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The Best 8 Senior Cat Foods for Your Aging Feline: Our Top Picks and Reviews

Anant Shastri
By Anant Shastri
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What is the Best Cat Food for Elderly Cats?

Smalls Cat Food
  • Smalls Human-Grade Fresh is protein-rich and picky cat-friendly. 
  • Our ingredients are USDA-certified, humanely-harvested, and sustainably-sourced—no BPAs, preservatives, fillers, or mystery-ingredients, ever.Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw retains the nutritional benefits of a raw, high-protein diet.

Do Senior Cats Need Senior Cat Food?

Yes, older cats need a change in their diets as their bodies find it difficult to digest most common cat foods. Additionally, generic cat foods contain preservatives, high levels of carbohydrates, and artificial flavors that might be difficult for their bodies to process.

Senior cat food is specially designed for older cats. They offer several benefits that other foods do not offer. These include:

  • Calorie Control. When cats age, they are prone to weight gain and obesity. Therefore, a diet with fewer calories can help cats with a slower metabolism and decreased activity levels.
  • Increased Hydration. Older cats often face problems with their kidneys and are more susceptible to developing kidney stones. Wet cat foods and food toppers help provide the hydration that your cat needs providing support to their kidneys.
  • Added Nutrients. Most senior cat foods contain beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These can include calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A. This boosts their immune system, something that is required at their life stage.
  • Solution-Based. Sometimes, your vet might suggest a special diet depending on your older cat’s requirements. These solution-based food products usually cater to common problems such as kidney disease, urinary infections, and GI tract infections.
  • Easier to Eat. Older cats often find it difficult to chew dry kibble. They might be more comfortable eating something like a pate or a mince.

The Best Senior Cat food Reviewed

There are many different senior cat food options. To help owners decide on the right product for their senior feline friend, we have reviewed the best senior cat food recipes on the market.

Smalls Cat Food

Smalls Cat Food

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Summary: Smalls Cat Food is a human-grade cat food brands that delivers the meals right to the doorstep. It offers three recipe flavors (Bird, Other Bird & Cow) and three texture options (smooth, ground, and pulled). The recipes are complete, nutritionally balanced, AAFCO-approved, and suitable for cats of all ages. 

Type: Fresh & Freeze-dried cat food

Best for: Cats of all life stages

Price: $1.25-1.93/meal

Pros

  • Homemade, human-grade food
  • Protein-rich and nutrient-dense formulas
  • Three flavor and three texture options
  • Easily chewable and fit for senior dogs
  • No grains, fillers, or artificial additives

Cons

  • No significant cons

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken Recipe: Contains chicken, chicken liver, green beans, peas, chicken hearts, and kale. Plus, it is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and taurine.
  • Other Birds Recipe: Contains turkey thigh, turkey liver, green beans, peas, and kale. Plus, it is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and taurine.
  • Cow Recipe: Contains beef, beef liver, green beans, and spinach. Plus, it is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and taurine.

Review: Cat owners are satisfied with the Smalls Cat Food recipes. They say the food works wonders and their cats love the taste.

The Honest Kitchen Minced Salmon and Cod in Gravy

The Honest Kitchen Minced Salmon and Cod in Gravy

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Summary: The Honest Kitchen Minced Salmon and Cod in Fish Broth Gravy is a superb wet cat food that meets your cat’s nutritional and hunger needs. This box, which is American-made, has delectable chunky, minced salmon cooked in savory gravy.
This mixture has a balanced ratio of omegas, which is necessary to keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy. Additionally, it contains a lot of protein and other mild ingredients that help your cat’s digestion and normal bowel movements, making it suitable for senior cats.

Type: Wet cat food

Best for: Adult cats

Price: $2.99/box

Pros

  • Perfect for senior cats
  • All-natural, Non-GMO ingredients
  • Has high moisture and protein content
  • No additives, artificial colors, fillers, and meat meals
  • Human-grade quality
  • Enhances digestion and improves skin and coat

Cons

  • Has a rich gravy flavor that some cats might not enjoy

Ingredient Analysis

  • Salmon: This has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer several health advantages to your feline. This kind of fatty acid guards against skin and coat issues, and might benefit the brain and immunological systems of your cat. Salmon is also rich in niacin, selenium, potassium, and B vitamins.
  • Fish broth: It provides a natural source of iodine and thyroid minerals, making it ideal for pets who are susceptible to hypothyroidism, are on the verge of developing it, or are already experiencing it.
  • Cod: Omega-3 fatty acids present in cod combat inflammation in addition to enhancing your cat’s coat health. This also aids cats with autoimmune diseases, arthritis, inflammatory bowel illness, and other conditions.
  • Pumpkin: This is good for your cat’s digestive tract, helping to reduce diarrhea and avoid constipation. Dietary fiber in pumpkins can actually aid in the passage of any ingested fur through your cat’s digestive system by absorbing stomach acid and excess fluids.
Review: Dedicated buyers claim that among all commercial wet food formulas, their cats’ prefer this recipe from The Honest Kitchen. They stated that by constantly feeding their cats THK’s Minced Salmon and Cod in Fish Broth Gravy each day, their feline’s immune system has grown stronger than ever. 

NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Senior Indoor Natural Dry Cat Food

NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Senior Indoor Natural Dry Cat Food

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Summary: This cat food for older cats is formulated with essential nutrients like taurine to support heart health in aging cats. It also contains antioxidants for healthy immunity, which results in fewer diseases. It is also made with non-GMO ingredients from trusted farmers and suppliers, making it absolutely safe for older cats. Additionally, it contains no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors that would otherwise be harmful to your feline friend.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Senior cats

Price: $3.2/pound

Pros

  • Crafted with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients
  • Features real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Helps support heart health
  • Contains non-GMO ingredients
  • Made without corn, wheat, or soy protein

Cons

  • The packaging could be better
  • More suitable for indoor cats

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken: This is the primary source of protein that helps build and maintain your older cat’s muscles. It also gives them the energy to sustain themselves.
  • Chicken Meal: This is the secondary source of protein. It also adds a delicious poultry flavor that cats usually love.
  • Pea Protein: This is a great source of plant protein and other nutrients and fiber. While it helps in digestion, it is not recommended by many vets.
  • Whole Brown Rice: This is a great source of carbohydrates that provide energy for your cat to move around. It also contains fiber and antioxidants.

Review: This cat food contains fatty acids that provide several health benefits. It is available in a variety of pack sizes.

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Natural Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Natural Dry Cat Food

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Summary: This cat food has been specially crafted for mature cats as it offers essential proteins and carbohydrates to fulfill your feline friend’s energy requirements. It also features wholesome grains, garden veggies, and fruit. This all-natural kibble is crafted without any poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Additionally, it is available in a variety of flavors and pack sizes.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Senior cats

Price: $4/pound

Pros

  • Features real meat as the first ingredient
  • Contains wholesome grains, garden veggies, and fruit
  • Contains essential proteins and carbohydrates
  • Contains taurine to support heart and eye health
  • Supports and boosts immune system health

Cons

  • Some ingredients could cause an allergic reaction
  • Can cause an upset stomach in some cats

Ingredient Analysis

  • Deboned Chicken: This is the main ingredient and the primary source of protein for your cat’s health. It builds muscles making it easy for them to move around.
  • Chicken Meal: This adds flavor and protein to the food. However, it is an ingredient that many vets do not recommend.
  • Brown Rice: This is a great source of antioxidants and fiber. It also contains carbohydrates that give your cat the energy to sustain itself.
  • Barley: This is an excellent source of fiber and protein. However, many vets do not recommend this product for older cats.

Review: This cat food has a great flavor and scent. But it contains several ingredients that vets usually do not recommend.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Dry Cat Food

Hill's Science Diet Adult 11+ Dry Cat Food

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Summary: This senior dry cat food offers an exclusive multivitamin blend that helps keep older cats more agile, alert, and interactive. It contains ingredients that are easy to digest and contain optimal nutrients that support eye, heart, kidney, and joint health. It also features a special antioxidant and vitamin blend that together help support a healthy immune system. Additionally, it contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Senior cats

Price: $3/pound

Pros

  • Specially formulated to fuel the energy needs of senior cats
  • Dry cat food with natural fibers that promote digestion
  • Contain nutrients for eye, heart, kidney & joint health
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • The flavor might not be palatable for your cat
  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken: This is the primary ingredient and the main source of protein in this cat food. it helps to build and maintain your cat’s muscles.
  • Whole Grain Wheat: This offers fiber and other nutrients that keep your cat energized and in good health. However, it is not recommended by many vets.
  • Corn Gluten Meal: While this ingredient offers some health benefits, many vets do not recommend using this in cat foods for older cats.
  • Pork Fat: This not only adds a delicious flavor to the food but it is also a source of sustained energy for your older cat.

Review: This cat food is made with premium ingredients. It comes in a great flavor that most cats will love, in addition to numerous health benefits.

Purina Pro Plan Allergen Reducing Senior Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Allergen Reducing Senior Cat Food

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Summary: Following concrete research, this cat food is the first and only in line with the power to reduce cat allergens. This premium dry cat food simply and safely neutralizes Fel D1, a common allergen in cat saliva, with a key protein from eggs. Each food serving is fortified with guaranteed live probiotics to boost the cat’s digestive system and build their immunity overall. It also contains taurine, which helps improve heart health.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Senior cats

Price: $14.5/pound

Pros

  • Safely neutralizes Fel D1, a common allergen in cat saliva
  • Significantly reduce the major allergen in cat hair
  • Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics
  • Contains antioxidants for a healthy immune system
  • Helps improve and extend the life of cats

Cons

  • The product might cause stomach troubles in some cats
  • More expensive than other options on this list

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken: This is the main ingredient and the primary source of protein for your cat’s health. It builds muscles making it easy for them to move around.
  • Poultry By-product Meal: This adds flavor and protein to the food. However, it is an ingredient that many vets do not recommend.
  • Corn Gluten Meal: While this ingredient offers some health benefits, many vets do not recommend using this in cat foods for older cats.
  • Rice: This is a great source of antioxidants and fiber. It also contains carbohydrates that give your cat the energy to sustain itself.

Review: This senior cat food not only offers several health benefits, but it is also great if your senior cat has allergic reactions to food items. It is affordable but can be difficult to chew.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Dry Cat Food for Senior Cats

Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Dry Cat Food for Senior Cats

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Summary: This cat food contains precisely balanced and highly-digestible nutrients that work to support the health of kidneys in your older feline friend. It features a delicious recipe that promotes healthy organs and offers overall benefits for mature cats. It is made with natural, high-quality ingredients without any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Finally, the product has been manufactured in the USA.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Senior Cats

Price: $4.1/pound

Pros

  • Provides older cats with essential taurine for heart health
  • Contains balanced minerals for bladder and kidney health
  • Supports healthy skin and fur
  • Easily digestible dry cat food with natural fibers
  • Made with natural ingredients

Cons

  • This product could have some controversial ingredients
  • Might lead to an allergic reaction in some cats

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken: This is the primary source of protein that helps build and maintain your older cat’s muscles. It also gives them the energy to sustain themselves.
  • Whole Grain Wheat: While this ingredient offers some health benefits, many vets do not recommend using this in cat foods for older cats.
  • Corn Gluten Meal: This is an excellent source of fiber and protein. However, many vets do not recommend this product for older cats.
  • Chicken Fat: This not only adds a delicious flavor to the food but it is also a source of sustained energy for your older cat.

Review: This cat food is specially crafted for older cats. It boosts their overall health and builds their immunity to fight off diseases.

IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Mature Cat Food

IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Mature Cat Food

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Summary: This nutrient-rich senior cat food was designed with chicken as the primary ingredient. It also helps build muscles in both indoor and outdoor cats, which gives them the energy to move around without trouble. This senior cat kibble is formulated with essential nutrients to help promote optimal health and nourish strong bones and joints. It also provides vitamin E and antioxidants to support your aging cat’s immune system.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Senior cats

Price: $5.5/pound

Pros

  • Offers nutrient-rich dry food for older cats
  • Helps support strong muscles and provides energy
  • Contains essential nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus
  • Helps senior cats maintain a healthy weight
  • Helps restore immune responses

Cons

  • This product might be difficult for some cats to digest
  • It could cause stress on your cat’s teeth

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken: Excellent source of lean, premium-quality protein.
  • Chicken By-Product Meal: Often considered a low-quality ingredient, although it serves as a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
  • Corn Grits: Add carbohydrates and fiber to the formula. However, they can cause stomach issues in sensitive cats.
  • Dried Egg Product: This is another great source of animal-based protein. Plus, it offers some essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
  • Fish Oil: Preserved with mixed tocopherols (natural preservatives), this is an excellent source of fatty acids.
  • L-carnitine: Natural ammonium compound that supports the metabolism of fats and helps with weight loss.

Review: Perfect for older cats, this cat food offers several health benefits. It also contains essential ingredients such as taurine that boost heart health.

Purina ONE High Protein Natural Senior Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE High Protein Natural Senior Dry Cat Food

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Summary: This is a specially formulated high-protein cat food that supports your older cat’s strong muscles, including providing a healthy heart. It contains four antioxidant sources that boost your furry friend’s strong immune system. Additionally, it also contains a natural fiber blend that helps minimize hairballs and added calcium that helps keep your cat’s teeth strong. This natural cat food is loaded with added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Senior cats

Price: $2/pound

Pros

  • No artificial flavors, preservatives, or added fillers
  • Provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition
  • Helps support strong muscles and a healthy heart
  • Contains fiber that reduces hairballs
  • Rich in oxidants that supports the immune system

Cons

  • Might have high levels of carbohydrates
  • Might put stress on your cat’s digestion

Ingredient Analysis

  • Corn Gluten Meal: While this ingredient offers some health benefits, many vets do not recommend using this in cat foods for older cats.
  • Chicken: This is the main ingredient and the primary source of protein for your cat’s health. It builds muscles making it easy for them to move around.
  • Chicken By-product Meal: This adds flavor and protein to the food. However, it is an ingredient that many vets do not recommend.
  • Rice: This is a great source of antioxidants and fiber. It also contains carbohydrates that give your cat the energy to sustain itself.

Review: This senior cat food is made with natural ingredients. As a result, it is a lot safer for older cats and helps prevent any allergic reactions.

Royal Canin Aging 12+ Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Cat Food

Royal Canin Aging 12+ Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Cat Food

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Summary: This particular wet cat food has been specially formulated to meet the needs of senior cats 12 years and older. It contains omega-3 fatty acids to help maintain healthy joints. As a result, your older cat remains more active throughout the day. It satisfies picky eaters with an instinctively preferred ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. With controlled levels of phosphorus, it also boosts your cat’s kidney health.

Type: Wet cat food

Best for: Senior cats

Price: $2/can

Pros

  • Tailored for senior cats 12 years and older
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain healthy joints
  • Contains a beneficial ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates
  • Supports kidney health with controlled phosphorus levels
  • Helps keep your cat active despite their age

Cons

  • This product might not have a long shelf life
  • It could have been better packaged

Ingredient Analysis

  • Pork By-Products: This is an additional source of protein and also adds a great flavor to the meal. It also provides the required calories to your older cat.
  • Pork Liver: This is a great source of iron and other beneficial nutrients that cats need for sustaining themselves.
  • Chicken: This is the primary source of protein that helps build and maintain your older cat’s muscles. It also gives them the energy to sustain themselves.
  • Chicken Liver: This is another great source of iron and helps build immunity and improves blood count in your older cat.

Review: This senior cat food is extremely delicious and easy to chew for older cats. It is also easy to digest and provides numerous health benefits.

How do I Choose Senior Cat Food?

Senior cats require a different diet from regular cats. This is because their bodies become more frail and prone to diseases. Therefore, it is best to feed them foods that are meant for that life stage.

Here are some things to consider when buying a senior cat food formula:

  • Healthy Ingredients. Senior cat foods often contain beneficial ingredients such as cranberries, brown rice, and sweet potato, in addition to primary protein sources such as turkey or chicken recipes. They offer benefits like immunity-boosting, hairball control, and improved digestion.
  • Wet vs. Dry Food. It is important to note that older cats prefer wet foods. This is because they are more palatable and much easier to chew on. Canned food often comes in variety packs for diversity.
  • No Harmful Ingredients. Senior cat foods should not be high in grains (they are obligate carnivores). They must also be free from potentially hazardous ingredients such as gluten, soy, meat by-products, and artificial additives (colors, flavors, and preservatives).

When Should I Switch My Cat to Senior Food?

Ideally, you should switch your cat to a senior cat food when around seven years old.

The goals of switching to senior cat food formulas are to prevent weight gain and obesity, delay the onset of age-related chronic conditions, and manage the symptoms of pre-existing health issues.