Best Cat Food For Older Cats in 2019 | Review of Top 5 Products

Best Cat Food For Older Cats in 2024 | Review of Top 5 Products

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With older cats, picking the right food is highly essential for their wellbeing. For one, your once agile feline is not as energetic and interested in exercise activities as he used to be; hence his meal has to reflect this change.

A good meal for older cats should be one that contains fewer calories than your feline had in his meals in his younger years.

An older cat also needs food with plenty of high-quality protein to boost his muscle health and healthy fat for optimum coat and skin heat. Antioxidants, minerals, and other vitamins are also crucial for his overall health and wellbeing.

Below, we’ll list out several factors to consider when picking a cat food for your older cat to help you make an informed decision when you finally choose. We’ll also list out the best cat food for older cats to save you the stress and time of searching for the right one with so many fancily packed products on the shelf of pet stores and online.

The Top Rated Cat Food for Older Cats

Product Name

Key Features

Our Rating

- Packed with real chicken.

- All natural ingredients.

- Very high protein content.

- Help reduce plaque buildup.
- Contains essential nutrients.
- No artificial preservatives or fillers.

- Contains LifeSource bits.

- Real meat as the main ingredient.

- Made with natural ingredients.

- Uses quality protein & natural fibres.

- Fortified with essential nutrients.

- No artificial preservatives.

Please continue reading for more in-depth reviews

5. Nutro Senior Indoor Cat Dry Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Senior Dry Cat Food

This premium quality Indoor Senior Cat Food is available in two flavors; chicken and brown rice and fish and brown rice. The two recipes have real animal protein as their major ingredients, with the carb and fiber also coming from whole grain brown rice.

Both recipes are fortified with antioxidants and valuable nutrients such as taurine for a healthy heart for improved immunity.

The nutrient-rich real chicken contains healthy fat for your older kitten’s skin and coat alongside fish oil for the omega-3 fatty acids.

They’re both supplemented with chelated minerals to ensure maximum nutrient absorption. The tons of natural ingredients in both recipes help to guarantee a natural flavor that only a few cat foods for seniors can compete with.

Why we like this food....

It has a high-quality animal protein as the main ingredient.

Rich in Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, antioxidants for improved immunity, and taurine for a healthier heart

However,  please bear in mind...

It contains grain and may not be ideal for cats with stomach problems or grain allergies. 

Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Indoor Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

If there's one food that supports optimum health in aging cats with all of its ingredients, then it is the Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Dry Cat Food.

Containing a perfect blend of ingredients to support the older cat’s energy and activity level, and also favorably reviewed by pet parents, it is one food you should consider.

This food for the mature cat is made with natural ingredients and is suitable for cats 7 years and older. Alongside other beneficial nutrients, the food contains taurine, an important nutrient for your older feline’s heart.

Its beneficial and balanced minerals improve bladder and kidney health, while vitamin E, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids are excellent for skin and fur health.

The brand considers that older cats are prone to stomach problems; hence this high-quality cat meal is made with nutrient-packed, easy-to-digest ingredients. Some ingredients and nutrients include:

Chicken, dried beet pulp, whole grain wheat, folic acid, broccoli, oat fiber, carrots, cranberries, green peas, Vitamin E supplements, and fish oil.
Why we like this food....

Made with real chicken, not just offal and other fillers

Contains fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, broccoli, and other natural health-promoting ingredients

However,  please bear in mind...

While they make it from whole grain, it still not a grain-free kibble so take that into consideration if your aging feline has severe stomach issues. Other than that, the Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Dry Cat Food is a nutrient-packed food for the older cat and we highly recommend it. 

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Mature Dry Cat Food

Like other products in the Blue Buffalo Line, the Healthy Aging Natural Mature Dry Cat Food is made with only top-quality products. This dry cat meal boasts premium natural ingredients, including meat, vegetables, and Blue Buffalo’s unique LifeSource Bit’s that comprises a fantastic blend of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins for your cat’s optimum health.

The Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Mature Dry Cat Food recipe is an excellent choice for older cats because of its good animal protein, whole grains, veggies, and other essentials that allow for easy digestion.

This dry cat meal has fresh, deboned chicken as its number one ingredient with concentrated chicken meal for added protein. Its primary carbohydrate source is brown rice, and it is a highly nutritious and digestible choice for older felines.

The chicken fats in it provide the needed fatty acids and other important nutrients, while the menhaden fish meal and flaxseed work together to create a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The meal has taurine and other chelated minerals for healthy vision and heart to enable easy nutrient absorption.

Why we like this food....

They make it with fresh chicken and concentrated chicken meal. It is also made with wholesome grains and veggies for fiber and nutrients, healthy fats and chelated minerals and probiotics for easy digestion. 

The product is free from corn wheat and soy and contains zero artificial additives.

However,  please bear in mind...

It is not a grain-free formula, and some felines may find the kibbles a bit too hard to chew.

Iams ProActive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food

Also known as IAMS senior plus, the IAMS Proactive Health Senior Adult Dry Cat Food is designed for aged cats 11 years and older.

The meal has chicken as its main ingredient and primary protein source and is suitable for the indoor and outdoor feline. The uniquely formulated meal contains the components required for your feline’s overall health and well-being, including vitamin E, potassium, and calcium.

The meal is also rich in probiotics and probiotics to aid digestion and antioxidants for immune function. Because aging cats are less active on average and so may gain more weight, the meal is made with L-carnitine for a healthier metabolism. To help reduce plaque buildup, the dry kibbles are crunchy and in a suitable size for your older cat.

Why we like this food....

It is a premium cat food with no fillers.

It is great for weight reduction in overweight cats.

However,  please bear in mind...

The crunchy kibble may not be suitable for older felines with several missing teeth or sensitive enamel.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Another quality product from Blue Buffalo, this dry cat food has real deboned chicken as its main ingredient. The meal also packs several natural fiber sources to improve your older cat’s nutrient absorption. 

The grain-free dry cat meal provides your older cat with the needed Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for excellent skin and fur health. It is also free from artificial preservatives. 

The meal contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are included in the Blue Buffalo exclusive LifeSource Bit that is cooked at low temperatures to preserve their potency.

It is completely free from grains, including wheat, soy, and corn, making it an excellent choice for felines with stomach problems.

A Guide to Two Common Food Types for Older Cats: Wet vs. Dry

There are two main types of industrially produced cat food for older cats: wet cat food and dry cat food. 

These food types are made ready-to-eat, so you really need not do any extra work other than pouring the required quantity into your feline’s food bowl at mealtimes.

Dry Cat Food for Older Cats 

Dry cat foods are usually made up of dried food ingredients with limited moisture. The ingredients in these kinds of meals include meat, offal, cereals, and vegetables. Adequate hydration is essential when your cat is placed on this meal type. Your cat may get constipated if you feed it dry food without providing or ensuring it drinks enough water. 

Also, with dry cat food, you want to ensure that the product you pick is made from actual high-quality and nourishing ingredients and with zero or as few fillers as possible.

Low-quality, filler-packed meals can cause liver, kidney or stomach issues, all of which can be extra dangerous to an older cat. A good quality dry cat food is also longer-lasting and better tasting than a low-quality one packed with fillers. 

Wet Cat Food for Older Cats

Wet cat food for senior cats and cats often come in packs or tins of 85-100 grams. Usually, it is one serving per meal. Top-quality wet cat food is made with real, nutritious meat, vegetables, broth, and other healthy ingredients your older cat needs to thrive.

This food type also contains more water than the dry food, so your cat may not need as much water when on it. The downside to this meal type is that it may not be able to stay open for too long; it dries up and goes bad, unlike kibbles (the dry cat food).

Is Dry Cat Food Better Than Wet? 

There is no one answer to this question. For one, your preference should be based mainly on your aging feline’s health requirements and eating habits. But then, dry foods are cheaper on average than most wet food, plus it can be left in the food bowl out all day without it going bad.

Wet food is great for older cats that may find kibbles too crunchy to manage or can finish the entire content of one tin in one sitting. Whichever you settle for, remember to ensure that your cat has constant access to clean drinking water. Also, remember that the food’s composition and quality are mostly what counts be it wet or dry cat food.

If you require a more in depth comparison of wet and dry cat food then see our article here.

Factors to Consider When Picking a Cat Food for Your Older Cat

While older cats share certain nutritional requirements, there is really no one size fits all with their meals, especially if they suffer from any health condition. That said, there are general factors you can consider before you settle for a particular food for your older cat. 


As felines age, they may have to deal with certain age-related issues like tooth loss and tooth sensitivity: just like humans. The latter is often a result of the wearing out of the enamel over the years, and like tooth loss, there is little you can do to stop it.

A few missing teeth may not affect your feline considerably; however, dietary modification or change becomes necessary with several missing teeth. For one, several missing teeth can cause discomfort while eating and could also make them unable to enjoy certain meals.

If you’re buying pre-made cat food for your older feline, you must adjust his diet. This could mean buying soft kibble or only meals with lots of moisture to enable easy lapping.


As cats grow older, their stomach becomes more sensitive to some ingredients in cat food. They may also begin to grow mildly allergic to foods containing these ingredients. In some cats, vomiting or diarrhea may occur. If you notice any of these symptoms and your vet rules out the possibility of any other more severe underlying issue, it may be because of an increase in stomach sensitivity. What you can do to help is change his meals or look for foods containing ingredients that help curb these issues.

Certain ingredients like corn, soy, or grain will trigger an allergic reaction for some cats, particularly in old age. You’ll have a healthier and happier feline when these ingredients are eliminated.

Vitamins and Minerals

A good food for older cats should be packed with vitamins and minerals to keep your cat healthy and happy. While regular cat food should be rich in the essential nutrients, older cats require them in more quantity. Unless your vet recommends, the specific vitamin and minerals may vary from brand to brand and should all be good for your feline. 

However, there’s one thing you should look out for when buying food for an older cat: the probiotic content. This is particularly important if you have a cat with stomach or digestive issues. 

Probiotics help in no small way to manage sensitive stomach issues and so if you feel your cat could use a meal with probiotics, then only get foods containing probiotics. 

Calorie Content

Your once tree climbing kitten may currently prefer to lie on the couch all day or cuddle up to you on the sofa instead of the previously enjoyable activities.

While some cats may not burn a lot fewer calories than before, the reduced physical activity combined with continuing the same kind of meals can increase their likelihood of obesity. This is not something you want for any cat, least of all an older cat. Obesity is as harmful to cats as it is for any humans or any other mammal, and in old age, the risk of damage doubles.

Thankfully, most adult cat foods out there contain only limited amounts of calories. With these foods, you can feed your aging feline with no need to cut down on the frequency of their meals or be bothered about them gaining weight.

Final Words

So after much deliberation, Blue Buffalo is, in our opinion, the best cat food for older cats. That does not mean you should completely rule out of the others, as a lot will depend on your cat's preference. Just like humans, they can be fussy too.

We advise you to read our buying guide, then decide if your chosen food meets all of the criteria to provide your aging cat with the nutrition it needs at that stage of its life.

If you have tried one of these foods and want to give your own opinion then we'd love to hear your own views in the comments below.

About the Author

Kirsten Heggarty
Website | + posts

Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.