thanks for the link, Gloria. so I guess the major concern for a healthy senior cat is still calorie according to the article. Your cat looks cool in that picture. My cat also has big bone frame, but certainly not bigger than your cat, haha. I just weighed him again, actually 11.5 pounds, another cat is 10 pounds. Just the saggy tummy makes him look a bit fat.
Does your cat need to eat and drink more than other cats? My cats eat about 180 kcal per day.
It's hard for me to tell about his food and water intake - he seems about average - although - if he's finished his portion of food and still hungry, then one of his family members will be moving out of his way as he decides to eat theirs too. This is one of the reasons I am having a difficult time getting his weight down and not starve the other 3.
post #11 of 27
Well--he's already twenty years old. That's the equivalent of a human 90-year-old or thereabouts. "Slightly overweight" at that age doesn't hurt them; I'm assuming that his ten pounds are on an average frame (my cat Tiny, for example, weighs 11 pounds and is at the low end of normal because he is just such a naturally long, lean cat, while Christy, who weighs seven and a half, is smack-dab average in weight).

A senior cat like that doesn't suffer from being a little overweight; it's when they're a lot overweight that you have to worry. When a cat his age gets sick, the big problem tends to be keeping up his appetite, so a little bit of extra padding doesn't hurt him, and gives him a little leeway too. (It's the same for humans, BTW. Past about seventy years old, the longest-lived people are actually the slightly overweight, not the normal-weight people. Go figure. And yeah, same principle--it gives you extra energy for when you get sick.)

So, yeah, give your senior cat the kitten food. It's not bad for him, and he's only ten pounds. If he were thirteen or more pounds, I'd say give him a high-protein food in controlled portions the way you would for any overweight cat, but he's really not that big.

This is a photo of Tiny taken from above:

It's a bit obscured by his thick fur, but you can see he has an obvious "waist"--he's narrower past the rib cage. When I pet him I can feel his backbone and ribs, but they do have a bit of padding on them. Tiny is just a little bit thinner than average, and is at his ideal weight. I couldn't find a photo of Christy from above; but she looks much the same, except that she's got a bit more padding on her. It's entirely possible for a lighter cat to be fatter than a heavier one.

If your cat is not too much bigger than that, I wouldn't worry about his weight.
post #12 of 27
No, we don't give him supplements. I wouldn't be opposed to it if the vet recommended it but he already takes meds for thyroid, arthritis and antacid so I don't want to add another pill to his daily intake.
post #13 of 27
Two points:
It doesn't matter if kitten food has more calories per can or not. You simply compensate by giving him a bit less than you did before.

Also, while it is true that a bit more weight can be helpful in senior cats, you have to also remember at 20 years old, his joints aren't as good as they used to be. And if he is supposed to weigh 9lbs but now you learned he weighs 11.5lbs, that means he is 27% overweight or the equivalent of a 125lb human being instead weighing 158lbs. So I would be concerned about his weight.

(and sorry about those links, I will get to them tonight)
post #14 of 27
post #15 of 27
One of my cats is old and one is a kitten. The rest are in between that. They all eat the same can style. None like kitten in that.
They have free range dry at my house. Science diet for sentitive stomachs, Iams kitten right now. Seems to be a hit with most around here. More so than any other kind. But that is just my guys. They are trying Evolve, Not so much of a hit. I am going for Netro Maxie cat next. I let the cat decide and try to provide the one they like the most all the time.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Callista, Joshua doesn’t have waist, and I can see folds of fat on his thigh and tummy when he sits down. I’m not sure if he walks slowly because of his weight or of his age. Last year, he was slimmer and seemed more willing to do a little running. He has been eating dry food all his life until last year. He was in good shape when he was on dry food, but he threw up like every one or two weeks. After I switched him to wet food, he doesn’t throw up any more and gained about one pound.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Minka, these links are really good. These have finally help me understand senior cat nutrition. Thank you! I will give Joshua more protein!
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by space1101 View Post
Callista, Joshua doesn’t have waist, and I can see folds of fat on his thigh and tummy when he sits down. I’m not sure if he walks slowly because of his weight or of his age. Last year, he was slimmer and seemed more willing to do a little running. He has been eating dry food all his life until last year. He was in good shape when he was on dry food, but he threw up like every one or two weeks. After I switched him to wet food, he doesn’t throw up any more and gained about one pound.
Quote:
Originally Posted by space1101 View Post
Minka, these links are really good. These have finally help me understand senior cat nutrition. Thank you! I will give Joshua more protein!
More protein and smaller portions will do him a world of good. And if he has no waist at all, do not feel scared to have him lose weight as I can almost guarantee it is what is causing his lack of energy. (Though if he hasn't been to the vet in a while, get him a senior panel as well to make sure his thyroid is functioning correctly.)

We're here if you need any other help. :-)
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks Minka, I will try to give him smaller meals and make him exercise more.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by space1101 View Post
Callista, Joshua doesn’t have waist, and I can see folds of fat on his thigh and tummy when he sits down. I’m not sure if he walks slowly because of his weight or of his age. Last year, he was slimmer and seemed more willing to do a little running. He has been eating dry food all his life until last year. He was in good shape when he was on dry food, but he threw up like every one or two weeks. After I switched him to wet food, he doesn’t throw up any more and gained about one pound.
I wonder if his weight gain might be related to not being able to run around so much anymore--he's getting older, getting less exercise because his joints are stiffer; so he's not burning as much energy as he used to.

If his weight is stabilizing at this level--once again, I'd say it's safe for a senior cat. Minka says that it's like an ideally 125-pound human weighing 185 pounds--that's overweight, not obese. In that category, when you have a senior cat, you judge his health not by his weight but by his other signs--whether he's happy, active, alert, engaged with the world; what his vet says about his health. If his health is good, it won't hurt him to carry around an extra pound. If he were a lot bigger, yeah, it'd hurt his joints and put pressure on his heart and about a million other things--but this isn't the point where that becomes a real issue.

You can decrease the amount you feed him slightly. Kitten food is high-protein and that's good for any cat. If his weight levels off here, he'll probably be fine. The bigger problem I'd be looking at is the way he is becoming less active. That's normal for a senior cat, but it may indicate that he's getting arthritis, like many elderly cats do; and there are some minor painkillers that can help with the pain and stiffness. Ask your vet about that. If he can go back to playing a little, or just patrolling the house, it'll be good for him even if he never loses an ounce.
post #21 of 27
Tiger gets kitten food and also adult only because his poor sensiitve tummy can't handle canned food. No matter if it's high quality canned, he just can't tolerate it he throws it up right after he gets it down and he needs to be kept at a decent weight. There is also ocean whitefish or fish in a lot of canned food and he cannot tolerate that crap. He can eat salmon with no problems though that we have for dinner on occasion and tuna. He is skinnier than I like, but he is pretty healthy and getting up there in age, so he cannot afford to lose any weight. He is about 10-11 I know that's not old but I like to keep his weight up since he's lean by nature.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
Minka says that it's like an ideally 125-pound human weighing 185 pounds--that's overweight, not obese.
Actually with the general definition of 20-25% over ideal body weight equaling obesity, a doctor would define this person as being such.

Quote:
If his health is good, it won't hurt him to carry around an extra pound.
Correction. Two and a half extra pounds. Which is almost a third of his original body weight.


Space1101, you are doing a good thing by being proactive about his weight. It will make him feel so much better and make it much easier to move around. Talk to your vet about his weight goal and remember no more than 1-2% weight loss per week. Cheers! :-)
post #23 of 27
What about the diarrhoea that these cats are getting from eating kitten food. My old boy (16) has eaten the food of our kitten and gets the runs. Surely that's bad for old cats????
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormgirl68 View Post

What about the diarrhoea that these cats are getting from eating kitten food. My old boy (16) has eaten the food of our kitten and gets the runs. Surely that's bad for old cats????

 

If your old guy is getting diarrhea from eating your kitten's food, then that's not good.  Perhaps you could mix the kitten's food in with his food a little at a time until his system gets used to it, just like you would do if transitioning to any other food.   Do you give him a probiotic?  That might help too.  Lots of give our cats probiotics.  (human ones are fine, just give them less...maybe 1/2 capsule per day)

post #25 of 27

Yes.  Once I was concerned about my 4 year old loosing some weight.  My vet recommended mixing kitten food with his adult food as its much richer than adult food.

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by space1101 View Post

Is it ok to give 20 year old cat innova kitten/cat can or other kitten food? My cat loves kitten food and hates food made for senior cats.

have you tried mixing the two ? I know kitten food makes seniors gain weight but i dont know about innova kitten :/

post #27 of 27
Up until she became unable to eat solid food, I was feeding my female kitty (who is going on 15) kitten chow (and canned food). She would eat the other cats' food (a special urinary tract health formula) and not gain an ounce. Someone suggested kitten food since it has higher nutritional value - Kitty loved it and began to eat only that and her wet food. It's just hard to feed her because she would meow to be fed about every 3 hours, even at night. And I couldn't leave the food out anywhere for her to help herself because the other cats would find it....and they do not need it (my two males are about 15 and 20+ pounds respectively). So in my experience, you can safely feed an adult cat of any age kitten food. I did it to help with weight and it did the trick - my female cat has always been very long and slender, but she easily put on 3 or 4 pounds at least just from the kitten food.
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