Review Article| Volume 44, ISSUE 4, P761-774, July 2014

Download started.


Nutrition of Aging Cats


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribers receive full online access to your subscription and archive of back issues up to and including 2002.

      Content published before 2002 is available via pay-per-view purchase only.


      Subscribe to Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Lund E.M.
        • Armstrong P.J.
        • Kirk C.A.
        • et al.
        Health status and population characteristics of dogs and cats examined at private veterinary practices in the United States.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1999; 214: 1336-1341
        • Laflamme D.P.
        • Abood S.K.
        • Fascetti A.J.
        • et al.
        Pet feeding practices among dog and cat owners in the United States and Australia.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008; 232: 687-694
        • Pittari J.
        • Rodan I.
        • Beekman G.
        • et al.
        Senior care guidelines. American association of feline practitioners.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2009; 11: 763-778
        • Perez-Camargo G.
        Cat nutrition: what’s new in the old?.
        Comp Cont Edu Small Anim Pract. 2004; 26: 5-10
        • Fortney W.D.
        Implementing a successful senior/geriatric health care program for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and office managers.
        Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2012; 42: 823-834
        • Baldwin K.
        • Bartges J.
        • Buffington T.
        • et al.
        AAHA nutritional assessment guidelines for dogs and cats.
        J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2010; 46: 285-296
        • Freeman L.
        • Becvarova I.
        • Cave N.
        • et al.
        WSAVA nutritional assessment guidelines.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2011; 13: 516-525
        • Laflamme D.P.
        • Ballam J.M.
        Effect of age on maintenance energy requirements of adult cats.
        Comp Cont Edu Small Anim Pract. 2002; 24 ([abstract]): 82
        • Cupp C.
        • Perez-Camargo G.
        • Patil A.
        • et al.
        Long-term food consumption and body weight changes in a controlled population of geriatric cats.
        Comp Cont Edu Small Anim Pract. 2004; 26 ([abstract]): 60
        • Scarlett J.M.
        • Donoghue S.
        Associations between body condition and disease in cats.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1998; 212: 1725-1731
        • Scarlett J.M.
        • Donoghue S.
        • Saidla J.
        • et al.
        Overweight cats: perspectives and risk factors.
        Int J Obes. 1994; 18: S22-S28
        • Lund E.M.
        • Armstrong P.J.
        • Kirk C.A.
        • et al.
        Prevalence and risk factors for obesity in adult cats from private US veterinary practices.
        Intern J Appl Res Vet Med. 2005; 3: 88-96
      1. Cupp CJ, Kerr WW. Effect of diet and body composition on life span in aging cats. Proc Nestle Purina Companion Animal Nutrition Summit: Focus on Gerontology. Clearwater Beach (FL), March 26–7, 2010. p. 36–42.

        • Laflamme D.P.
        • Hannah S.S.
        Discrepancy between use of lean body mass or nitrogen balance to determine protein requirements for adult cats.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2013; 15: 691-697
        • Kealy R.D.
        Factors influencing lean body mass in aging dogs.
        Comp Cont Edu Small Anim Pract. 1999; 21: 34-37
      2. Laflamme DP. Loss of lean body mass in aging cats is affected by age and diet. Eur Society Vet Comp Nutr Annual conference. Ghent (Belgium), September 19–21, 2013 [abstract].

        • Thiess S.
        • Becskei C.
        • Tomsa K.
        • et al.
        Effects of high carbohydrate and high fat diet on plasma metabolite levels and on i.v. glucose tolerance test in intact and neutered male cats.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2004; 6: 207-218
        • de-Oliveira L.D.
        • Carciofi A.C.
        • Oliveira M.C.
        • et al.
        Effects of six carbohydrate sources on diet digestibility and postprandial glucose and insulin responses in cats.
        J Anim Sci. 2008; 86: 2237-2246
        • Zoran D.L.
        The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002; 221: 1559-1567
        • Rand J.S.
        • Fleeman L.M.
        • Farrow H.E.
        • et al.
        Canine and feline diabetes mellitus: nature or nurture?.
        J Nutr. 2004; 134: 2072S-2080S
        • Coradini M.
        • Rand J.S.
        • Morton J.M.
        • et al.
        Effects of two commercially available feline diets on glucose and insulin concentrations, insulin sensitivity and energetic efficiency of weight gain.
        Br J Nutr. 2011; 106: S64-S77
        • Hewson-Hughes A.K.
        • Gilham M.S.
        • Upton S.
        • et al.
        The effect of dietary starch level on postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations in cats and dogs.
        Br J Nutr. 2011; 106: 105S-109S
        • Farrow H.A.
        • Rand J.S.
        • Morton J.M.
        • et al.
        Effect of dietary carbohydrate, fat and protein on postprandial glycemia and energy intake in cats.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2013; 27: 1121-1135
        • Hoenig M.
        • Thomaseth K.
        • Waldron M.
        • et al.
        Insulin sensitivity, fat distribution, and adipocytokine response to different diets in lean and obese cats before and after weight loss.
        Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007; 292: R227-R234
        • Kley S.
        • Hoenig M.
        • Glushka J.
        • et al.
        The impact of obesity, sex, and diet on hepatic glucose production in cats.
        Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009; 296: R936-R943
        • Martin L.J.M.
        • Siliart B.
        • Lutz T.A.
        • et al.
        Postprandial response of plasma insulin, amylin and acylated ghrelin to various test meals in lean and obese cats.
        Br J Nutr. 2010; 103: 1610-1619
        • Hoenig M.
        • Jordan E.T.
        • Glushka J.
        • et al.
        Effect of macronutrients, age, and obesity on 6- and 24-h postprandial glucose metabolism in cats.
        Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011; 301: R1798-R1807
        • Brighenti F.
        • Benini L.
        • Del Rio D.
        • et al.
        Colonic fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates contributes to the second-meal effect.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83: 817-822
        • Hoenig M.
        • Pach N.
        • Thomaseth K.
        • et al.
        Evaluation of long-term glucose homeostasis in lean and obese cats by use of continuous glucose monitoring.
        Am J Vet Res. 2012; 73: 1100-1106
        • Nguyen P.G.
        • Dumon H.J.
        • Siliart B.S.
        • et al.
        Effects of dietary fat and energy on body weight and composition after gonadectomy in cats.
        Am J Vet Res. 2004; 65: 1708-1713
        • Backus R.C.
        • Cave N.J.
        • Keisler D.H.
        Gonadectomy and high dietary fat but not high dietary carbohydrate induce gains in body weight and fat of domestic cats.
        Br J Nutr. 2007; 98: 641-650
      3. Backus RC. Optimal and natural as rationale for selecting dietary energy distribution in carbohydrate and fat. Proc Nestle Purina Companion Animal Nutrition Summit. Atlanta (GA), March 21–23, 2013. p. 31–6.

        • Williams D.A.
        • Steiner J.M.
        • Ruaux C.G.
        Older cats with gastrointestinal disease are more likely to be cobalamin deficient.
        Comp Cont Edu Small Anim Pract. 2004; 26 ([abstract]): 62
        • Simpson K.W.
        • Fyfe J.
        • Cornetta A.
        • et al.
        Subnormal concentrations of serum cobalamin (vitamin B12) in cats with gastrointestinal disease.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2001; 15: 26-32
        • Wedekind K.J.
        • Zicker S.
        • Lowry S.
        • et al.
        Antioxidant status of adult beagles is affected by dietary antioxidant intake.
        J Nutr. 2002; 132: 1658S-1660S
        • Brown S.A.
        Oxidative stress and chronic kidney disease.
        Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2008; 38: 157-166
        • Cupp C.J.
        • Kerr W.W.
        • Jean-Philippe C.
        • et al.
        The role of nutritional interventions in the longevity and maintenance of long-term health in aging cats.
        Intern J Appl Res Vet Med. 2008; 6: 69-81
        • Head E.
        Oxidative damage and cognitive dysfunction: antioxidant treatments to promote healthy brain aging.
        Neurchem Res. 2009; 34: 670-678
        • Herron M.
        • Buffington C.A.
        Environmental enrichment for indoor cats.
        Compend Contin Educ Vet. 2010; 32: E1-E4
        • Gunn-Moore D.A.
        Cognitive dysfunction in cats: clinical assessment and management.
        Top Companion Anim Med. 2011; 26: 17-24
        • Landsberg G.
        • Denenberg S.
        • Araujo J.
        Cognitive dysfunction in cats: a syndrome we used to dismiss as “old age”.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2010; 12: 837-848
        • Pan Y.
        • Araujo J.A.
        • Burrows J.
        • et al.
        Cognitive enhancement in middle-aged and old cats with dietary supplementation with a nutrient blend containing fish oil, B vitamins, antioxidants and arginine.
        Br J Nutr. 2013; 110: 40-49
        • Head E.
        • Zicker S.C.
        Nutraceuticals, aging and cognitive dysfunction.
        Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2004; 34: 217-228
        • Milgram N.W.
        • Head E.
        • Zicker S.C.
        • et al.
        Long-term treatment with antioxidants and a program of behavioral enrichment reduces age-dependent impairment in discrimination and reversal learning in beagle dogs.
        Exp Gerontol. 2004; 39: 753-765
        • Milgram N.W.
        • Head E.
        • Zicker S.C.
        • et al.
        Learning ability in aged beagle dogs is preserved by behavioural enrichment and dietary fortification: a two year longitudinal study.
        Neurobiol Aging. 2005; 26: 77-90
        • Pan Y.
        • Larson B.
        • Araujo J.A.
        • et al.
        Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs.
        Br J Nutr. 2010; 103: 1746-1754
      4. Houpt K, Levine E, Landsberg G, et al. Antioxidant fortified food improves owner perceived behaviour in aging the cat. Proceedings of the 2007 ESFM Conference. Prague (Czech Republic), 21–23, September, 2007.

        • Araujo J.A.
        • Faubert M.L.
        • Brooks M.L.
        • et al.
        NOVIFIT (NoviSAMe) tablets improve executive function in aged dogs and cats: implications for treatment of cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
        Intern J Appl Res Vet Med. 2012; 10: 90-98
        • Rand J.S.
        Understanding feline diabetes.
        Comp Contin Educ Pract Vet. 2002; 24: 2-6
        • Bennett N.
        • Greco D.S.
        • Peterson M.E.
        • et al.
        Comparison of a low carbohydrate-low fiber diet and a moderate carbohydrate-high fiber diet in the management of feline diabetes mellitus.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2006; 8: 73-84
        • Frank G.
        • Anderson W.H.
        • Pazak H.E.
        • et al.
        Use of a high protein diet in the management of feline diabetes mellitus.
        Vet Ther. 2001; 2: 238-246
        • Mazzaferro E.M.
        • Greco D.S.
        • Turner S.J.
        • et al.
        Treatment of feline diabetes mellitus using an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor and a low-carbohydrate diet.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2003; 5: 183-189
        • Marshall R.D.
        • Rand J.S.
        Insulin glargine and a high protein-low carbohydrate diet are associated with high remission rates in newly diagnosed diabetic cats.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2004; 18 ([abstr 63]): 401
        • Rand J.S.
        • Marshall R.D.
        Diabetes mellitus in cats.
        Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2005; 35: 211-224
        • Appleton D.J.
        • Rand J.S.
        • Sunvold G.D.
        Insulin sensitivity decreases with obesity, and lean cats with low insulin sensitivity are at greatest risk of glucose intolerance with weight gain.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2001; 3: 211-228
        • Nelson R.W.
        • Scott-Moncrieff J.C.
        • Feldman E.C.
        • et al.
        Effect of dietary insoluble fiber on control of glycemia in cats with naturally acquired diabetes mellitus.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2000; 216: 1082-1088
        • Reynolds B.S.
        • Lefebvre H.P.
        • Feline C.K.
        Pathophysiology and risk factors – what do we know?.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2013; 15: 3-14
        • Elliott J.
        • Rawlings J.M.
        • Markwell P.J.
        • et al.
        Survival of cat with naturally occurring chronic renal failure: effect of dietary management.
        J Small Anim Pract. 2000; 41: 235-242
        • Ross S.J.
        • Osborne C.A.
        • Kirk C.A.
        • et al.
        Clinical evaluation of dietary modification for treatment of spontaneous chronic kidney disease in cats.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006; 229: 949-957
        • Brown S.A.
        Linking treatment to staging in chronic kidney disease.
        in: Consultations in feline internal medicine. vol. 6. Saunders Elsevier, St Louis (MO)2010: 475-482
        • Kidder A.C.
        • Chew D.
        Treatment options for hyperphosphatemia in feline CKD: what’s out there?.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2009; 11: 913-924
        • Vandeweerd J.M.
        • Coisonon C.
        • Clegg P.
        • et al.
        Systematic review of efficacy of nutraceutical to alleviate clinical signs of osteoarthritis.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2012; 26: 448-456
        • Lascelles B.D.X.
        • DePuy V.
        • Thomson A.
        • et al.
        Evaluation of a therapeutic diet for feline degenerative joint disease.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2010; 24: 487-495
      5. Fritsch D, Allen T, Sparkes A, et al. Improvement of clinical signs of osteoarthritis in cats by dietary intervention. Proc 18th ECVIM-CA Congress. Ghent (Belgium), September 4–6, 2008.

        • Leav I.
        • Schiller A.L.
        • Rijnberk A.
        • et al.
        Adenomas and carcinomas of the canine and feline thyroid.
        Am J Pathol. 1976; 83: 61-122
        • Klausner J.
        Banfield Pet Hospital state of pet health: 2012 report.
        Banfield Pet Hospital, Portland (OR)2012
        • Hoenig M.
        • Peterson M.E.
        • Ferguson D.C.
        Glucose tolerance and insulin secretion in spontaneously hyperthyroid cats.
        Res Vet Sci. 1992; 53: 338-341
        • Melendez L.D.
        • Yamka R.M.
        • Forrester S.D.
        • et al.
        Titration of dietary iodine for reducing serum thyroxine concentrations in newly diagnosed hyperthyroid cats.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2011; 25 ([abstract]): 683
        • Melendez L.D.
        • Yamka R.M.
        • Burris P.A.
        Titration of dietary iodine for maintaining normal serum thyroxine concentrations in hyperthyroid cats.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2011; 25 ([abstract]): 683
        • Miller Jr., D.W.
        Extrathyroidal benefits of iodine.
        J Am Phys Surg. 2006; 11: 106-110
        • Aceves C.
        • Anguiano B.
        • Delgado G.
        The extrathyronine actions of iodine as antioxidant, apoptotic, and differentiation factor in various tissues.
        Thyroid. 2013; 23: 938-946
        • Speeckaert M.M.
        • Speeckaert R.
        • Wierckx K.
        • et al.
        Value and pitfalls in iodine fortification and supplementation in the 21st century.
        Br J Nutr. 2011; 106: 964-973
        • Van deVen A.
        • Netea-Maier R.T.
        • Ross A.
        • et al.
        Longitudinal trends in thyroid function in relation to iodine intake: ongoing changes of thyroid function despite adequate current iodine status.
        Eur J Endocrinol. 2013; 170: 49-54
        • Edinboro C.H.
        • Scott-Moncrieff J.C.
        • Glickman L.T.
        Feline hyperthyroidism: potential relationship with iodine supplement requirements of commercial cat foods.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2010; 12: 672-679