Good veterinary care, growing awareness among owners and the correct nutrition all help to extend the life of cats considerably. But what is the ageing process actually like? And what changes take place in the feline body?
The ageing process can be divided into two phases. The first takes place at the age between six and ten years old. During this time, changes commence at cell level, and consequently no external signs of ageing are visible. Everything begins to change once the cat enters the second phase from the age of ten. The speed at which ageing progresses varies from cat to cat.
Cats are known to be fussy eaters, and this problem may worsen with age. Fluctuations in appetite can be caused by an impaired sense of smell, which is the primary factor in the cat's appraisal of food. Unfortunately, the other senses deteriorate with age too. Mobility problems also arise, especially when it comes to jumping on and off furniture and other objects. Joints become less flexible with age and are susceptible to inflammation, leading to pain and a reluctance to move. Another consequence of impairment of the mobility system is that pain causes cats to become disinclined to daily cleaning, resulting in a dull coat.
Once they reach the age of ten, cats often tend to be underweight. This is due to metabolic changes and lower utilisation of the energy available to the cat. For example, a feline's ability to digest food and absorb fat decreases with age, so this cannot be reduced in the nutrition of an older cat. Nor should the proportion of protein be reduced. More free radicals are produced in the body as it gets older, and these are responsible for rapid ageing.
How should senior cats be cared for, therefore? Their food must contain enough protein and fat to meet the needs of an older feline. Joints can be cared for by including glucosamine and chondroitin in the diet. It is also important to enrich food with ingredients that promote vitality. To answer the question of how to care for older cats, Tropical has developed the TropiCat Senior product. This has been created especially to meet the particular requirements of cats aged ten and over. Combining the valuable properties of rosemary, turmeric, grapefruit…