How To Successfully Switch Your Cat to a New Food !
5 October, 2017
We know how finicky our cats can be and once you find the right food for your cat, you don’t want to change it. But, sometimes our cats will just say ‘enough’ and stopping eating the food that they usually scarf down. Or maybe you have to transition your cat to a prescribed pet food. The best way to switch your cat to a new food is slowly, patiently and over a little time.
There are two methods you can try:
1. Try the new food first to see if your cat likes it
To switch your cat to a new food, start by putting your cat’s new food down for a half hour. If your kitty won’t touch it during that time, pick it up, and give your cat a small amount of her usual food or something you know your cat likes.
Pick it up when she stops eating, walk away, and don’t leave any other food out where she can get it (no dry food left out during this process). Repeat this two or three times a day for a couple of days. Usually, by the third day, your cat will be eating the new food.
2. If the above doesn’t work, it’s time to mix both food together
If that doesn’t work, try putting a very small amount of your cat’s favorite food on top of the new food. Your kitty will smell and taste the familiar food and a tiny bit of the new and will then make the association that the new stuff is also food. You can also try warming the food and adding tuna juice during this phase.
Gradually decrease the amount of the current cat food while increasing the amount of new cat food. Continue to do this over a 7-day period. Transitioning slowly can result in fewer digestive issues and better acceptance of the new cat food.
If your cat won’t eat the offered food, try again later. If he just won’t eat, and as long as he’s in good health, you can probably wait things out a day and usually hunger will take over. This will help encourage your cat’s appetite for his new cat food and after a short time, your kitty will learn that this food is the only food he will be getting every day.
Some tips to help make the transition smoother:
1. Make sure to have a private and quiet eating area away from loud noises and other cats.
2. Your cat’s favorite person (or the one who your kitty is most comfortable with) should be the one transitioning the food with your kitty.
3. Make sure of your cat food is appropriately stored to maintain the quality and freshness.
4. If moist or canned cat food has been refrigerated, warm to body temperature before feeding. Stir thoroughly to distribute “hot spots” that occur during microwave warming. If it’s too warm to touch, it’s too warm to feed.
5. For canned cat food, offer it on a flat dish or saucer so your cat’s whiskers don’t brush against the side of the dish. It may help to initially place a small amount of warm moist cat food near the edge of the dish so your cat can lick it easily.
Of course, if your veterinarian has recommended a special therapeutic cat food, make sure to discuss how to transition the cat food as it might not be able to be mixed with other food.
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