Quantcast

Nutrition Help for Aging Cats - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Nutrition Help for Aging Cats

By Jill Keith, Studio One Networks

As a cat ages, changes occur in the way its body functions, so it makes sense that what it eats might also need to change. The following list of health issues may be more common in aging pets.

  • Decreased immune system function
  • More frequent intestinal problems
  • Decreased mobility
  • Dental issues

For mature cats with health issues, you can help by providing special nutrition for their special needs. Here's how.

Decreased Immune System Function
Throughout a cat's life, a process called peroxidation occurs. Peroxidation is a normal process that the body uses to destroy cells that outlive their usefulness and kill germs, parasites, etc. but also can destroy or damage healthy cells. As a cat ages, the damage caused by peroxidation accumulates which, in turn, increases the risk of certain problems, such as infections.

Antioxidants are naturally occurring nutrients that help maintain overall health by neutralizing the peroxidation process of cellular molecules. Some antioxidants, such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lutein, are naturally occurring nutrients.

Recent research has found that dogs and cats fed a diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E, lutein, or beta-carotene had improved immune responses and vaccine recognition. This may be especially important for aging cats, because studies have found that as cats age, immune responses can decrease.

More Frequent Intestinal Problems
Older cats may have higher numbers of unfavorable bacteria and lower numbers of beneficial bacteria in their intestines, which can result in clinical signs of gastrointestinal problems (e.g., diarrhea).

Feeding a diet containing fructooligosaccharides (FOS) -- a unique fiber source that helps nutritionally maintain healthy intestinal bacterial populations -- promotes growth of beneficial bacteria. Beet pulp, a moderately fermentable fiber source, also helps maintain intestinal health by providing energy for the cells lining the intestine and promoting small, firm stools.

Copyright (c) 2008 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

About The Author: Jill Keith is a freelance writer and editor on subjects ranging from cat care to feline fun.
  • Everything AnimalsMore>>

  • Everything Animals: Therapy Dogs Needed

    Everything Animals: Therapy Dogs Needed

    Monday, May 5 2014 8:41 AM EDT2014-05-05 12:41:14 GMT
    There's a critical need for therapy dog teams in Vermont.
    There's a critical need for therapy dog teams in Vermont.
  • Everything Animals: Bird feeder safety

    Everything Animals: Bird feeder safety

    Monday, April 7 2014 7:53 AM EDT2014-04-07 11:53:00 GMT
    Help prevent disease in your pets and your backyard birds. Scrub out your bird feeders every couple weeks with non-toxic soap and water, and allow them to dry well. Mold can grow in the bottom of the
    Animal expert Dr. Steven Metz is here to talk about how to correctly clean out your bird feeders.
  • Everything Animals: Free Pet Eye Exams

    Everything Animals: Free Pet Eye Exams

    Monday, March 24 2014 8:55 AM EDT2014-03-24 12:55:37 GMT
    In a few months, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will hold its 7th Annual Animal Eye Exam event. Participating ophthalmologists will provide free eye exams for pets. However,
    In a few months, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will hold its 7th Annual Animal Eye Exam event.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.