Slow but steady
Whether you’re changing your cat to a different food for medical reasons, to put your cat on a diet, or just because you would like to try something new, make sure to move slowly. A sudden switch could cause diarrhea, vomiting, or reduce your feline’s appetite.
Getting your cat used to the food
Before you mix in your cat’s new food with their regular food, allow them to get used to the scent by putting the new food in a bowl next to the regular food. Cats tend to dislike things that are new, but when the new food always sits next to their regular food, it will soon no longer be ‘new’ to your cat. Did you know that you can apply this technique with wet food, too? Start off by placing a small amount of wet food next to your cat’s regular wet food. If necessary, you can heat up the new wet food to make it more attractive or add cold water to their regular wet food to make it less attractive. Remember not to leave out wet food for a long time as it will spoil quickly.
Mix very small quantities of new food with your cat’s regular food and gradually increase the share of new food. If you use wet food, you can divide the remaining contents of the can over an ice cube tray and freeze it so you’ll have small portions ready for next time. If you’re getting your cat used to new dry food, why not take advantage of your cat’s instinct to play and hunt by inserting the new kibble into a cat toy. If your cat loves to be around humans, you can also feed them dry food by hand.
Be consistent and perseverant
When transitioning your cat to new food, it’s key to be patient. With very picky cats, you must count on 8-12 weeks before they will have made a full switch. To make things easier, stick to fixed feeding times instead of free feeding your cat. Make sure all family members are on board, and if your cat is allowed outside, also ask your neighbors to become part of the routine by urging them not to feed your cat.