If your moggy is looking a little grey around the whiskers and seems to be a little creaky in their joints, it might be time to adapt their diet to one suitable for their age.
Although diet is important throughout your pet's life, as cats age their nutritional requirements change as they become less active and more prone to gaining weight and increasingly susceptible to diseases.
In general, cats are classed as 'senior' when they reach about seven or eight years of age and, while your four-legged friend might still be climbing trees and charging around the neighbourhood, it is about this time that you should start thinking about adapting their diet.
A good diet for a senior cat will include concentrated protein from meats such as fish, chicken, duck, turkey, lamb or rabbit, as well as carbohydrates and controlled levels of fat.
Beware of cat food which uses substandard cuts of meat, as high-quality protein is essential to a senior feline's health and will help maintain their energy levels even in older age.
Since older moggies are at greater risk of illness, it's also a good idea to opt for a diet that includes plenty of vitamins and minerals to boost their immune system and keep them fit, healthy and active for as long as possible.
One of the main problems that cats suffer from as they age is weight gain due in part to reduced levels of exercise. While it can be hard to encourage your four-legged friend to run around outside to shed excess pounds, what you can do is control their diet.
Many cat owners will naturally turn to their vet for prescription diets when their pets are beginning to look a bit heavy around the middle, which are often quite successful in weight loss.
However, these foods can also be rather expensive, so for a more cost-effective alternative you may want to consider feeding your moggy on a brand such as Royal Canin cat food, which offer specialised diets for overweight cats at an affordable price.
Written by: Hannah Dyball