When a kitty is in its adult years, it may not be so challenging to find the right food for your feline friend. However, older cats struggle to take larger chunks of kibbles and also can’t bite hard, dry food as efficiently as when they were younger. It is crucial to get soft dry cat food for seniors that has all the essential nutrients.
Nonetheless, choosing the right soft dry cat food can be quite a challenge with numerous cat food brands that offer different formulas. We decided to help you in this matter by providing you with our top five recommendations for soft dry cat food for seniors. As a bonus, we give you some extra info that can help you further in your decision.
Dry Vs. Wet Cat Food
Usually, cat food gets divided into two categories: dry (the crunchy kibbles) and wet (canned). There are a few differences between these two types of food for cats that are important to mention and understand.
The amount of water present in the food is the major difference between dry and wet cat food.
The majority of the content of dry food is made of fats, vitamins, carbohydrates, and protein, and only ten percent is water. On the other hand, wet or canned food has around seventy percent water.
This feature is extremely important to consider especially if your kitty is dealing with a health condition.
Dry food is typically made by blending together vitamins, minerals, meats, and fats, and then all of these ingredients are cooked at high temperatures making the starches easier to digest.
In contrast, wet food production includes frozen or even fresh meat combined with a grain source of protein. Fats, water, and additional vitamins are mixed with the meat and protein source, and once put in a can there is a heating procedure that destroys all foodborne pathogens.
This is another crucial factor to take into account, specifically if your cat is on a certain type of diet. Carbohydrates are more present in dry cat food, whereas protein and fat content in dry vs. wet cat food can vary depending on their formula. Furthermore, some formulas of dry cat food include probiotics.
Can cats live on dry food only?
Most cat owners feed their feline friends only dry cat food. It is less expensive than canned cat food, and it is quite budget-friendly if you are taking care of a cat community.
Furthermore, dry food doesn’t have to be refrigerated in order to stay fresh. Although, if you have any food left in the feeder at the end of the day, it should be disposed of.
However, feeding your kitty only dry food can lead to obesity and other health-related issues like kidney disease and dehydration. If you don’t measure the food you give your cat it can lead to overeating or it may not eat enough to meet its nutritional needs. Since dry cat food has low water content, you have to provide additional water to your kitty and ensure it drinks enough, because cats are used to consume water from the food they are eating.
Also, your senior cat may not be able to chew the dry food, especially if it has dental disease or it is missing some teeth.
Can cats live on wet food only?
As we mentioned above, canned food has high water content and this is extremely beneficial. Some felines that deal with diabetes, kidney, or urinary tract disease require higher quantities of water intake, and canned food may be beneficial for them to consume.
Moreover, there are kitties that prefer canned food to dry cat food because it is quite palatable.
However, canned food may not be very affordable for some people because it is more expensive than dry food.
Also, if you open a can of cat food you have to put it in the fridge because it will go bad after twenty-four hours. Avoid leaving wet food in the feeder longer than a few hours because it can get contaminated and cause the growth of bacteria.
It is essential that you give your cat wet cat food, but it doesn’t have to be the only food source.
What are soft dry and semi-moist cat food?
Cat food that is soft dry is essentially a kind of kibble that has higher water content. It is a more chewable type of dry food, but it isn’t as mushy as wet canned cat food. Furthermore, it has a specific formula that allows for pleasant chewing.
If you have a senior cat or a kitty with chewing problems, soft dry cat food is the perfect choice for your furry friend. It is easier to eat it while still providing the essential nutrients your feline needs.
On the other hand, we have semi-moist cat food which is also known as pouch food because it comes in pouches that are easy to store and serve. You can use this type of food if you are trying to switch from dry to wet cat food. My adult cat enjoys this type of cat food from time to time and finds it very palatable.
But, it is important to mention that you should pay attention to the sugar and salt content in the semi-moist cat food. Also, most brands use additives, flavors, preservatives, and artificial colors.
Should older cats eat soft food?
There isn’t one shoe fits all kind of food for older cats. Each senior feline comes with its own set of challenges and health-related issues. There is always one safe step to take when it comes to tailoring your older cat’s diet, and that is a consultation with a veterinarian or more specifically veterinary dietitian that has experience with a nutrition program for senior cats.
Even with soft cat food you should always check the nutrition label and look at its ingredients. Also, just because it is a soft food, it doesn’t mean that you should allow your cat to eat as much as it wants. Portion control is of crucial importance in maintaining your cat’s weight and health.
Furthermore, be observant and notice if it is hard for your cat to chew on dry food. If it has difficulties you can try softening its favorite dry food with a bit of water or chicken broth. Otherwise, there is no need to put your older cat on only soft cat food.
What should I look for when buying soft dry cat food for seniors?
There are some key features you need to look for when choosing soft dry cat food for your older feline friend. Also, don’t forget to consult with your veterinarian and take into consideration your cat’s overall health condition.
List of ingredients
Looking at the ingredient list should be one of the first things you do when making your choice regardless of the food brand or even the type of food. You should ensure that it doesn’t contain anything that may worsen your cat’s condition or trigger an allergic reaction. High protein content and traces of grains for healthy digestion and no artificial coloring or preservatives should be a safe way to go.
Your choice of soft dry cat food should have all the necessary nutrients your senior cat needs.
Bag and kibble size
Cat food brands offer various packaging sizes. If you are looking to try food and you aren’t certain that you are going to use it for a long time, go for a smaller package. However, if you know what your older cat enjoys eating, then purchasing a big bag size of soft dry cat food may be a more affordable option.
Another thing to consider is the size of the kibble. Is your senior kitty going to be able to chew it? If it has dental issues then maybe softening it further with chicken broth or wet canned food would be a better choice.
Your cat approves it
If your kitty doesn’t find the cat food palatable, then all other features won’t stand a chance. Ensure that your cat approves it before deciding to switch completely to the new brand.
Top five recommendations for soft dry cat food for seniors
The dry food with salmon and white meat chicken by Meow Mix is crunchy on the outside and soft, tender, and meaty in the center. The flavors of salmon and white meat chicken are quite savory and offer a good quality protein for your kitty.
Furthermore, this Tender Centers cat food contains twelve percent water and is packed with a variety of minerals and vitamins. It has whole ground grains for healthier digestion.
Due to its crunchiness on the outside, it is suitable for older cats that don’t have dental problems.
It contains good quality protein from salmon and white meat chicken
Its formula includes a variety of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants for immune system support, healthy skin and coat
It is suitable for adult and senior cats
It’s a great mixture of crunchy with meaty centers
It contains filler ingredients and preservatives
It is suitable for senior cats without dental issues
Not all cats will enjoy the flavor
The Tender and Crunchy Combo Dry Food by Friskies combines crunchy with the tender and the added flavor of chicken, turkey, and beef. This particular cat food has a twelve percent water content.
It offers a great source of protein to support muscle health and the added vitamins and minerals will support your older cat’s overall health.
Furthermore, the antioxidants support the immune system, whereas the omegas take care of your kitty’s skin and coat. Your feline friend’s vision will be supported by Vitamin A and taurine in the formula of the food.
It is a great source of favorable protein
It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omegas, and taurine
It provides the crunchiness of dry food and the tenderness of soft food
It is affordable
It may not be liked by all cats
It may not be suitable for cats with dental issues
It’s another great option for cat food by Meow Mix. This Dry Cat Food Original Choice has twelve percent water content and it is specifically formulated to support adult cats’ health and wellness while getting proper nutrition.
Moreover, it gives all the essential nutrients needed for maintaining a healthy and happy life. The high-quality protein supports the strength of your cat’s muscles, and the essential fatty acids care for the skin and coat.
It offers a balanced meal complete with all essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
It has a variety of flavors (chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish)
It contains a good quality protein
It may not be suitable for senior cats with dental issues
Some cats may not enjoy it
It contains fillers and by-products
Purina Pro Plan’s Dry Cat Food features real turkey with the delight of the crunchy kibble mixed with tender, meaty shreds. It contains twelve percent water, which makes it a great choice for senior cats without dental issues.
Its formula is well put together to meet the nutritional needs of indoor cats, providing a good quality protein for maintaining a healthy weight and strong muscles. In addition, the natural fiber helps to control hairballs, while digestive health is supported by the prebiotic fiber.
Also, the formula is strengthened with the addition of essential minerals and vitamins needed for balanced nutrition.
It is a great source of high-quality protein
It has the crunchiness of the kibble and the softness of the canned food
It is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and prebiotic fiber for overall wellbeing
It helps with the prevention of hairballs
Some cats may not enjoy this cat food
Not suitable for adult and senior cats that have issues with their teeth
This veterinary-approved food for senior cats by Iams offers complete and balanced nutrition without any fillers.
The main ingredient in the formula is a tasty chicken, which offers protein for nourishing your cat’s muscles. In relation, calcium and phosphorus were added to support felines’ bones and joints.
Furthermore, the immune system of your senior cat will be supported by antioxidants and Vitamin E. Your furry friend will be full of energy and a healthy weight.
It doesn’t contain any fillers
It is approved by vets
Its formula is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for the overall well-being of your senior cat
It has L-carnitine for maintaining a healthy weight
Senior cats with dental problems may not be able to eat it without added water or broth
Some cats may not like it
Our advice for you
At the end of the day, the best soft dry cat food for seniors will be chosen by your feline companion. Whenever you try to introduce a new type of food to your cat, our advice is to do it gradually and avoid buying big bags. You can even give to your kitty all three types of cat food. My adult cat enjoys wet, dry, and soft dry food. It gets all the necessary nutrients and stays hydrated.
Remember, what is best for one senior cat, may not be the best for yours. Observe and see what is your cat’s food preference, but at the same time track its health to ensure it gets what it needs.