Switching Your Cat to a New Food

Switching Your Cat to a New Food

Whether your cat developed a food allergy, needs a new food to lose weight, or the pet store in your neighborhood stopped carrying your cat’s usual brand, you may need to switch your feline friend to a new diet. Use these tips from a Chico veterinary professional to transition smoothly.

Switch Slowly

It’s very important to switch your cat’s food slowly. If you simply put a new food in the bowl one day, there’s a good chance your cat will turn up her nose. Even if they do eat it right away, most cats will experience diarrhea or an upset stomach from the sudden change. Start by putting just a small amount of the new food in with the old. Over about a week’s time, increase the amount of new food you’re mixing in until your cat is eating the new diet exclusively.

Dry to Wet or Vice Versa

Transitioning a cat that’s always eaten dry kibble to wet food, or vice versa, can be particularly difficult. A lot of cats will be extra picky about a new texture in their bowl. Try mixing the two foods together at first to see if your cat will indulge. Some cat owners find success by crushing up dry kibble and mixing it in with wet food. Consult your vet if you’re having trouble or your cat isn’t eating.

Don’t Free-Feed

It’s never a good idea to free-feed your cat. Free-feeding means you leave food in the bowl at all times for your cat to snack on as she pleases. This may work for young kittens who need a lot of energy, but an adult cat will almost certainly get fat. Don’t leave out your cat’s new food in hopes that she’ll get curious and eat some. Feed your cat on a schedule with proper portion sizes.

Consult a Pro

You’re not alone in the tricky transition of your cat’s food—your Chico veterinarian is here to help! Call the clinic or set up an appointment if you need to switch your cat’s food and your pet is being especially finicky.

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