I have 3 cats -

  • one around 10-11 years old (was a stray so I don't know exactly but not far from this)
  • two littermates 6, nearly 7 years old.

All female and spayed. No particular breed, just "domestic short hair".

I am wondering if/when I should switch the older cat to the "senior" cat food? What are the actual benefits of that food if any?

Possible relevant information:

  • I feed a variety of wet and dry food. Usually dry food overnight/in the morning (when I go to work) and a pouch of wet food in the evening
  • stable weight over the last couple of years or so (older cat in particular did get a bit fat a few years ago due to being greedy but I got that under control!)
  • no relevant health issues (diabetes etc) for oldest cat only a bad tooth and a fall from height a few years ago. Yearly visit to vets for vaccinations etc and all looks good, and I haven't seen anything that I found concerning.
  • I occasionally give them tinned tuna, sardines etc but not as their regular meals.
  • they currently all eat together (side by side) and seem to be part of one social group

The "senior" cat food is usually advertised as being for age 7-8+ (and I'm conscious that my 6-year-old pair aren't too far off of being 7...)

I would like to know in what way "senior" branded cat food is different, and whether/when I should switch to it.

I'm in the UK and the main brands I buy are Felix (Purina) "as good as it looks" "concoctions" etc and a variety of dry food.

1 Answer 1


As cats gets older, their need for food changes. Older cats are often less active, so it is useful to start giving a lower energy type of food; this is mainly to avoid weight gain.

Older cats do often start to drink less water, so to compensate for this and the effect this might have on the cats' kidneys senior food is lower in mineral content.

Wet senior cat food often has a higher content of water to help the kidneys function better.

The lowered mineral content will lower the risk of kidney and bladder stones. In addition to lowered mineral content, senior cat food often contains additives to make the urine more acidic to dissolve and remove gallstones and bladder stones.

Senior cat food often contains more dietary fiber to help digestion and to help fur balls to pass more easy.

Some of the things I mention here are used in food for adult cats too, for urinary tract and kidney health.


I suggest you talk to your vet to find the type of food that fits your cat best at each stage of life. No two cats are the same and older cats needs to see the vet each year, so you might as well ask when you see the vet.

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