- May 28, 2013
Thank you for that. The articles are very informative. My vet is anti grain free. So I hope she is on board with the Nutrasource food. It is not grain free, just higher in protein which I agree he needs as a senior .I confess mine get a can of Fancy Feast as a treat every once in a while. This is even though their normal food is raw and I go to great lengths to prepare it. I figure if I can eat potato chips or cookies, then why can't they have some Fancy Feast? So that's pretty much that.
I totally agree with you that if an older cat is losing weight, it's not nothing. The loss of lean muscle mass - sarcopenia - happens to cats just like to humans. What they need is more protein. Here's an article that talks about this:
Don't Let Your Senior Cat Become a Skinny Old Kitty
The next thing you need to consider is exactly what kind of protein. The answer is meat. Cats metabolize meat-based protein very well, but plant-based protein not well at all. It doesn't matter whether it's from grains or non-grains; the non-grains like peas and potatoes are not meat. The pet food industry seized on grain-free which sounds nice, but they're not replacing grains with meat; they are replacing with other stuff that's not any better and in some cases it has even more carbs - argh. Here is another article:
The Skinny on Senior Cats: Metabolism Explained
The main thing regardless is that they eat, so you have to find something that he likes and let him eat as much as he wants. All things being equal, I would opt for canned food because they contain a higher percentage of meat than any kibble. Also you mentioned vomiting, and there again canned foods are better because they help to rehydrate whereas kibble dehydrates.
By the way, I've compared cans of kitten and adult cat food and the kitten ones usually have a little more protein. Just because it's marketed for kittens doesn't mean you can't give it to an adult cat, especially a skinny one.
To make the canned food smell good for him, you might sprinkle a little bit of crushed kibble on top. Or what I have used in the past for this is crushed Temptations cat treats. Also parmesan cheese.
Final note - if a cat has kidney disease most vets think cats should get less protein. It's debatable, but if your cat has kidney disease then you need to get professional advice before going for a high protein diet.