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The cat is known for being a picky eater. Your cat must get the nutrition she needs to keep her in great shape. Upgrading her diet can help. As pet parents become more aware of the ingredients found in commercial pet foods, they want higher-quality wet and dry meals for their pets.
A transition from one pet food to another may be due to upgrading to more premium food, a health issue, or just a change in your cat’s life phase.
If you decide to switch your cat to a new diet, it must be done gradually to avoid potential stomach upsets. You can introduce your cat to its new diet safely and carefully if you follow our simple, seven-day guide.
A Seven-day Transition Schedule
It would be best to transition your cat gradually from her old diet to her new diet over 7 to 10 days. It is best to introduce your cat to the new food slowly to avoid shocking her.
Combine 25% of the new food with 75% of her old food at the beginning. Give this a few days to digest. Continue adding new foods to have a 50/50 mix, making it easier for the cat to enjoy. Essentially, you can move on after a couple of days to eating 75% of the new food and 25% of the old food.
Continue doing this for another two or three days before switching to 100% of the new food. During this transition, digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, gas, and vomiting are possible.
In that case, extend the intervals between food mixes by four to six days so your cat has time to adjust to the new food. It is important to remember that every pet is different. Nevertheless, if you continue to have problems, you should consult your veterinarian.
But Why is it Necessary to Change a Cat’s Food Carefully?
Early experiences with a particular type of food will significantly influence the cat’s later preferences. Because of this, you should ask what kind of food they were given before you bring them home – a new environment will be easier to adapt to if their food is familiar.
All changes in food need to take place slowly during a cat’s lifetime. It is usual for cats to be wary of a new type of food. This behavior is called neophobia, the habit of avoiding confrontation. People believe that this behavior protects them from consuming toxic or tainted food. It is better to introduce new foods in stages and minimize stress factors to avoid aversion.
Special Times to Switch Your Cat’s Food
It is essential to know when to switch between different cat foods at different life stages. Cats should start eating adult cat food at 12 months of age to get the right nutrients.
Cats who are seven years or older should also switch to adult cat food to ensure that they receive the appropriate nutrients for their age.
Moreover, a pregnant or nursing cat needs calcium-rich food that is energy-dense. If they are enjoying this particular time, make sure your cat eats cat food.
Food Transitioning From Dry to Wet
Unless prescribed by your veterinarian, wet cat food is best to complement your pet’s dry food regimen. The best thing to do is not mix cat foods from different brands to ensure that they digest correctly and contain the right amount of calories. You can help your cat adjust to canned food if they are new to it.
Before feeding your cat moist or canned cat food that has been refrigerated, warm it to body temperature. Stir thoroughly to disperse “hot spots” caused by microwaving.
Cat food from a can needs to be served on a flat dish or saucer, so your cat’s whiskers don’t brush against the side of the plate. If your cat is having trouble licking the food, place a small amount of warm, moist cat food near the edge of the dish at first.
The Trick to Feeding Your Cat
Cats are creatures of habit, so dealing with a picky one is common. Especially when it comes to their diet, they don’t like to change what they want. Nevertheless, you can do a few things to encourage your pet to try new foods:
- Put a few drops of tuna juice on the food
- Make sure you offer freeze-dried treats in flavors your cat won’t resist, including salmon or turkey
- Top wet food with some dry food
- Changing the texture may help your cat prefer meaty morsels over pate.
Be sure to closely monitor your cat’s behavior once they have successfully transitioned to their new food. The best diets will show in your cat’s appearance, weight, and stool quality – a good diet will show how well they respond to the change. Make sure you follow the veterinarian’s directions and ask questions. Your cat will be happy and healthy if you work with them.