A guide to changing your cat's food
Introducing new food to your cat isn’t something you can do overnight. Many cats are fussy eaters, especially if they’re approaching an older age or suffer from food allergies or other health conditions. Whether you’re changing pet food brands, flavours within a brand, or switching your kitten to adult cat food, or adult cat to a senior diet, making the transition slowly will ensure your chances of success.
Transition to new food gradually
Once you’ve selected your cat’s new food, we recommend transitioning their diet over a 7-day period. This process involves mixing the two foods together until your cat is solely on the new diet.
Food transitioning over 7 days:
For the first two days of the transition period, feed 75% old diet and 25% new diet. If your cat is fed multiple times a day, ensure this split occurs at each meal. For days three to four, split the diets 50:50 – 50% old food and 50% new food.
If at any time during the transition your pet begins to have a loose bowel movement, stop the transition and take a step back. This process doesn’t need to be finished within seven days if your pet’s stomach gets upset, take your time and work to what they can handle.
If after day four your pet is looking good, eating the food willingly and has normal stools, then for days five and six feed 25% old food and 75% new food. Then finally, on day seven, feed 100% new food. Your pet is now fully transitioned onto their new diet.
Your cat’s digestive health
Dietary modifications can affect your cat’s health, so throughout this time it’s important to watch your feline friend closely to ensure they stay happy and healthy. If a new diet doesn’t agree with your cat, you may notice minor digestive symptoms throughout the change, including diarrhoea and vomiting. Monitor these symptoms carefully and pause the transition until this has settled. If the symptoms don’t subside, visit your local Animates Vetcare clinic for help and advice.
If your cat is not finishing the food in their bowl, this could be because they’re filling up on other things, such as treats, table scraps or the neighbour’s cat food, outside of regular meal times. To ensure they have a healthy appetite come mealtime, ensure you’re feeding them the right food for their breed and life stage, as well as the correct quantities of food per day. It’s essential to limit treats until the transition to a new food is complete.
If you become concerned about your pet’s health, or the diet choice doesn’t seem to suit your pet, please consult with your local Animates Vetcare clinic.
Choosing the best food for your cat can be confusing with the number of varieties of food available. Remember, the higher the quality of food the more your pet will shine and flourish from the nutrition they are receiving. If you have any questions about feeding your cat, pop into your local Animates or Animates Vetcare clinic and talk to our team who will be happy to help.