Tailored Cat Food: Choosing The Right Nutrition For Your Pet


This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Teagan Lever BVSc (Hons)

Choosing the right food for your cat can have a big impact on their health and wellbeing. With so many options available, it can be difficult for pet parents to know where to start. While the most suitable food choice for your cat will vary depending on their individual circumstances, preferences and health requirements, a premium tailored scientific food is often an excellent choice.

1. What is tailored nutrition?
2. Guide to tailored nutrition for cats
  a) Breed specific options
  b) Cat lifestages
  c) Indoor cats
4. Further reading

What is tailored nutrition?

Tailored nutrition takes into account your cat's lifestage and other factors including breed and lifestyle to provide the right balance of nutrients to suit their unique needs. For example Hill's Science Diet Indoor Adult 7+ Dry Food contains adapted energy levels due to the lower activity levels of indoor cats, as well as high quality protein to support lean muscle mass which can reduce as cats age.

As well as having targeted nutrients based on lifestage, breed and lifestyle, tailored nutrition for cats can also feature specialised aromas, textures and shapes to suit a variety of preferences and needs. An example of this is Royal Canin Sensory Smell Gravy Wet Cat Food, which has been designed with a unique aromatic profile to entice even fussy eaters.

Guide to tailored nutrition for cats

Breed specific options

Breed specific cat foods are tailored specifically to address common health issues and preferences among particular breeds of cats. For example, Royal Canin Adult Ragdoll dry food is enriched with nutrients like taurine and omega 3 fatty acids to support healthy cardiac function, because Ragdolls can be predisposed to heart problems. It also has a specialised kibble shape and texture to suit the jaw and chewing style of Ragdoll cats.

Breed specific cat foods

Cat lifestages

A cat's nutritional needs will change over the course of their life. There are a number of different lifestage scales identified for cats, which are predominantly based on their age however it is important to note that these are designed to be a starting point only, and it is best to consult a veterinarian regarding your cat's specific needs.

Kitten (up to 12 months)

Kittens need precisely balanced nutrition to support their growth and development, including higher levels of energy, adapted protein and the right levels of vitamins and minerals such calcium and vitamin D.

Young adult ( 1 to 6 years)

Energy requirements in young adult cats will be lower than growing kittens and is dependent on a number of factors including neuter status and activity levels. If active, young adult cats can have higher nutritional requirements for energy compared to senior cats.

Mature adult (7 to 10 years)

As cats become more mature, their energy requirements may reduce, although it is important to make adjustments based on their individual needs. Healthy mature adult cats also may need higher levels of protein to maintain lean muscle mass. Water intake should also be considered to help support urinary health, including some wet food in the diet may help with this.

Senior (over 10 years)

The ability of cats to effectively and efficiently digest their food can reduce with age, which in turn can mean they need to eat more calories to maintain their body condition. They may also have reduced appetite, so changes to their food to make it more appealing and easier to eat can also be beneficial.

Indoor cats

Typically indoor cats are less active than those that have access to the outdoors. This can mean that they have lower energy requirements and may benefit from being fed a diet with an adapted fat and energy content. Indoor cats also will use a litter tray exclusively when they need to toilet, so many indoor cat foods contain specific nutrients such as prebiotic fibres to help reduce stool odour.

Feeding your cat a tailored diet specific to their age and other factors such as breed and lifestyle is one way you can help to keep them happy and healthy. Tailored cat foods may also help to avoid commonly occurring health problems, particularly obesity which can in turn predispose to other chronic health conditions including diabetes, mobility issues and urinary tract disease.

Indoor cat foods

Further reading

Best Food For a Sensitive Stomach

The Real Cost of Supermarket Food

Tips for Feeding Your Fussy Cat

How To Tell if Your Cat Loves You

Games You Can Play With Your Cat

Shop All Cat Supplies Now