The Best Senior Cat Food for Older Cats

As cats age, some of their dietary needs change. Like humans, they need joint support and digestive aids to feel their best. They become less active, which reduces their caloric needs, too. Senior cat food for older cats are designed to keep your cat spry and on the move.

We reviewed dozens of senior cat foods for older cats in search of the best the market has to offer. You’ll be glad to know that you’ve got plenty of options. We considered both wet and dry foods, as well as those formulated for indoor cats and sensitive stomachs. We also made sure to include foods that your cat can eat even as his teeth and strength start to wear out.

Best Senior Cat Food for Older Cats Overall
Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Senior 7+
Cats love tuna, and this blend brings taurine and vitamin E to your cat’s diet to maintain eye and coat health.

Purina is no stranger to cat food and makes a long line of high-quality cat foods at an affordable price. The Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Senior 7+ contains a few extras like taurine for better, clearer vision and vitamin E to maintain the coat and skin. It’s also loaded with antioxidants to make sure your cat’s immune system stays strong.

The 5 Top-Rated Senior Cat Foods for Older Cats

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Senior Cat Food for Older Cats OverallPurina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Senior 7+4.6
Best Dry Senior Cat Food for Older CatsBlue Buffalo Healthy Aging for Cats 7+4.7
Best Budget Senior Cat Food for Older CatsIAMS Proactive Health Healthy Senior4.7
Best Wet Senior Cat Food for Older CatsPurina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+4.6
Best Senior Cat Food for Indoor Older CatsHill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food Indoor Adult 11+4.4

*Ratings are current at the time of publication and can change

Best Senior Cat Food for Older Cats: Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Senior 7+

Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Senior 7+ meets all the nutritional needs of your cat plus a few extras to boost his health as he ages. The soft, minced cuts of tuna are easy for your cat to chew, even if his strength and teeth aren’t what they used to be.

Additions of taurine and vitamin E target problems specific to older cats. The amino acid taurine targets eyesight and maintains nutrients that keep your cat’s vision sharp. Vitamin E nourishes the coat and skin, which can start to get mangy with time. This particular recipe is grain-free as well to reduce the chances of an allergic reaction.

Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Can Food Senior 7+ Key Features:

  • Contains taurine to maintain eye health
  • Vitamin E boosts skin and coat health
  • Soft, minced bite-size chunks

Best Dry Senior Cat Food for Older Cats: Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging for Cats 7+

Best Dry Senior Cat Food for Older Cats
Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging for Cats 7+
Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits bring added antioxidants and vitamins to boost your cat’s immune system. Eyesight and coat health also get extra attention in this delicious blend.

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging for Cats 7+ provides delicious nutrition. It contains a Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits, a blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that build and maintain the immune system. Add in a little taurine, an amino acid used to maintain at the heart and eyes, and you’ve got a blend that’s perfect for your aging cat’s nutritional needs.

Blue Buffalo makes this recipe through cold-formed processing to maintain more of the nutrients and flavor. All of the antioxidants and amino acids are fully supported by a great source of protein, the number one ingredient – chicken.

Blue Buffalo Aging for Cats 7+ Key Features:

  • Contains Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits that enhance the immune system
  • Taurine for heart and eye health
  • Protein (chicken) as the top ingredient

Best Budget Senior Cat Food for Older Cats: IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Senior

Best Budget Senior Cat Food for Older Cats
IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Senior
IAMS skips empty fillers, using real chicken and adding vitamin E to help your cat’s skin and coat stay healthy.

IAMS Proactive Health Health Senior has a rich protein source as its top ingredient and packs in a nutritious punch at a reasonable price. To keep your cat’s bones and joints in shape, the IAMS recipe includes extra calcium and potassium. Vitamin E boosts skin, coat, and immune health. Finally, it contains L carnitine that helps balance weight.

To really add a nutritious kick, IAMS keeps this recipe free of artificial preservatives and low-quality fillers. The kibble’s natural crunchiness removes plaque for healthy teeth as your cat enters his senior years.

IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Senior Key Features:

  • Calcium and potassium for strong heart, bones, and joints
  • L-carnitine maintains a healthy weight
  • No artificial preservatives

Best Wet Senior Cat Food for Older Cats: Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+

Best Wet Senior Cat Food for Older Cats
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+
Purina’s recipe targets cats as they hit their twilight years. An extra punch of nutrients maintains skin, coat, and immune system health.

Cats enter their senior years at about year seven. Once they get over the age of 11, they’ve entered the last few years when nutrition becomes absolutely essential to their ongoing quality of life. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ has the nutrients to keep the coat and immune system powered. Salmon and tuna provide omega-3 fatty acids and combine them with the perfect blend of vitamins and nutrients to keep the immune system functioning. An extra dose of taurine works to maintain eyesight and heart health.

This easy to digest, classic pate is soft enough for gums and jaw muscles that may be wearing out. Like other wet cat foods, it contains a high moisture content, which is important for older cats. They don’t always stay hydrated, so the more liquid you can get in them when they’re eating, the better.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Key Features:

  • Nutritional balance for cats 11+
  • Taurine for eye health
  • Vitamin E boosts skin and coat health

Best Senior Cat Food for Indoor Older Cats: Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food Adult 11+

Best Senior Cat Food for Indoor Older Cats
Hill's Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food Adult 11+
Natural fiber sources and a blend of vitamins and nutrients keeps your indoor cat’s digestive system happy and moving smoothly.

Digestive health may decline in the senior years, which makes nutrition that much more important. Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food Adult 11+ targets the digestive needs of older cats. They need a regular source of natural fiber to make litter box use easier. However, this formula also contains a few extras to keep energy levels up and the heart and eyes working at top efficiency. Taurine for clear eyesight and vitamin E to maintain the shine of the cat’s coat are two of the key factors in continuing health.

This recipe is made with natural ingredients to be gentle on your cat and provide him with the best nutrition possible. Finally, it contains antioxidants to maintain immune system health and comes with a taste cat’s find hard to resist.

Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food Adult 11+ Key Features:

  • Natural ingredients, including natural sources of fiber for better digestive health
  • Vitamin E to maintain coat health
  • Added antioxidants to keep the immune system strong

Who Should Buy Senior Cat Food for Older Cats

Once your cat gets over the age of seven, it’s time to start looking at senior cat foods. Like humans, their bodies start to deteriorate. Their eyesight, immune system, and coat health may suffer if they don’t get all the nutrients they need. Regular adults cat foods may not have the right balance of nutrients since older cats tend to lose their appetite and become less active. In addition, older cats need things like taurine, an amino acid that helps eyesight.

As cats continue to age, there are even more specialized foods for those 11+. At this point, your cat needs extra vitamin E, taurine, and antioxidants to maintain their immune system. It’s a matter of making sure your cat’s getting the nutrients he needs to maintain his quality of life. If your cat falls into the senior age range, senior cat food should definitely be on the menu.

If you’re looking for a food that will be closer to what your cat’s ancestors ate, then you may want to check out The Best Raw Cat Food.

Best Senior Cat Food for Older Cats Overall
Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Senior 7+
Cats love tuna, and this blend brings taurine and vitamin E to your cat’s diet to maintain eye and coat health.

Important Features to Consider

A senior cat food for older cats should do several things well. Here’s what to consider as your selecting a senior cat food:

  • Ingredients. Ingredients are your number one concern. Senior cat foods should have a high dose of vitamin E and, hopefully, taurine to support eyesight. Recipes that include immune-boosting antioxidants are even better. Look for recipes with natural ingredients and whole sources of protein. Watch out for cat foods with meat by-products, fillers with little nutritional value, and artificial dyes and preservatives. At this stage in a cat’s life, every bite has to count, and these additives don’t support his overall nutrition.
  • Kibble size or wet cat food type. Older cats may have dental problems or muscle weakness that makes eating difficult. Look for small kibble that’s hard enough to break off plaque but not so hard that your cat struggles to break it apart. Wet cat foods come in different types like minced, chunk, pate, and stews. If your cat is struggling to chew, pate’s are probably the easiest to eat. However, it might take some trial and error to find a type your cat prefers.
  • Full meal or meal complement. When buying senior cat food, check to see if you’re buying a complete meal or a meal complement. Complete meals have all the nutrition your cat needs for one or two feedings. A meal complement is meant to be used along with a full meal. Complements are also called toppers, and they usually come as a stew to be poured over the top of your cat’s regular meal. Complements don’t provide all of your cat’s nutrition for a single meal, so they shouldn’t be used on their own.
  • Indoor versus outdoor cats. Indoor and outdoor cats have the same basic nutritional needs. However, indoor cats need the digestive health to use a litter box and enough fiber to reduce hairballs. For that reason, some senior cat foods are designed specifically for indoor cats. These recipes contain sources of fiber that make using the litter box easier and break up hairballs. They may also contain ingredients like vitamin E that maintain coat health to prevent hairballs and excess shedding of hair and dander.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes senior cat food different? 

With age, your cat will eat less. Cats also tend to get less active with age, which means they’re burning fewer calories. While he doesn’t need to eat as much, the food he does eat needs to be packed with vital nutrients. Nutrients like taurine, vitamin E, and antioxidants to boost the immune system can all be beneficial to a cat as he ages. In general, the largest difference in senior cat foods is the portion sizes and a few extra vitamins and minerals to give them a nutrient boost.

When should I switch my cat to a senior diet? 

Cats enter their senior years at about age seven. At this point, your goals as the owner are to help him maintain his weight and watch for signs of chronic disease. With the right nutrition and regular veterinary checkups, your cat can continue to enjoy a high quality of life.

Is wet food better for older cats?

Wet cat food tends to have higher quality ingredients, and they’re softer. Older cats may have dental issues that make eating dry food difficult. While their nutritional balance may be the same, for some older cats, wet food is the better option. But, it depends on your cat and your budget, since wet foods are more expensive than dry.

Why do older cats get skinny? 

Older cats may develop chronic illnesses that affect their weight like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, or hypothyroidism. Dental problems can also lead to weight loss. Maintain a close eye on your cat’s eating habits. If he starts to experience unexplained weight loss, it’s probably time for a checkup.

Other Senior Cat Food for Older Cats That We Reviewed

Best Senior Cat Food for Older Cats Overall
Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food Senior 7+
Cats love tuna, and this blend brings taurine and vitamin E to your cat’s diet to maintain eye and coat health.

We looked at 20 other senior cat foods for older cats. These brands and recipes didn’t make our 5 best senior cat foods for older cats, but many of them are still filled with excellent nutrition and maybe a better choice for your cat.

Wet Senior Cat Foods for Older Cats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein for Mature Cats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein for Mature Cats

This grain-free, pate-style recipe contains DHA to promote continued mental health.

Key Features:

  • Free of wheat, meat by-products, corn, and soy
  • Soft, pate-style
  • Vitamins and minerals are balanced for the mature cat

Cost: $29

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Adult 7+

Hills science diet wet cat food adult 7+

A combination of easy-to-digest ingredients allows your cat to maintain the energy levels he needs for his daily activities.

Key Features:

  • Two (2) flavors
  • High-protein levels to meet energy needs
  • Contains taurine for eye and heart health

Cost: $34

IAMS Perfect Portions Grain-Free Healthy Senior

IAMS Perfect Portions Grain-Free Healthy Senior

Cuts of chicken with delicious gravy are hard to ignore, especially when they’re loaded with nutrients that keep your senior cat full of energy.

Key Features:

  • Vitamin E for coat, skin, and immune health
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Soft, easy-to-eat chunks

Cost: $24

Purina Friskies Lil’ Soups and Lil’ Grillers Cat Complements Senior Formula

Purina Friskies Lil Soups and Grillers Cat Complements Senior Formula

Does your cat need a little extra incentive to eat his food? If so, this delicious meal complement may get him licking his lips.

Key Features:

  • Packed with taurine
  • Contains vitamin E for heart and coat health
  • No synthetic dyes, flavors, or preservatives

Cost: $8

Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity Senior 7+

Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity Senior 7+

Purina uses natural ingredients to provide your cat with energy and nutrients to maintain his quality of life.

Key Features:

  • Contains taurine for eye and heart health
  • Grain-free
  • Natural ingredients

Cost: $20

Royal Canin Aging 12+ Canned Cat Food

Royal Canin Aging 12+ Canned Cat Food

Designed for cats over 12, this recipe boosts joint and kidney function.

Key Features:

  • Adjusted phosphorus levels for better kidney functioning
  • Small, soft slices
  • Balanced proteins, fats, and carbs for caloric needs of cats 12+

Cost: $34

Royal Canin Instinctive 7+

Royal Canin Instinctive 7+

Royal Canin uses an exclusive blend of vitamins and minerals to build and support the health of cats 7 to 12 years of age.

Key Features:

  • Added phosphorus supports renal health
  • Antioxidant complex builds muscle, joint, and immune health
  • Easy-to-eat, thin-sliced chunks

Cost: $34

Dry Senior Cat Foods for Older Cats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Mature 7+

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Mature 7+

For cats with allergies, this grain-free formula keeps them running while providing gentle nutrition that supports the immune system.

Key Features:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Contains LifeSource bits that support the immune system
  • Designed to maintain energy levels and weight

Cost: $20

Halo Purely for Pets Grain-Free Senior Cat

Halo Purely for Pets Grain-Free Senior Cat Food

Whole chicken and natural ingredients make this a gentle recipe that maximizes your cat’s nutrition.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free
  • Added antioxidants to build the immune system
  • Easily digested

Cost: $28

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult & Senior Dry Cat Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult & Senior Dry Cat Food

This recipe leaves meat by-products, corn, wheat, and soy out to go easy on cats with sensitive digestive systems.

Key Features:

  • No corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, or artificial flavors
  • Taurine for heart and eye health
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients

Cost: $16

Petcurean Now Fresh Senior

Petcurean Now Fresh Senior

A unique balance of fats and protein gives senior cats the energy and calories they need.

Key Features:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids to promote coat and skin health
  • Taurine aids vision and heart health
  • Formulated to support the immune system

Cost: $25

Purina Pro Plan Prime Plus Senior 7+

Purina Pro Plan Prime Plus Senior 7+

Purina adds a complete list of nutritional boosters for older cats, like vitamin E, prebiotic fiber, and beta carotene.

Key Features:

  • Prebiotic fiber to promote digestive health
  • Vitamin E and beta carotene builds heart and joint strength
  • Maintains lean muscle mass

Cost: $39

Royal Canin Appetite Control for Spayed/Neutered Adult Cats 12+

Royal Canin Appetite Control for Spayed Neutered Cats

Cats over 12-years-old need maximum nutrition in a minimum amount of food. Royal Canin’s blend helps your cat manage his weight as he grows older.

Key Features:

  • Aids weight control
  • Promotes renal health with adjusted phosphorus levels
  • Moderate level of fat for changing calorie needs

Cost: $26

Senior Cat Foods for Indoor Older Cats

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Cat

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Cat

A smooth pate that’s easy to eat and digest makes the perfect meal for your indoor cat.

  • Free of corn, wheat, and soy
  • Natural ingredients
  • Promotes digestive health

Cost: $30

Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Indoor Mature

Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet indoor Mature

Real chick in pate form gives senior cats the protein they need to maintain muscle health.

Key Features:

  • Soft, pate-style
  • Natural ingredients
  • No wheat, corn, or soy

Cost: $25

Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control Mature Cats

Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control Mature Cats

Digestion isn’t the only thing that needs help in the indoor cat. This recipe’s fiber content breaks up hairballs, which means less clean-up for you.

Key Features:

  • Contains LifeSource bits to boost the immune system
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Natural fiber sources to maintain digestive health

Cost: $14

Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Adult 7+

Hill's Science Diet Hairball Control Adult 7+

Natural sources of fiber help break up hairballs for a happier, healthier cat.

Key Features:

  • Taurine for heart and eye health
  • Added minerals to promote kidney and bladder function
  • Vitamin E for coat and skin health

Cost: $42

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Indoor Senior Cat Food

Merrick Purrfect Bistor Indoor Senior Cat Food

A series of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics keep your cat healthy, strong, and ready to pounce.

Key Features:

  • Contains probiotics for digestive health
  • High fiber content for better hairball control
  • Free of grain and gluten

Cost: $23

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Senior Cat Food

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Senior Cat Food

A focus on whole foods and natural sources of fiber make Nulo a good choice for senior cats.

Key Features;

  • Contains probiotics for digestive health
  • High protein content provides maximum energy
  • Grain-free

Cost: $43

Royal Canin Indoor Feline Nutrition for Cats 7+

Royal Canin Indoor Feline Nutrition for Cats 7+

Soft kibble makes this dry cat food easier for older cats to eat.

Key Features:

  • Soft kibble
  • Protein and nutrient content designed to reduce odors
  • Adjusted phosphorus levels for improved renal health

Cost: $15

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