Cat FAQ: Introducing Your Cat To New Food
Let’s face it. Cats are picky, finicky little eaters. Well, they’re picky and finicky about everything, really. Don’t get me started on litter boxes.
When it comes to food, however, there are lots of hits and misses (and hisses, too). There will come a time(s) when your cat simply does not want to eat the same food you’ve been giving them for five years anymore. I know, right? WTF?
There are a few major reasons this might be happening:
(a) There is something wrong. Take him/her to the vet first before you decide to switch up their food.
(b) They are being bratty.
(c) They don’t like where their food bowl is anymore.
(d) They don’t like their food bowl.
(e) They don’t like you.
If option number B seems to be the case, then this post is for you!
If you decide that it’s time to change their food, do it carefully. Start by leaving the bag open and hope that they “accidentally” get into it and gorge themselves so you never have to worry about it again.
But really, your cat has a very sensitive digestive tract. One foreign object (including new food) and WHAMMO! Diarrhea and vomiting galore. So, take things slowly.
Start by giving your cat 3/4 of their old, boring food, and 1/4 of their new, exciting food. Watch to see if they like their new food. Keep an eye on what you’re finding in the litter box, too. Is their stool solid or relatively close to solid? Give it a couple of days and see what you find. Exciting, I know.
Chances are, they’ll be so excited about their new food that they’ll eat that instead of their old food. After a few days, increase their new food / old food ration to 50/50. If they eat that, you’re on the home stretch. One more time – increase their new food / old food ration to 75/25.
At this point you should be making serious note of what you’re finding in the litter box. All of their neatly covered poo should be solid. If not, there might be a problem with the food you’ve selected. It could be an ingredient issue (grain, anyone?) or it could be that their body is simply rejecting it. Try feeding them 100% of their new food, and if there is still an issue, it may be time to consult your vet and try something new, or simply go back to their old food. The higher quality the food, however, the better your chances of making things work. Food like Atta-Cat, for example – probably not going to work.
My cats have had their food switched up several times over the last few years. They are always so excited about their new food, and I am always so excited to be looking at poo samples in the litter box. It’s win-win!