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Caring For Your Senior Cat

Caring For Your Senior Cat
Today, cats are living longer lives thanks to improved veterinary care, better nutrition, and a heightened awareness of pet health and safety. As your cat approaches his or her senior years, it’s a good idea to learn what to expect so you can detect potentially serious health issues, as well as make adjustments to the way you care for your cat to ensure his or her comfort throughout the aging process.
Is Your Cat Considered a Senior?
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, you should begin senior care considerations when your cat reaches the age of seven. It’s recommended that healthy senior cats visit the veterinarian every six months. Regular veterinary visits are best way to catch diseases early and find a way to resolve them.
Physical and Behavioral Changes in Senior Cats
Aging cats experience many changes, so their mental and physical behavior may reflect those changes. Oftentimes, the normal signs of aging closely mimic symptoms of potentially serious conditions, so it’s always a good idea to report any significant changes to your veterinarian.
Here are several common changes in senior cats:
-Playing for shorter amounts of time, or sleeping for more hours in the day
-Not jumping as far, or hesitating when jumping
-Thinning or graying of the coat
-Changing appearance of the eyes including a slight haziness of the lens
-Changes in personality including increased or decreased vocalization, increased dependency on humans and avoidance of social interactions. Some of these changes may be attributed to the aging of the brain/memory loss
-Hearing loss
-Bad breath or dental issues
-Changes in litter box habits
Remember, many of the changes you may see in your aging cat could be related to an underlying medical condition so it’s best to ask your veterinarian about any questions or concerns you may have. The sooner you catch a health ailment, the better chance you have of curing it or managing it safely.
How to keep your aging cat healthy and happy:
You can help your aging cat to stay happy and healthy by following these tips.
-Give your cat regular exercise: Pay attention to your cat’s changing energy levels. Even though your cat is getting older, regular exercise will help keep your cat at a healthy weight, and it will also increase circulation and assist in maintaining lean muscle mass. To make sure you don’t overwork your cat, limit your play sessions to ten minutes, a couple of times a day and adjust to less or more as needed. If your cat seems to tire easily or experiences any breathing issues, consult your veterinarian.
-Brush your cat regularly: As cats get older, they may not be able to digest foods and hair (from grooming) as easily as they used to; this could mean an increase in hairballs. Help to prevent hairballs by brushing your cat once a day. Brushing also helps keep skin healthy. With your brush, you can help your cat groom those hard-to-reach areas that they may be missing.
-Maintain a Healthy Diet: Many cats, like people, will experience a slowing metabolism as they age, while others find it difficult to keep weight on. Start your cat on a natural recipe specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of senior cats. Wellness Complete Health Senior Health is a good option. It has tailored levels of fat and fiber to support an aging cat’s digestive system, and it includes the WellFlex® Hip & Joint Support Sytem that helps keep cats’ joints supple and limber. Wellness Senior Health is also packed with phytonutrients which may aid in disease prevention, slow the aging process and help boost your cat’s overall immunity.
Limit Stress and Keep Them Cool: Senior cats are not able to regulate their body temperatures as effectively as younger cats. Make sure to keep your cat cool in the summer to avoid heat stroke, and offer a warm blanket or heated cat bed in the winter for comfort. Senior cats may not adapt to change as easily as they once did, so it’s helpful to minimize their stress whenever possible. If you’re introducing a new pet to the family, be sure to take extra precaution to give your senior cat his or her own space, and alleviate stressors such as moving to a new house with extra affection during those trying times.
Although being a pet parent to a senior cat may be challenging in some ways, there are many things to be appreciative for as well. Each year spent with your cat only strengthens the bond you two have with each other. And rather than bouncing off the walls, older cats often display a unique wisdom and mellow, patient personality that really shines as they reach their golden years!

Today, cats are living longer lives thanks to improved veterinary care, better nutrition, and a heightened awareness of pet health and safety. As your cat approaches his or her senior years, it’s a good idea to learn what to expect so you can detect potentially serious health issues, as well as make adjustments to the way you care for your cat to ensure his or her comfort throughout the aging process.

Is Your Cat Considered a Senior?

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, you should begin senior care considerations when your cat reaches the age of seven. It’s recommended that healthy senior cats visit the veterinarian every six months. Regular veterinary visits are best way to catch diseases early and find a way to resolve them.

Physical and Behavioral Changes in Senior Cats


Aging cats experience many changes, so their mental and physical behavior may reflect those changes. Oftentimes, the normal signs of aging closely mimic symptoms of potentially serious conditions, so it’s always a good idea to report any significant changes to your veterinarian.

Here are several common changes in senior cats:

-Playing for shorter amounts of time, or sleeping for more hours in the day

-Not jumping as far, or hesitating when jumping

-Thinning or graying of the coat

-Changing appearance of the eyes including a slight haziness of the lens

-Changes in personality including increased or decreased vocalization, increased dependency on humans and avoidance of social interactions. Some of these changes may be attributed to the aging of the brain/memory loss

-Hearing loss

-Bad breath or dental issues

-Changes in litter box habits

Remember, many of the changes you may see in your aging cat could be related to an underlying medical condition so it’s best to ask your veterinarian about any questions or concerns you may have. The sooner you catch a health ailment, the better chance you have of curing it or managing it safely.

How to keep your aging cat healthy and happy:


You can help your aging cat to stay happy and healthy by following these tips.

-Give your cat regular exercise: Pay attention to your cat’s changing energy levels. Even though your cat is getting older, regular exercise will help keep your cat at a healthy weight, and it will also increase circulation and assist in maintaining lean muscle mass. To make sure you don’t overwork your cat, limit your play sessions to ten minutes, a couple of times a day and adjust to less or more as needed. If your cat seems to tire easily or experiences any breathing issues, consult your veterinarian.

-Brush your cat regularly: As cats get older, they may not be able to digest foods and hair (from grooming) as easily as they used to; this could mean an increase in hairballs. Help to prevent hairballs by brushing your cat once a day. Brushing also helps keep skin healthy. With your brush, you can help your cat groom those hard-to-reach areas that they may be missing.

-Maintain a Healthy Diet:

Many cats, like people, will experience a slowing metabolism as they age, while others find it difficult to keep weight on. Start your cat on a natural recipe specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of senior cats. Wellness Complete Health Senior Health is a good option. It has tailored levels of fat and fiber to support an aging cat’s digestive system, and it includes the WellFlex® Hip & Joint Support Sytem that helps keep cats’ joints supple and limber. Wellness Senior Health is also packed with phytonutrients which may aid in disease prevention, slow the aging process and help boost your cat’s overall immunity.

Limit Stress and Keep Them Cool: Senior cats are not able to regulate their body temperatures as effectively as younger cats. Make sure to keep your cat cool in the summer to avoid heat stroke, and offer a warm blanket or heated cat bed in the winter for comfort. Senior cats may not adapt to change as easily as they once did, so it’s helpful to minimize their stress whenever possible. If you’re introducing a new pet to the family, be sure to take extra precaution to give your senior cat his or her own space, and alleviate stressors such as moving to a new house with extra affection during those trying times.

Although being a pet parent to a senior cat may be challenging in some ways, there are many things to be appreciative for as well. Each year spent with your cat only strengthens the bond you two have with each other. And rather than bouncing off the walls, older cats often display a unique wisdom and mellow, patient personality that really shines as they reach their golden years!

Ask Wellness: March 2014

Q. My standard poodle has a sensitive stomach. She often has diarrhea. I’ve had her checked for worms and she does not have them. What could this be?
A. There are some dogs that have what has been called a “sensitive stomach.” It is a very general term that can suggest that the dog seems sensitive to something in the diet or changes in the diet. This is usually expressed as intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Many times, the issue is an intolerance to an ingredient in the diet. It is not an allergy, but rather a non-immune mediated reaction to an ingredient in the diet. Allergies are to a particular protein, whereas food intolerances can be to anything in the diet.
Feeding a natural pet food with limited ingredients and a single unique protein would be a possible solution to the problem. The Wellness Simple recipes are an ideal option to try. There are four diets each containing different ingredients as well as some natural supplements such as probiotics and Omega 3 fatty acids, both of which can help to resolve digestive issues. Keep in mind that with any dog experiencing digestive issues, a very slow transition (10-14 days) to the new food is always recommended.

Q. My standard poodle has a sensitive stomach. She often has diarrhea. I’ve had her checked for worms and she does not have them. What could this be?

A. There are some dogs that have what has been called a “sensitive stomach.” It is a very general term that can suggest that the dog seems sensitive to something in the diet or changes in the diet. This is usually expressed as intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Many times, the issue is an intolerance to an ingredient in the diet. It is not an allergy, but rather a non-immune mediated reaction to an ingredient in the diet. Allergies are to a particular protein, whereas a food intolerance can be caused by anything in the diet.

Feeding a natural pet food with limited ingredients and a single unique protein would be a possible solution to the problem. The Wellness Simple formulas are an ideal option to try. There are four diets each containing different ingredients as well as some natural supplements such as probiotics and Omega 3 fatty acids, both of which can help to resolve digestive issues. Keep in mind that with any dog experiencing digestive issues, a very slow transition (10-14 days) to the new food is always recommended.

What You’ve Been Waiting For? New Wellness Recipes!

Our Consumer Affairs team speaks with many Wellness Pet Food fans each day. Whether it’s addressing a concern, recommending a product or passing along a suggestion for a new recipe, they do it all. The team does a great job, and we all love receiving your feedback. Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to take some of your  ideas and make them a reality. We’ve added exciting new Wellness lines, as well as extended several existing Wellness lines. Here’s a complete recap of our new products:

Wellness Kittles™: Delicious, Crunchy Grain-Free Cat Treats

Who says dogs have all the fun? Indulge your cat with Kittles™ natural, grain-free treats. Kittles™ are crunchy cat treats that come in three scrumptious flavors: Salmon & Cranberries Recipe, Chicken & Cranberries Recipe, and Tuna & Cranberries Recipe. Each morsel also has under 2 calories,so pet parents can treat their loved ones multiples times per day with these guilt-free goodies. Learn more!

Wellness CORE Superfood Protein Bars: Grain-Free Dog Treats

Perfect pairings of hearty proteins, CORE Superfood Protein Bars feature delicious superfoods. No Meat By-Products, 100% All Natural & Grain Free, No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives, Only 16 Calories Per Treat, Made in the U.S.A. Learn more.

Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dry Dog Recipes: Small Kibble, Big Nutrients

Toy breeds have higher energy needs and don’t have the same metabolic rate, bite size, or daily caloric intake as bigger dogs. Wellness Toy Breed dog food features a small kibble size for tiny mouths and a crunchy texture to target plaque build-up and maintain oral health. Wellness Toy Breed recipes offer the right balance of protein, fat and calories to provide the energy your little one needs. Omega Fatty Acids are included to support healthy skin and a shiny coat. Learn more.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diets: Healthy Weight and Small Breed Recipes

Five of the 10 most common reasons dogs visit the vet can be food allergy or intolerance related. Our Simple Limited Ingredient Diets offer a single source of high-quality protein, and now you can maintain your dog’s weight while keeping food sensitivities in check with the Wellness Simple Healthy Weight Salmon & Peas Formula

Wellness Complete Health Dry Cat: Senior Health and Chicken-Free Indoor Health Recipes

The Complete Health Senior Health recipe provides the ideal balance of nutrients for aging, more sedentary cats, while the Complete Health Indoor Health Salmon & Whitefish Meal Recipe offers a poultry-free option for seafood-loving cats.

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Whitefish, Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe

With mighty souls but little bodies, your small breed dog has a unique physical composition that creates special nutritional needs. Our Small Breed Complete Health Adult Whitefish, Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe is designed to support the unique health needs of smaller dogs through nutrient-rich whole foods. Learn more about this new poultry-free option.

Types of Toy Breed Dogs

title-bar-toy-breed

Are you wondering if your dog is a toy breed dog? There are currently 21 recognized toy breeds (according to the AKC), typically weighing 12 pounds or under. Toy breed dogs have different nutritional requirements than large breed and even small breed dogs. With higher energy levels, toy breeds need a food that’s higher in protein, fat and calories. Also, tiny toy breed mouths cannot easily chew or digest regular-sized kibble; they need the smallest kibble available.  If this sounds like your dog, you can have them try these yummy Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health dry recipes. Browse the toy breeds below:

Types of Toy Breeds

Ask Wellness: February 2014

I rescued a cat off the street recently. He eats very well, but sometimes throws his food back up. It only seems to happen when he is eating dry food. I have tried giving him canned, but does not seem to like it very much. What can I do to stop him from throwing up his food?
Some cats, especially stray cats that have had a tough life trying to survive, will eat very fast and that can cause them to regurgitate some of their food. Feeding frequent small meals may help slow the process, adding a small amount of fish oil (salmon) to the dry food can also help. Many cats develop a texture preference and prefer the texture of dry food to that of many of the canned foods. Wellness makes many different textured canned foods. I would suggest trying different canned varieties such as Wellness Cat Cuts or Signature Selects which offer many options for picky eaters.

Q. I rescued a cat off the street recently. He eats very well, but sometimes throws his food back up. It only seems to happen when he is eating dry food. I have tried giving him canned, but does not seem to like it very much. What can I do to stop him from throwing up his food?

A. Some cats, especially stray cats that have had a tough life trying to survive, will eat very fast and that can cause them to regurgitate some of their food. Feeding frequent small meals may help slow the process, adding a small amount of fish oil (salmon) to the dry food can also help. Many cats develop a texture preference and prefer the texture of dry food to that of many of the canned foods. Wellness makes many different textured canned foods. I would suggest trying different canned varieties such as Wellness Cat Cuts or Signature Selects which offer many options for picky eaters.

Ask Wellness: January 2014

I am feeding my golden your large breed adult food.  I give her one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening.  Is this the right amount?  Like most golden retrievers she gains easily.
The feeding guide on the back of the bag is an approximate amount of food to feed based on the pet’s weight. It is merely a guide but is not appropriate for every pet. Age, breed, activity level, metabolic rate, time of the year and more are all influences that will affect your pet’s current caloric needs. The goal is to feed an adult dog just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Many dogs will need less than the guide suggests and some will need more.

Q. I am feeding my golden your large breed adult food. I give her one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. Is this the right amount? Like most golden retrievers she gains easily.

A. The feeding guide on the back of the bag is an approximate amount of food to feed based on the pet’s weight. It is merely a guide but is not appropriate for every pet. Age, breed, activity level, metabolic rate, time of the year and more are all influences that will affect your pet’s current caloric needs. The goal is to feed an adult dog just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Many dogs will need less than the guide suggests and some will need more.

Top Dog and Cat Gifts for the Holidays

Regardless of whether your cat or dog has been naughty or nice, we know you’ll want to spoil them during the holiday season. Below, we highlight our top dog and cat gifts. Our suggestions for Fluffy and Fido will keep all of you happy during this busy time.

Top Picks- DogClassic-KONG1-700x700

KONG Classic–We love the holidays, but they can certainly shake up our routine (and our pets’ routines too). During the holiday season, your pets may experience added stress from guests in the house, or they may get an upset tummy from indulging in too many table scraps. The KONG Classic can help alleviate both of these issues, and it makes a fun gift for your pooch! The natural rubber, USA-made KONG Classic is bright red and super-bouncy. It helps distract and engage stressed dogs by bouncing unpredictably, and it can be filled with healthy treats such as Wellness® WellBites® to curb excessive snacking. KONG Classic comes in many sizes and rubber strengths.

Wellness® Petite Treats Soft Mini-Bites With Lamb, Apples & Cinnamon–Smaller breed dogs have unique needs, even when it comes to treats. product-lg-dog-treat-petite-treats-lamb-apple-cinPetite Treats come in plenty of tasty flavors (we selected a holiday favorite with apples and cinnamon) and are bite-sized for smaller mouths. They are perfect to take on the road during holiday travel.

Top Picks- Cat

Kitty Scratch Pole–As you probably know, cats like to scratch. In fact, scratching is a way for cats to mark their territory, stretch, and “file” their claws.Untitled-1They typically scratch in highly visible areas, marking their territory on the drapes, carpet or sofa. You can avoid shredded furniture by strategically placing one or more scratching posts in the house. However, not all scratching posts are created equal, and the USA-made Kitty Scratch Pole proves that. Made from sustainable wood and recycled cardboard, this eco-friendly scratching post is designed with a refillable cardboard center. We love that when your kitty shreds the cardboard past recognition, you can just pop on a new cardboard piece (sparing the reusable base from the landfill).

Wellness Pure Delights Turkey & Salmon Jerky–Us humans get to sample some of the most delectable dishes during our end-of-the-yearproduct-lg-cat-treat-pure-delight-turkey-salmon festivities, and we all know ignoring the cat doesn’t work. Rather than share human food that might make your kitty sick, give her a few of the scrumptious, USA-made Wellness Pure Delights Turkey & Salmon Jerky treats. Pure Delights are wheat and grain free and contain no corn or soy! These perfectly-sized morsels will satisfy even finicky felines, while keeping calories in check with only 1.2 calories per piece.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Ask Wellness

Q. We are switching our dog from Wellness® Complete Health Healthy Weight Deboned Chicken & Peas Recipe to Wellness® Simple. Do we have to go through the normal transition of mixing both?

A. We would not want your dog to experience any digestive issues while transitioning to a new Wellness recipe. While both foods are made by Wellness in our own state-of-the-art facility, we would strongly suggest that you do transition to the new food. Some dogs will transition more quickly than others and it is easier to transition from one food to another within the same brand, but I would still suggest you do take time to switch slowly from Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight to Wellness Simple.

Keep in mind that the Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight recipe contains 340 calories per cup while the Wellness Simple recipes contain between 406 and 450 calories per cup so you will need to feed less Simple. Be sure to feed only enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Regular exercise is also an essential component to maintaining a healthy body weight.

Ask Wellness Fall 2013

Q. I was recently told that cats need wet food in their diet. I am wondering if this is true and if so why?

A. We recommend feeding at least a combination of canned and dry cat food. The most common reason cat owners take their cats to the veterinarian is for urinary issues. Many of these urinary issues arise when cats don’t get enough water in their diets. While quality cat foods like Wellness® do everything possible to reduce the chances of a cat developing urinary issues, cats may still develop them if they’re eating an exclusively dry diet.

Wellness Signature Selects™  Canned Cat Food

Wellness Signature Selects™ Canned Cat Food

Since canned food is 78-80% water, eating this food helps cats increase their water consumption and lower their risk of urinary issues.

If you have more than one cat, providing several water bowls and litter boxes will encourage adequate water intake. In addition, many cats love moving water. Re-circulating water fountains may also inspire your cats to drink more water. Wellness provides many wet cat food options, such as our hand-packed Signature Selects recipes.

Ask Wellness Fall 2013

Q. I have a 5 month old Akita puppy and need a recommendation on what to feed. What would you feed a 5-month-old, 65-pound Akita pup?Akita-Inu-Puppy

A. Akita’s are certainly considered a large breed, if not a giant breed, as they will easily grow to over 100 pounds as an adult. Large and giant breed puppies have significantly different nutritional needs. Their rate of growth must be controlled to prevent the risk of acquiring various developmental bone diseases. It’s important to limit their calcium levels and help them maintain lean body mass through their first year, which will reduce the risk of painful conditions.

Years ago we used to recommend large and giant breed puppy parents should only feed adult recipes as they are less caloric than most puppy foods. Today, there are specific large and giant breed puppy recipes that are lower in calories and in some cases lower in calcium.

The Wellness®Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Recipe is lower in calories and calcium and provides essential supplements like pre and probiotics which improve digestion, absorption of nutrients and immune system function. It also guarantees levels of specific Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA) which are essential for proper eye and brain development. This would be an ideal choice for your Akita puppy.