Transitioning Cats to a Raw Diet - Homemade Raw Cat Food
If your cat is new to a raw meat diet, transitioning them over can sometimes be a tricky task that requires a lot of patience. Every cat is different and some may take to the raw cat food right away. If this is the case, remove all other foods (dry & canned) and start feeding the balanced raw meal. If your cat is not interested in the raw meat, it may take a few weeks or months to fully make the switch.
*These transition tips can also apply to cats that are switched to a homemade cooked diet.
Here are some tips to make the transition go as smoothly as possible:
1. Eliminate all dry foods, (even remove them from the house) if the cat can smell the dry food, they may hold out for it. They know it's in there!
2. Find a canned food they love. Grain-free is a good choice, but in this case not a necessity because they will only be eating it for just a few weeks. If your cat won't accept the canned food, then feed a little bit of dry with the canned food on top. This way they will be introduced to a change in texture, while still having the familiarity of the dry food.
3. Once they are eating the canned food, slowly add a little raw meat - maybe 1/2 and 1/2. The raw doesn't have much of a smell, so the canned will still give the aroma of processed food.
4. Over a 2-3 week period, slowly decrease the canned food until the cat is accepting of the raw meat cat food.
Here are a few more things to try:
1. Finger feeding - Place a small amount of raw meat on the end of your finger and let the cat lick it off. Being up close, gives your kitty the idea that it's more of a treat than a new meal.
2. For those cats that love fish - Use tuna or salmon (or just the water) to give more flavour to the raw meat.
3. Let them go hungry for at least 12 hours before offering the raw meat again.
4. Slightly cook the meat to give it more flavour and smell. Over a few weeks or months, cook the meat less and less.
Most cats will identify what is food and what is not by one year of age. New diets can be a challenge because the cat doesn't recognize the new meal as food. With patience and perseverance cats eating habits can change, and the positive health results can be amazing!