Introducing a New Food
Now that your kitten is nearly a fully grown cat you should start thinking about transitioning from kitten food to an adult food, which would be more suited to their needs.
A new food should always be introduced gradually, even if your kitten or cat appears to like it. This will help reduce the chance of developing a stomach upset following the food change.
Changes to diet affect different animals in different ways, so it is important to manage the change carefully.
In general, cats are creatures of habit. Your cat may require some help changing foods, especially if they are used to having just a single type. Another reason would be if your vet has recommended a special food for a clinical reason.
You might like to try some of the following suggestions to ease the transition between foods:
- Gradually introduce a new food over 7 days
- Increase the proportion of the new food each day, at the same time decreasing the proportion of the previous food until you are feeding the full amount of the new food
- To increase acceptance of new wet food you could warm it to body temperature, but no hotter. Most cats will prefer wet food slightly warm as it can improve the smell and the feel in the mouth
- Avoid feeding chilled foods
- If necessary, change the texture of wet food by adding a small amount of warm water to soften it and make it easier to mix the old and new food types together
- Don't be tempted to add human food titbits to the new diet. Most cats will end up eating the human food instead, and this can develop into a bad habit
- For very fussy or finicky eaters, try hand feeding the new food as a treat. This will reinforce the positive bond between you, your cat and the new food
- Keep a bowl of clean fresh water available at all times
- Cats should be starved whilst trying to introduce a new food
- If you are really struggling to change your cat's food, speak to your vet or vet nurse
If your cat needs a change in food to help manage a medical condition it is important to follow any advice given by your vet. Appetite can be affected by disease, so consult your vet for any special feeding advice for your cat.