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3 Best Wet Cat Food For Senior Cats

Disclaimer: As a Chewy & Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our reviews & comparisons.

Senior cats tend to lose weight from sarcopenia.

High protein & calorie wet foods help keep seniors strong.

Here’s our 3 best wet cat food for senior cats picks.

  1. Feline Natural | Best Overall
  2. Ziwi Peak Venison | Best for Picky Cats
  3. Fancy Feast Creamy Delights | Value for Money

Most mature cat foods aren’t great for senior cats.

This is because they are for weight loss in old cats who aren’t quite seniors.


Don’t worry, I’ll help you out in this article. First, I’ll go through a buying guide on what to look for.

Then I’ll compare the best options & answer frequently asked questions.

Let’s go!

I am not a veterinarian & I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. This article is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Buying Guide

Cats are seniors at 12 years.

Many senior cats lose weight to sarcopenia.

Senior cats have a harder time digesting protein & fat. Boost these nutrients to help older cats maintain weight.

Here’s what to aim for:

Increase Calories

Helps seniors with poor digestion.

As mentioned, older cats have impaired protein & fat digestion.

Choosing a calorie dense cat food (over 4.5 kcal/g) helps make up for that.

How do I know if my cat food meets these guidelines?

Use the following calculation:

  1. Find the moisture content of the wet cat food on the label
  2. Use the calculation (1-[moisture content]) to find dry matter content
  3. Use the calculation (1/[dry matter content]) to find dry weight
  4. Find the caloric density (kcal/kg * dry weight/1000)


  1. Feline Natural feast chicken and lamb has 80.6% moisture content.
  2. 1-80.6% = 19.4% dry matter content
  3. 1/19.4% = 5.15 dry weight
  4. Feline Natural contains 895 kcal/kg. Use the equation – 895 * 5.15/1000 = 4.6 kcal/g

Based on this calculation Feline Natural has a caloric density of 4.6 kcal/g. A great choice.

Cats prefer food with ~25% fat on a dry matter basis. Senior cats have reduced sense of smell and taste.

So you’ll also improve taste.

Fast notes:

  • Choose calorie dense cat food
  • Aim for over 4.5kcal/g (calculation above)
  • High fat cat foods improve taste

Increase Protein

Helps with sarcopenia.

20% of senior cats over 12 years have impaired fat digestion.

30% have impaired protein digestion.

This is one key reason for age related muscle loss (sarcopenia).

Choose wet cat food with over 40% protein (dry matter). This helps senior cats maintain strength.

How do I know if my wet cat food meets these guidelines?

You can use an online calculator.

Use the guaranteed analysis of the cat food and pop that into the calculator.

A cat food showing the guaranteed analysis
Use the guaranteed analysis for a dry matter basis calculation.

Here’s an example below using the guaranteed analysis for Meat Mates lamb wet cat food on their website:

  • Protein: 7.5%
  • Fat: 7.5%
  • Carbohydrate: 0.3%
  • Fiber: 0.7%
  • Ash: 2.0%
  • Moisture: 82.0%

Since the calculator doesn’t have ash and carbohydrate, combine the two and put it into ‘others’.

They added up to 2.3%. The values in the guaranteed analysis must equal 100%.

Based on the dry matter calculation, Meat Mates has a 41.67% protein on a dry matter basis.

This cat food meets the needs for senior cats.

Fast notes:

  • Aim for 40% protein (dry matter)
  • Use a calculator to check
  • Low protein diets aren’t best for seniors

Choose Cat Food High in Animal Protein

Animal protein is easier for senior cats to digest.

Grain based ingredients reduce the digestibility of protein.

Cooked mashed corn also impairs fat and protein digestion.

Corn protein increases the risk of constipation and urinary tract disorders. Not great, since senior cats have a higher risk of constipation.

A vegan diet can increase the risk of painful struvite urolithiasis (kidney stones).

How do I know if my wet cat food meets these guidelines?

Look at the ingredients list. Ingredients rank by weight.

Animal-based ingredients high on the list is a good sign.

Also check the front label. There are laws about what words mean.

Steer clear of grain based protein ingredients like wheat and corn gluten. These are low quality protein ingredients that aren’t great choices for seniors.

Fast notes:

  • Animal protein is easier to digest
  • Grains decrease protein digestion
  • Vegan diets aren’t best

Choose Low Carb

Cats have no requirement for carbohydrate in the diet.

Researchers suggest a diet with less than 15% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis to improve health markers in diabetic cats.

Senior and obese cats are at higher risk of diabetes.

A lower carbohydrate diet can also prevent your cat gaining weight from fat.

How do I know if my wet cat food meets these guidelines?

Use this online calculator.

Fast notes:

  • Senior cats don’t need carbs
  • Aim for less than 15% carbs dry matter
  • Use an online calculator

Aim for a High Calcium to Phosphate Ratio

Aim for a >1:1 ratio of calcium to phosphate.

This helps reduce the absorption of phosphate and lowers the level of parathyroid hormone.

This also reduces calcium deposits in the kidneys.

Phosphate is a micronutrient that is essential for intracellular processes including DNA formation and energy metabolism.

Senior cats are at increased risk of kidney disease with over 31% of cats over 15 years affected. Starting your cat on a high calcium to phosphate wet food as early as possible is a great move.

For older cats without kidney disease, a high phosphate diet does not increase the risk of kidney disease. However, this was only after an 18-month diet trial.

In humans, a low phosphate and high phosphate diet increase the risk of mortality. It seems plausible that its the ratio of calcium to phosphate not phosphate itself is of most importance in health.

How do I know if my wet cat food meets these guidelines?

Some cat food brands list their micronutrient information on their website. Many don’t.

Often times you’ll need to contact the company to get more information if it’s not available.

Fast notes:

  • Aim for 1:1 calcium to phosphate
  • Seniors have increased risk of kidney disease
  • High calcium to phosphate reduces risk

Choose Wet Food Suitable for All Life Stages

Look for the statement of nutritional adequacy for all life stages. This is best suited for the nutrition needs of senior cats.

This information is usually listed on the package.

Statement of Nutritional Adequacy

3 Best Wet Cat Food for Senior Cats

1. Feline Natural

Best Wet Cat Food for Senior Cats

Feline Natural cat food (picture)

Pros and Cons

  • 98% grass-fed
  • Soy-free
  • Grain-free
  • Pricey
  • Smelly


If there was a swiss army knife of cat food, Feline Natural is it.

It is jam packed with grass fed animal produce. There’s also added omega 3 from salmon to help with arthritis.

Unfortunately, it’s the price, taste, and smell can put off some.

Best for:

  • Arthritic seniors
  • Easy chew pate
  • Kidney health

Where to find Feline Natural?

Read more:

Feline Natural dry matter nutrition analysis
Feline Natural dry matter nutrition analysis
Feline Natural cat food review score
Feline Natural cat food review score

2. Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe

Best Wet Cat Food for Picky Older Cats

Pros and Cons

  • 97% grass-fed
  • Easy to digest
  • Novel protein source
  • Pricey
  • Limited choice


It’s hard to go past Ziwi Peak for older cats.

Ziwi Peak passes the senior cat test with a lot of high quality protein and a high calorie content.

Their foods are free from gums and carrageenan to help with sensitive stomachs.

The main gripe I have with Ziwi Peak is the steep price. They also use chickpeas which raises the carbs to around 10% (dry matter).

Not a fan of that, but everything else is good (if you can look past the price tag).

Best for:

  • Picky seniors
  • Allergies
  • Senior health

Where to find Ziwi Peak?

Read More:

Ziwi Peak Venison dry matter nutrition analysis
Ziwi Peak dry matter nutrition analysis
Ziwi Peak cat food review score
Ziwi Peak cat food review score

3. Fancy Feast Creamy Delights

Best Value Wet Cat Food for Senior Cats

Fancy Feast cat food (picture)

Pros and Cons

  • High protein
  • Fussy cat friendly
  • Affordable
  • Not pretty
  • Mixed quality


Fancy Feast is a huge popular brand, and it’s also a great affordable choice for older cats.

It’s very low in carbohydrate, and high in animal protein. This is what senior cats need to maintain strength.

The added milk contributes calcium, which is important for kidney health.

The main problem is the use of meat by-products. That leads to mixed quality from tin to tin.

Best for:

  • Picky seniors
  • Budget buy
  • Flavor variety

Where to find Fancy Feast?

Read More:

Fancy Feast Creamy Delights dry matter nutrition analysis
Fancy Feast Creamy Delights dry matter nutrition analysis
Fancy Feast Creamy Delights cat food review score
Fancy Feast Creamy Delights cat food review score

How We Chose These Products?

At Simply Cat Care we try to test every cat food.

For this review I sorted and filtered cat foods based on:

  • Suitability for all life stages
  • High protein (>40% dry matter)
  • Low carb (<15% dry matter)
  • High calorie (>4.5 kcal/g)
  • Does not have a negative calcium to phosphate ratio

Here’s our 10 best cat foods for senior cats:

Cat FoodCostTypeTextureLifestageProteinCarbsC:P*Kcal/kgKcal/gScoreNotes
Tiki Cat Baby$$$WetShredsAll63%2%1.211754.985Despite the name, you can serve it to seniors
Fancy Feast Creamy Delights$WetPateAll45%1%N/A1,3406.184Affordable choice
Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein$$DryKibbleAll67%0%1.94,0304.683Low carb dry food
Meat Mates Wet Cat Food$$$WetPateAll42%2%2.41,0846.082Limited availability
Hound & Gatos Wet Cat Food$$WetPateAll45%0%2.31,2225.681Low carb, but mixed taste reviews
Feline Natural Wet Cat Food$$$WetPateAll52%2%1.38954.680Highest quality
Ziwi Peak Wet Cat Food$$$WetPateAll54%10%1.51,2005.079Another high quality option
Tiny Tiger Wet Cat Food$$WetPateAll55%14%N/A9294.679Chewy branded cat food
Avo Derm Wet Cat Food$WetGravyAll56%11%1.28294.677Salmon rich cat food
Ziwi Peak Air Dried$$$DryKibbleAll41%5%1.35,6006.573Best quality dry cat food
A comparison of the best cat foods for senior cats *calcium to phosphate ratio

Frequently Asked Questions

Should Senior Cats Eat More Wet Food?


Wet food is great for senior cats. It’s easy to chew and helps with muscle loss.

Researchers suggest wet food with the following for senior cats:

A plate of wet canned cat food.
Wet cat food is a great choice for senior cats to boost protein and moisture.

What Is the Healthiest Wet Food for Senior Cats?

Feline Natural.

This cat food is high protein and filler free. It also offers nutrients to combat arthritis and kidney disease.

Learn more:

Is Fancy Feast Good for Senior Cats?


Some products are only suited to adult cats.

We recommend Fancy Feast Creamy Delights as it’s suited to all life stages and is high protein.

Learn More:

Should I Feed My Senior Cat Senior Food?

This is not necessary.

There is no criteria for nutrition attached to the word ‘senior’ on a cat food label.

According to a vet:

“There is no AAFCO designation for a ‘senior’ diet, nor is there a nutrient profile for a senior cat,” he says. “Therefore, ‘senior’ diets are essentially slightly modified adult foods.”

Joseph Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, DACVN

Mature wet cat foods contain less protein, with more fiber. The calorie content is inconsistent in mature foods.

The problem is older cats tend to get categorized a few ways.

Mature cats tend to gain weight, whilst seniors lose weight (after 12 years).

Kitten food may be a better choice for senior cats. This is because kitten food is higher in protein and fat, with added calcium.

At What Age Is a Cat Considered Senior?

12 years of old.

A cat experiences changes to their health at this age which influence dietary needs.

This includes:

  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Reduced mobility
  • Kidney disease

Unlike dogs, senior cats are prone to losing weight.

Between the ages of 10-15 years, a senior cat can lose one-third of its muscle mass.

Learn more:

How Many Times a Day Should I Feed My Senior Cat?


Feed older cats often to meet their dietary needs. Use an online calculator to find out how much to feed your senior cat.

Most commercial cat foods offer their recommendation on the package.

Calorie needs also depend on:

  • Neutering
  • Activity level (outdoor cats need a higher calorie diet)
  • Breed
  • Existing health conditions (e.g. kidney disease, diabetes, obesity)

Keep in mind:

Older cats have worse digestion of fat and protein.

An energy-dense diet (>4.5 kcal/g on a dry matter basis) is best. Limit fiber content as this reduces protein digestibility.

Learn more:

A senior cat.
Many senior cats experience weight loss. A high calorie diet helps with weight gain.

Why Is My Senior Cat So Skinny?

Age related sarcopenia.

Many senior cats suffer this problem after the age of 12 years.

They also have reduced a reduced sense of smell and taste, which affects food intake.

A skinny cat.
Senior cats tend to get skinny due to sarcopenia.

What Should I Feed My 15 Year Old Cat?

Look for a high protein wet cat food.

A 15 year old cat is about 76 in human years.

Cats at this age have a higher risk:

  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Sarcopenia (muscle loss)
  • Arthritis

Optimizing diet can help to prevent and/or treat these health conditions.

Learn more:

What Are the Signs of Aging in a Senior Cat?

Signs of ageing include:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced mobility
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced grooming

It is important to get frequent vet checkups. Up to two visits per year are recommended for senior cats.

How Can I Encourage My Senior Cat to Eat More Food?

Use an elevated wide and shallow bowl to help make eating easier for senior cats.

Warm up food in the microwave (about 30 degrees Celsius) to stimulate smell. Keep the bowl away from their litter box.

Learn more:


A cat is a senior at 12 years of age. Senior cats tend to lose muscle.

Choose a wet cat food that is high in protein and fat. This helps maintain weight and maintains strength.

Our recommendation is Feline Natural. It’s high protein, low carb, and comes in an easy to chew pate.

It also offers senior friendly nutrients like omega 3 for joint mobility.

Our top choices:

  1. Feline Natural | Best Overall
  2. Ziwi Peak Venison | Best for Picky Cats
  3. Fancy Feast Creamy Delights | Value for Money

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