Have you thought about changing your cats diet to a raw meat diet or a higher quality wet diet? Perhaps you think there is no way your cat will accept the change. That’s because cats by nature have addictive personalities and addictive taste buds. So transitioning cats to wet or raw food food requires patience and consistency. Generally older cats are more difficult to transition than young cats, but it is always possible.
Important points to consider:
- Transition as slowly as needed.
- Cats can starve themselves to death; never withhold food from your cat
- Your cat may be perfectly happy on a dry food kibble diet just like a child may like to eat McDonalds everyday, but that doesn’t mean they should.
- The speed between these steps can take days, weeks or months depending on your cat
- Do not go directly from dry food to raw food. You must first transition to wet food
- When mixing wet food use the highest quality wet food possible (do not use the semi-moist pouches).
- Do not add water to dry food.
- Do not feed dry food and raw food together or within 8 hours of each other
- Only keep raw food out for 30 minutes maximum.
If your cat is absolutely not touching wet or raw food you can try sprinkling small amounts of flavor on top, such as:
- treats your cat likes
- canned tuna or tuna juice
- Parmesan cheese
- capsule of salmon oil
As I said you should never starve your cat as it can be very dangerous. However, when you’re trying to transition, you can use hunger as a tool. A cat that has not eaten in 6-8 hours will be much more likely to try a new food than a cat who has constant access to dry food. I know it is hard to see your cat hungry and crying for food, but you must stay consistent and the process will work.
Once your cat is eating a fully raw ground diet you can start to experiment with Frankenprey or whole prey diets (I discuss the differences here)
Young kittens usually take to this diet no problem and will eat it directly. The same goes for outdoor or stray cats that are not used to eating dry food.
Please share your experiences or questions in transitioning cats to wet or raw food.