You care for your cat just like you do for your child and so, you are concerned when your cat becomes fussy about food and doesn’t eat properly. It’s also quite challenging to change your cat’s diet as cats don’t like changes.
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There are several events when you are worried about your cat’s eating habits. You may want to introduce him to a new food or a special diet. Or he may be a little sick or even may be unable to smell and in that case, making him eat is a challenge. Here are tips to encourage your cat to eat.
NOTE: The most important thing to do when your cat is not eating is to visit expert West Lindfield vet like Gordon Vet for example, to find why he is not eating. The following tips are not substitute for your vet’s advices.
Why to Change Your Cat’s Diet?
There may be several reasons why you may have to change the diet of your cat. For instance, cats having allergies to certain foods or kidney problems or being overweight or needing a better diet for an improved oral health may need a changed diet. Whatever may be the reason, it affects everyone involved. Cats are reluctant to changes. They are happy to eat the same old foods every day and will be very obstinate about changes.
Bring the Change Very Slowly
Unless advised otherwise by your vet, the changes in diet should be done very slowly, at least over 7 days. Your cat has bacteria and enzymes that have adapted for digesting the old type of food and hence, an abrupt change can result in stomach upset, diarrhoea and vomitting.
During the initial 3 days, only 25% of the total food should be new. For the 4th and 5th day, you can increase the new food to 50% and on the 6th and 7th day, the new food can be increased to 75%.
Make Use of Smell
Cats are extremely sensitive to smell. Often they will refuse to eat a new food unless it is warmed up to body temperature. Thus instinctively they love to eat things that are ‘freshly killed’ and warm. Slightly warm the food in microwave; just try to achieve that hot spot in the middle. Never feed your cat cooked bones.
Changing from Dry to Wet Food
If your cat is suffering from diabetes or urinary problems, he may be best given high protein wet food. Several cats love dry biscuits; hence transitioning them to wet food can lead to a hunger strike. Here the above-mentioned tip of slowly changing the food can work. Add only a small amount of wet food to your cat’s biscuits.
Another good idea is to wet the biscuits in some warm water to soften them a bit, so that he can get used to a new texture while keeping the taste same. However, never leave the food out for over 4 hours and don’t do this as a long-term solution. Dry foods tend to form moulds and adding moisture increases the problem.
Dry foods are usually sprinkled with flavour enhancers that make them taste extremely delicious; however that doesn’t mean that they are healthy. If your cat is very stubborn, grind the biscuits to powder with a mortar and pestle and then spread the powder on the new food.
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Introduction of Meat and Bones
If your vet has suggested some raw chicken necks or wings or whole raw rabbit for dental health, your cat may show absolute reluctance about this new food. Here some sneakiness can work. Also invest in a good pair of bone-cutting scissors or mincer.
Gravies, Broths and Mixing Food
Several cats love a little broth and flavour mixed to their food, but check with your vet first if this is right for your cat. For knowing what can be good for your cat’s situation, set an appointment at Gordon Vet and give only food to your cat that is recommended by the vets.