January 7, 2013

Cats are notoriously finicky creatures of habit and it can be very challenging to persuade them to try something new. Here are a few tried-and-tested tips for transitioning your picky kitty to a new diet.

Slow change

Cats seem more averse to change than dogs, so we recommend hydrating very small amounts (half teaspoon portions) of The Honest Kitchen Grace™ or Prowl™ initially, and adding this to their current food. Then, gradually increase THK food each day over a period of weeks (if needed). Cats have their preferences, and because they are such tactile creatures, one should play around with the water content – adding more if they enjoy soupy meals or using less water if the preference is a tacky consistency.

Enticements

Including some savory foods like cottage cheese, yogurt, raw or cooked egg can help during the transition. Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up! Consuming amino acids from multiple protein sources, and different vitamins and minerals from varying vegetables and fruits, will positively contribute to the pet’s overall health.

Trickery

Sometimes it’s necessary to coax your cat to try something new with a mind game. We’ve heard much success with this one! Hydrate the Grace or Prowl food and then dip the cats paw into it. Naturally, since cats want to be clean, will lick their paw – and in the process they become more accustomed to the taste and tastiness of The Honest Kitchen food! Watch a video of this system in action. It's paw licking good!

Changing from free feeding to a twice-daily schedule

If the cat is used to grazing at will with a bowl of dry food, start by feeding only two times per day, leaving the food out for about 30 minutes each time. Next, add a small amount of rehydrated Honest Kitchen (or canned food initially*). You may need to try multiple flavors or brands to find one to their liking. Contrary to what many pet food conglomerates will say, as cats become more accustomed to eating wet foods they usually become less finicky.

Encourage water consumption

Until the cat is on a more fresh diet, increase his hydration level by encouraging him to drink more:

  • Try serving water from bowls of different sizes, shapes and materials. Some cats (and dogs) have problems with plastic, for example. A china saucer might be just what the doctor ordered.
  • See if they prefer running water, by turning on the tap with the water coming out as a drip.
  • Place the water dish in different locations (some cats prefer not to drink their water right next to their food).
  • Try offering diluted, unsalted broth or clam juice, each day until the cat is used to drinking more fluids

If a cat is eating solely dry food, a change to wet food (of good quality) may then make the change to a food like Honest Kitchen much easier. Also, adding Perfect Form during the transition can help to sooth the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, and reduce issues associated with diet changes.