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April 21, 2022

How to Transition Your Cat to a New Food

  • Transition
  • Cat Health
  • Nutrition
  • Cat
Cat with paw on GO! SOLUTIONS SKIN + COAT CARE Grain-Free Salmon Recipe kibble bag in living room

Maybe you are looking to treat a food sensitivity by introducing new protein sources into the diet, or maybe you simply want to switch up the flavours and ingredients to keep things interesting for your furry friend. Whatever the case, changing your cat’s food is more complex than simply pouring their new diet into a bowl.

The digestive process is extremely complex and delicate, requiring various enzymes and naturally occurring bacteria to be successful. When providing a new diet, it is important to slowly transition your cat to the new food, giving their bodies a chance to adjust to this change.

This transition period can be between 10-14 days long, depending on your cat’s sensitivity to change:

  • Day 1 & 2: Feed 80% of your cat’s old food with 20% of the new food

  • Day 3 & 4: Feed 60% of your cat’s old food with 40% of the new food

  • Day 5 & 6: Feed 40% of your cat’s old food with 60% of the new food

  • Day 7, 8 & 9: Feed 20% of your cat’s old food with 80% of the new food

  • Day 10 & Forever: Feed 100% new food

Food transition guide for cats

Since the digestive process is so delicate, diarrhea and/or vomiting can be normal during this transition period. If your cat is experiencing any sort of digestive upset, try slowing down the process, allowing their digestive tract more time to adjust. You can do this by reducing the amount of new food provided at the next feeding.

Some helpful tips!

To limit the amount of digestive upset your pet may experience during this transition period, try these paw-some tips:

  1. Maintain hydration

  2. Limit treats/other food sources

  3. Avoid mixing raw and dry food

Kibble takes longer to digest than raw diets. If you are transitioning your cat from a raw diet to a dry food, consider feeding these diets a few hours apart to maximize the digestion of both, while minimizing the risk for any ruff digestive symptoms.

If your cat is more sensitive to dietary changes and you want to lower their risk for digestive upset further, check out our selection of sensitivity recipes balanced for pets with specific dietary needs: GO! SOLUTIONS Recipes for Cats.


Author

GO! SOLUTIONS logo

Taylor Richards

MSc Student - Companion Animal Nutrition

Taylor received her BSc in Honours Animal Biology, with a minor in Nutrition and Nutraceuticals, at the University of Guelph. She is currently completing her MSc in Companion Animal Nutrition in the Department of Animal Biosciences, also at the University of Guelph.