How to transfer a cat to ready and dry food
When switching to dry food, it is very important to act gradually so that the animal’s body can get used to the new food. Hurrying can lead to gastrointestinal upsets, therefore there is a time-tested and recommended course of action for veterinarians, and we suggest that you familiarize yourself with it.
So, how to turn a cat into a dry food, if earlier it ate natural food or wet food, in other words, canned food?
The principle is simple – our task is to gradually increase the proportion of dry food, so we will mix ordinary food with a new product in the following proportion:
- 1-4 days – 1 part of dry food, 3 parts of the previous diet;
- 5-8 days – 2 parts of dry food, 2 parts of ordinary food (i.e. half);
- 9-13 days – 3 parts of dry food, 1 part of wet food;
- Starting from the 14th day, you can completely switch to dry food.
As we see, the transition period is only about two weeks, but this period may vary depending on the individual characteristics of the animal.
Dry food can be softened by soaking it with water.
If your kitten loves to show character and stubbornly ignores dry granules in a bowl, eating everything else, we recommend that you soak the food a little with warm water, then it will smell stronger and the granules will become softer, which will make it closer to ordinary food.
You should monitor the animal throughout the transition period, and if something goes wrong, such as diarrhea, vomiting, hair or skin problems, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
The basis of animal diets is dry food, which is a convenient and justified choice, as it contains all the necessary nutrients in the right proportions. However, kittens are not always used to dry food. And in this case, the process of getting your kitten to the new diet will fall on your shoulders.
It is important to remember that the kitten does not need to gnaw food until he wants to chew something (wire, baseboard, household items), which is usually noticed in kittens from one month old due to teething. It will take 5-6 days to get used to the new food and be patient. Changing diets is an important step for a small kitten both from a psychological and physical point of view, and it takes some time to adapt the digestive system to new nutrients (with the exception of milk protein and fat).
Firstly, a moist texture with a soft texture, such as mousse, for example, ROYAL CANIN® Mother and Babycat, can serve as an intermediate option for the transition from breast milk to dry. Dry food can also be introduced and left in a separate bowl to arouse interest, or add several croquettes to the paste if the kitten wants to eat it in sufficient quantity. Begin the transition period to begin the process of cat food swelling. It is best to soak it in warm water (for example, ROYAL CANIN® Mother and Babycat, as it contains less starch and more valuable energy sources – fats). Mix the swollen croquettes into a homogeneous paste with a fork and offer the kitten a bite to eat (warm) before cooling. Do not leave mousse or soaked food in a bowl, as it spoils quickly, therefore, prepare food for only one meal. Over the next few days, mix more and more soaked foods and reduce the proportion of regular feed.
From 4-5 days, you can add dry granules to the impregnated feed and increase the proportion of dry feed in the remaining days to 100%. Divide your kitten’s daily diet by the required amount of food (the younger the cat, the more often it needs to be fed, but in small portions), do not exceed the recommended amount, remember that its stomach is very small and it should not be fully saturated, this impairs digestion.
When switching to dry food, it is important to carefully monitor the health status of your kitten. The main indicator here is the pet’s chair. If your kitten has diarrhea or constipation and has signs of an allergic reaction, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on proper nutrition.
When switching to dry food, do not introduce additional vitamins or calories without consulting your veterinarian. And do not forget that when feeding dry food, kittens should always have a sufficient amount of clean water.
Love for your kitten and a little effort and patience will help you quickly and painlessly accustom your kitten to a new diet so that it grows healthy.