5 Tips to Get Your Cat to Eat New or Prescribed Food
16 July, 2013
As our cats get older, they are often afflicted by some sort of medical condition. I’m sure as a cat (or even dog) owner, you have encountered this issue. In cats, thyroid, kidney, or even your cat is simply overweight and you need to switch foods. Of course, the first step is to take your cat to the Vet for a check up and follow the instructions that your veterinarian gives you for a new cat food.
Prescription cat foods are generally used for a variety of health conditions such as allergies, diabetes, obesity, thyroid or even hairballs. And, let’s be honest, our finicky cats are going to know that this new food isn’t his regular cat food! Some cats are pickier than others and have difficulty adjusting to any new food!
Below are 5 tips to help your cat eat the new or prescribed food!
1. Mix new food into old food
First, try to introduce the prescription diet by slowly mixing the new food with the former cat food for five days unless your veterinarian advises otherwise. Each day, add more of the new food and less of the original diet until your cat is eating the prescription diet exclusively. You can even throw in some of your cat’s favorite food in little morsels to make it more palatable while switching.
2. Feed many small meals instead of one large one.
Feed multiple small meals instead of one large one. Divide your cat’s daily food portion over three small meals to gradually introduce the new diet and encourage the cat’s appetite. If your schedule doesn’t permit this, at least transition the food over two meals.
3. Mix dry and canned food
Mix the dry and canned prescription cat foods. Canned food often smells (and tastes) more appetizing to a cat than dry food. Factor in your cat’s total calorie intake when you mix wet and dry food so that you do not over feed him. In other words, don’t use a whole can when mixing the food if that is the cat’s entire daily intake.
4. Follow the prescription diet as closely as possible
Follow your veterinarian’s instructions about the prescription diet. Make sure to feed your kitty the correct amount of food for his or her weight and health condition. If your cat is on a weight maintenance prescription, it is important to only feed him the recommended amount. Reduce your cat’s food quantity to the prescribed amount gradually so that the cat’s appetite adjusts to the new amount of food.
5. Do not give your cat food outside prescribed diet or food
Do not give your cat food outside of his prescribed diet. Other food may interact with the prescription or make it less effective. The prescription diets are scientifically developed to manage specific feline health conditions and provide complete nutrition.
If all else fails, you can always ask your veterinarian for an alternative prescription cat food if he or she refuses to eat the new food after many attempts. Or you can always go the holistic route and check to see if there is a natural food that addresses your cat’s condition.
It is never easy to transition your cat to a new or even prescribed food, but it can be done. Be vigilant and clever in how you feed your kitty and hopefully the transition will be easier than you think!