Changing your cat’s diet can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are our top tips on how to transition your cat to a new 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, making the transition slowly will ensure your chances of success.
Making the transition to new food
The best way to transition your cat to a new food is to do it slowly by combining your new food with the old food, and gradually changing the ratio of new food to old over a period of fourteen days. It may take bit longer so please be patient. This gives your cat time to adjust to the new diet in their own time. If you’re lucky, your cat may not even notice the change.
Here’s our recommended feeding schedule for transitioning your cat to a new food:
- Days 1-4: 20% new food and 80% old food
- Days 5-7: 40% new food and 60% old food
- Days 8-10: 60% new food and 40% old food
- Day 11-13: 80% new food and 20% old food
- Day 14: 100% new food
If your cat is a fussy eater or suffers from health problems or allergies, it could take longer than fourteen days to transition them to a new food. Just remember to be patient and monitor their progress carefully.
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 Greencross Vets 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.
Please be aware that if you are changing your cat’s diet completely – to a 100% wet diet, to a prescription diet or similar – it’s very important to consult with your local Greencross Vets before doing so.
If you’re looking for a new high-quality food for your unique cat, our Cat Food Finder tool will point you in the right direction. For more advice on the best diet for your pet, visit your local Petbarn store where our friendly team members are happy to help.