Changing cat food should always be done gradually and over at least 10 days transitional period. Mixing both the new and cat food and slowly increasing the new cat food amount in your cats meals.
I spent hours researching on how to successfully and smoothly my cats food.
Below is all you need to know for switching cat foods without any issues.
Changing Cat Food? How to Do It?
Transitioning a cat’s food can be a scary thought, what if your furry friend has an adverse reaction to the food, what if your cat rejects the new food completely.
All these thoughts can be scary but if you transition your cat to a new food by gradually increasing the amount, you’ll give your cat digestive system time to adjust to the new food.
Here’s how you can safely transition your cat to a new food:
Days 1 – 3: From day 1 to day 3, mix 25% of the new cat food with 75% of the old cat food and serve it to your cat. They should eat it up without any issue. If your cat is a bit picky, reduce the amount of new food and transition to higher amounts slowly.
Days 4 – 6: From day 4 to day 6, add 50% of the new food with 50% of the old food so that the mix is 50/50. Keep an eye on your cat’s food bowl to make sure they finish their meal.
Days 7 – 9: From day 7 to day 9, mix 75% of the new food with 25% of the old food and serve it to your cat. By this time your cat would have gotten used to the texture and taste of the new food and would gulp it down quickly.
Day 10: Give your cat 100% new cat food. By this time they should be eating it all up.
If your cat starts having any symptoms of digestive problem such as an upset stomach, just go back to the previous ratio and stretch the transition time a bit more to let your cat’s digestive system get used to the new food.
If the problem persists then get in touch with your veterinarian to come up with a plan to help your cat settle in on the new food.
Why Transitioning to a New Food Should Be Done Gradually?
You can’t simply change your cat’s food cold turkey! As with human’s, switching to a new diet or food can potentially upset the digestive system of a cat.
Also with so many allergy causing ingredients and foods in pet food, we can never be sure if the new food will be safe for the cat and not cause any allergic reactions.
Cats are a bit picky and fussy eaters, hence they might outright reject the new food if not properly introduced. Let your cat get used to the new flavor and texture of the new food.
Why Change A Cat’s Food?
Below are some of the reasons you might need to change your cat’s foods and diet.
Age: As cats grow and move through different life stages, kittens to adults, adults to senior, their dietary requirements change. If the life stage appropriate food is not feed to cats, it could have a negative impact on their health. For example, kittens require a much higher calorie diet than adult or senior cats to grow properly and senior cats require a bit of fiber to get that feeling of fulness and they don’t over feed. For these reasons it is important to transition cats to life stage appropriate food.
Health Conditions: Based on the health needs of a cat, the current food may not be the best for them so you would want to switch over to the best cat food for their needs. It could be that your cat is pregnant or has itchy or dry skin. It is important to provide nutrition which would benefit their health.
Weight: We all like to spoil our fur babies but obesity in cat is a big issue and if your cat is a bit on the chunkier side, you might want to transition to a low calorie diet to help your cat loose some weight.
Personal Circumstances: Life is hard, we might not be able to afford the food which we want to give our furry friend but still want to give them. Switching to a budget friendly cat food might be the reason you want to change your cat’s food.
Potential Issues to Watch Out For
Although transitioning to new food should be a smooth process if done gradually over 10 days. But there could be some issues that can arise especially if you transition from kibble to wet food or wet food to kibble.
Here are some symptoms that may be your cat isn’t adjusting well to the new cat food.
- Gassy Cat
- Weight Loss
- Loss of apatite
- Dry or dull coat
If your cat shows any of the above symptom, take them to the veterinarian for a medical checkup.
Tips to Help Your Cat Get Used to the New Food
Try these following tips to help your cat settle in to the new cat food.
- Let them eat in peace. Keep the food bowl away from busy and noisy areas. Let them take the time to adjust and try out the new cat food.
- Warm up the wet food if it has been refrigerated. Make sure to warm it up to room temperature not more than that.
- Try mixing in different textures such as dry and wet food to keep things interesting for your cat.
- You could also try hand feeding your cat for the initial transition period.
The Bottom Line
I hope this article provides you with all the information you need to successfully change your cat foods.
Go ahead, come up with a schedule and stick to it and start changing your cats food.
Always make sure that the new food you are giving your cat provides it with all the nutritional value it needs.
If your cat shows any sign of discomfort or any of the above symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately and scale back the transition to the previous percentages, giving your kitty enough time to adjust and settle in to the new diet.