Cat transition guide
Cat Transition Guide
Some cats can be very difficult to transition to a raw diet. Please do not get discouraged or frustrated as we are here to help at any set back!
Some things to consider before switching your cats to raw are:
- Switch cats off free feeding.
- Have set meal times and feed them in the same spot.
- Tough love CANNOT be used on cats or kittens. Never let your cat go over 24 hours without eating.
- Taurine is extremely important for cats which is found mostly in dark meat and hearts.
Important Note about Taurine:
Taurine is an essential amino acid needed to maintain proper eye and heart function in a cat, but it’s also important for many other vital functions including fetal development, growth, reproduction, sight and hearing. In short, it’s vital to a cat's well-being and lifelong health. Cats can’t create their own taurine from other amino acids, unlike many other carnivores, so it’s vital that you ensure you’re providing adequate taurine content in a raw diet.
Adult Cats are fed 1-2 meals a day at 2-4% body weight.
Kittens free fed 3 meals a day until 5 months old, then 4 meals a day until 1 year old.
The end balanced goal is 80/10/5/5.
80% Muscle meats
5% Other Secreting Organ
To get started first see if your cat will take to the raw food by offering a piece of chicken. If they eat it up you may be in for a smooth transition! Head to the Simple Transition section. If those steps don't work and they're on kibble or canned food start from those steps.
Transitioning From a only Kibble/Dry cat food diet:
One of the best ways to build trust in raw food is to familiarize your cat with the new food. Sometimes if a cat has been fed kibble for a long time, it is best to transition them to canned commercial food first, and then onto raw. This can take some time so please be patient and try not to rush!
* If the cat is free fed (eg there is always food down for them) kibble or wet food, reduce their meals to 2 or 3 a day.
First, you’ll want to get them accustomed to eating a wet food. Start this process by adding water to the kibble a little at a time. This will add the moisture they need and help them get used to the wet texture. Adjust the amount of water you add every 1-3 days until they’re eating only mushy kibble.
Once your cat is eating the mushy kibble well it’s time to start introducing canned food. Do this in ½ teaspoon increments. Every 1-3 days increase the amount of canned and decrease the amount of the wet kibble until they’re eating solely canned food.
*Please Note: Some adjustments may take a week for the extremely fussy cats*. Once your cat has become familiar with eating the canned food it’s time to start introducing raw. See Transitioning From Canned to continue your journey.
Transitioning From a Canned/wet food diet:
Start with just one protein. Chicken is usually good as an introduction. Begin by adding minced chicken in ½ teaspoon increments to the canned food. Increase the amount of the chicken every 1-3 days while decreasing the amount of canned.
All going well? See Simple Transition to move to the next steps below.
Simple Transition for Kittens or Cats who take to raw quickly:
Week 1: Start with plain boneless chicken mince or plain tripe. This will strengthen the stomach in preparation for adding the bone and organ.
Week 2: You can now move your cat onto the complete (80/10/10) cat raw food. This will have the right amount of taurine in it, so you don’t have to think about it. Alternatively, you can feed Complete raw foods that may not be labelled specifically for cats and just add your own heart meat (the heart poultry chunks) or a taurine supplement (which we sell). Make sure you supplement the right amount, though overdosing is next to impossible.
A slight caution when feeding raw fish to cats:
Fish is also a great addition once fully transitioned. However, here's some things you need know and research. The reason for feeding fish is to provide Omega 3’s to balance Omega 6’s, it is also a good source of vitamin D and selenium. Some raw fish contains Thiaminase which can lead to thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiencies. Cooking fish destroys Thiaminase but does not destroy the omega 3’s so it is better to feed cooked or tinned fish for cats. When feeding tinned fish ensure that no sodium has been added to the product. We recommend providing fish cooked, dehydrated, or tinned in water with no added salt.
Do not feed fish if your cat has kidney issues. Avoid all tinned fish in vegetable oil, spring water is fine.
- Remember it can take some cats months or even years to fully transition, it’s really worth persevering!
- If the transition method above appears not to be working try a different protein, but don’t be too quick to chop and change as you are trying to build up trust
- Before starting the transition method, test your cat with different proteins to see which gets a hint of a reaction and go with that protein
- Remember at any point and time your cat seems to change their mind and decide they don’t like raw food you cannot use tough love on a cat. They need to eat something even if it means needing to use some canned grain free food on top their raw and decrease it gradually again.
Some cats will not take long to transition while others may be a bit difficult. Remember to only move at the pace of your cat and do not allow your cat to go without eating for more than 24 hours. If your cat is not accepting the changes in its food, make adjustments until your cat accepts the meal. Watch poops and make changes as needed. Take longer if your cat is having troubles accepting new proteins and go slow!