August 2013 Issue

The Benefits of a Higher-protein Diet

It won’t reverse the inevitable loss of muscle mass that accompanies aging but can help slow it down.

Conventional wisdom has long held that cats need less protein as they age. The truth is exactly the opposite, says Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Nutrition at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “What we realize in geriatrics is that nobody pays much attention to muscle mass. We’re starting to realize you lose muscle mass as you age — human, dog, cat. You can’t reverse it,” he says. “You have to lift weights to maintain current muscle mass, but it’s hard to get a cat to lift weights.”

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