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Do senior wet foods contain less calories?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Lottiecat, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Lottiecat

    Lottiecat PetForums Member

    Sep 28, 2010
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    As the title asks, does senior food contain less calories?
    My girl was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism about a year ago and we soon got her levels back to normal - she's stopped howling, being hyperactive, begging for food, so all is good there. However, she lost quite a lot of weight before being diagnosed and has never put it back on. The vet isn't overly worried about this, although, in the ideal world it would be good if she put a little back on.

    Just wondering if putting her back on normal food would add a few calories.
  2. Tobacat

    Tobacat PetForums Senior

    Oct 24, 2009
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    Bumping this up for you, as I'd be interested as well.
  3. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
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    @Lottiecat - I've never fed any of my cats Senior foods as I had assumed that marketing foods specially for "senior" cats was a bit of a gimmick ;). But I did think they might be lower in calories due to older cats (in theory) being less active than younger adult cats, and hence having lower calorific needs.

    Out of curiosity I've had a quick look at a selection of "Senior" wet foods for cats on the Zooplus site, and found there is no one rule across the board for what constitutes a 'senior' food. Some senior foods are lower in protein than adult foods, some the same, some higher. Some are lower in fat, some contain more fat. In one case a 'senior' food (Forthglade Senior wet food) contained 11% fat, and 13% protein, both ingredients a good bit higher than many wet foods for adult cats.

    The recipe for senior cats seems to depend on whether manufacturers consider a senior cat needs fewer calories as they are less active, or whether they need more calories to provide them with the extra energy they may need as an older cat whose digestive system is less efficient at metabolising their food.

    I also noted that some senior cat foods have ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin added (to treat / or prevent arthritis) others have omega 3 fish oil added to improve skin and coat condition and reduce inflammation in the body.

    Is your cat on a prescription diet as a means of managing the hyperthyroidism ? (I did not think the diet was a low calorie one, but one that contains no or low iodine). If you wanted to feed your cat extra calories I'd choose food that contains no beef, chicken or turkey, no fish and no grains, as all those are high in iodine.. So this would rule out most senior foods and may mean feeding her a few home cooked meals of say lamb, venison or duck.
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