- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Senior formual - is it just 'light'?

August 20th, 2007, 01:37 PM
I switched my cat to Senior formula at about 8 years old, assuming it meant different nutrition requirements. But is it just lower calorie, for less active animals?

She only weighs 7 pounds, and I feel better when she's 8, the highest she's been is 9 (also, is that normal for a Persian?).

Anyway, I don't think she needs lower cal. She was never very active, even as a young adult. I don't think much has changed there, and she doesn't need to watch her weight.

So is there a disadvantage to feeding regular adult food?


August 20th, 2007, 03:34 PM
As a whole, I would stay away from senior formulas. They tend to have more carbs and less protein, which is NOT desirable. Some might add glucosamine, but it tends to be in such small quantities that it's practically useless and is more of a marketing ploy than anything. In fact, 'life-stages' foods are all gimmicks (especially the "indoor" formulas!). There are no "senior mice" or "kitten birds" for cats in the wild, to quote from one of these websites (can't remember exactly which one):

Just feed more or less of a good (preferably wet) food as metabolisms change, and you're covered.

August 20th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Depends on the manufacturer... I am also not a believe of senior food (or light in most circumstances) as they have an increased need for protein, and if you want less calories, just feed less.

August 20th, 2007, 05:29 PM
More carbs and less protein? That's crazy. Also, I noticed that with Iams, the quality is lower in the Senior formula. I know Iams is bad anyway, but I'm just saying that's another negative to it.

I just wondered if a good brand would have a good senior formula and what the advantages are, if any. My cat is 12, so I want whatever is going to keep her around and healthy for at least ten more years!

I do think that kittens and puppies need different food, although I'd feel fine with an 'all life stages' food for puppies and kittens if it was a high-quality brand.

ALSO, if she WILL NOT eat premium wet food, isn't it better to give her fancy feast and Whiskas (two of the 'least bad' that she WILL eat) than no wet food at all?

I've always given twice a week, but thought I'd up it to every other day, since supposedly as she ages she drinks less water. I'm trying to weigh that against the negatives of by-products being given that often :confused:

To me, the fact that the Fancy Feast varieties that don't have wheat gluten are so good for diabetic cats means it can't really be a bad food.

By products are not the end of the world as long as they are not the main source of protein (some experts say). Same for corn gluten. It's not like it's poison, it's just not good to be a main source or protein or grain.

I'm not convinced it's horrible to be anywhere in the ingredient list, unless the animal in question has an allergy or intolerance.

I haven't read if that's the same for wheat gluten or not.:shrug:

August 20th, 2007, 05:47 PM
ALSO, if she WILL NOT eat premium wet food, isn't it better to give her fancy feast and Whiskas (two of the 'least bad' that she WILL eat) than no wet food at all?

Absolutely! Actually Fancy Feast, even with it's meat by-products, isn't that bad of a food. More like middle of the road as far as canned goes, and better than even the best dry (as long as it's one of the low-carb, gluten-free flavours). You could occasionally augment it with some fresh muscle-meat like chicken or turkey breast (raw or lightly cooked) to boost the protein quality. Cooked (never raw) egg-whites are a great way to increase protein without increasing phosphorous (lower phosphorous is better for aging kidneys, so the theory goes).

By-products do tend to get a bad rap when truthfully, they aren't ALL bad, the problem is that we don't always know what makes up the by-product contents of any particular batch or brand of food (for example, lungs and spleens are good, whereas feathers and beaks, not so much).

Hope that helps somewhat.

August 20th, 2007, 06:10 PM
It does, thank you. I started a thread titled 'all grocery store wet food is bad?'

Tell me what you think about the Meow Mix in there, if you would, and what is so bad about wheat gluten (low on the list, I know it's bad high up).

Then I can leave this thread about Senior foods.