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Cat Science: Changing New Food and Diet

22/06/2017 0 Comment(s) Cat,

Author: Leslie Tsen (B.S.) Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources. Wildlife Conservation

Your cats’ diet should ideally be adjusted over time due to the altered activity levels and nutrition requirements associated with increasing age. Changing cat food should be a gradual process to provide sufficient time for your cats to adapt to the new tastes and formulas. Given enough time, even the finickiest cats will adapt to food change. Changing your cats’ diet too much or too drastic in a short amount of time and they are likely to lose their appetite, changing too little and your cats will likely still be clinging to the familiar taste of their old food.



Factors Affecting Dietary Change


1.   Age



2.   Activity Levels:


Some cat breeds or individuals are more active than others. While it might not be so apparent during kitten years since most young animals are playful, you will eventually come to the realization that some your cats are actually lazier than the rest as they age. If it is not caused by an underlying medical condition, this sluggish behavior is likely a natural behavior unique to your cat’s breed. British Short Hair, Persian, and Himalayan cats are some good examples of lazy cat breeds that prefer spending a good amount of time sleeping on your expensive couch. Ideally, cats that like to spend a majority of their time indoor with minimal activity levels should be fed a less calorie packed diet to prevent obesity and other health issues.


3.   Unique Medical Conditions or Physiological Needs:


Pregnant cats require a protein and fat-rich diet comparable to a kitten formula to provide for the metabolic need of their placental babies as well as to increase milk production after giving birth. Aside from that, pregnant females will also tend to have a higher calcium requirement to accomodate for the blood and bone calcium lost in producing babies. Cats that are showing certain medical symptoms such as constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea will likely have the opposite dietary needs as these are commonly caused by giving too much calcium supplements to your cats in the form of calcium carbonate. Do consult with a certified veterinarian to learn more about the exact dietary restriction of cats suffering from specific medical issues.



Changing Cat Food


A complete food switch can be done in as soon as 7 days. However, it is not uncommon to have a longer transitioning period when dealing with finicky eaters. Food should ideally be divided into multiple meals and be served in every 6-8 hours throughout a 24 hours period: 


Day 1: 75% Old + 25% New
Day 2: 70% Old + 30% New
Day 3: 60% Old + 40% New
Day 4: 50% Old + 50% New
Day 5: 40% Old + 60% New
Day 6: 25% Old + 75% New
Day 7: 0% Old + 100% New



Tips When Changing Your Cat’s Food

  • Consider using an easily digestible formulas for cats with a sensitive stomach
  • Give your cats their eating privacy
  • Kittens can be hand fed to improve trust while bonding
  • Mix up wet/canned cat food with dry food when changing food to avoid the development of picky eating habit
  • You can heat up wet cat food with a microwave to improve its appeal to finicky cats


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Disclaimer: This article contains materials referred from published scientific journals and is strictly meant for educational purposes only. It must NOT be substituted for any forms of medical care, treatment, and consultation from veterinarians, aquatic experts or other licensed professionals. NO compensation shall be reimbursed by Harvest Fish & Pet for the direct or indirect loss, damage, injury, or death of both living (user included) and non-living beings caused by the application of information from this article either in full or in part.  

Tags: science