A variety of ready-made food in supermarkets and specialty stores allows you to meet the needs of any pet. Premium food contains at least 80% pure meat, excluding offal. In the “Economy class” food group, manufacturers do not always faithfully comply with technical regulations and low-quality additives contribute to the development of gastrointestinal diseases and cause allergies. The most effective way to feed cats is natural food. Properly wean your pet from dry food and provide its diet with delicious and fresh food.
Reasons for changing the diet
The main reason is the indisputable proof that natural food is healthier than any ready-made food.
You need to change the food system if the following symptoms occur:
- Common problems with the gastrointestinal tract: constipation, diarrhea, diarrhea.
- Constant belching and regurgitation, the presence of bloody salivation.
- Abundant hair loss, there is a receding hairline.
- Recommendations of the veterinarian in connection with the peculiarities of the animal’s development, as well as after surgical operations.
- Improving the quality of life of the pet, improving its condition.
Disadvantages of dry food in cat nutrition
Industrial food is addictive because it contains a large amount of additives. The composition of popular brands lacks the necessary trace elements, their minimum amount does not cover the harm to the digestive system caused by other ingredients. Long-term use of dry food leads to diseases of the digestive and genitourinary systems, stomach, and kidneys.
Causes and consequences of a cat’s poor diet
- The reason:
High content of carbohydrates in the food.
Colic, bloating, ulcers, constipation, kidney failure.
- The reason:
Insufficient fluid intake.
Constipation, kidney stones, kidney disease.
- The reason:
Flavorings and flavorings in food.
The increase in blood sugar levels and diabetes.
To normalize the work of internal organs, you need to feed the cat with natural food. Changing the diet can be temporary or permanent, depending on the recommendations of the veterinarian and the animal’s health. The minimum food rotation period is 3 months. Frequent changes or combined meals will lead to poor health and diarrhea.
Daily diet of cats
Every day a cat should only eat one type of food:
- natural products;
- dry (granular);
When combined feeding, the stomach is overloaded and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract may develop. Give your pet food 2 times a day, preferably at a certain time – in the morning and in the evening. There should always be fresh water, which is changed during the day.
Rules for changing the power system
You need to transfer the animal from one type of food to another gradually. Since a sharp change will lead to stress. Keep in mind that the cat has developed a habit and taste preferences when using a certain food for a long time.
There are 4 ways to change the diet:
- Radical – a strict abolition of dry food, a sharp change of dry granules to natural products.
- Loyal – gradual introduction of natural products, switching the animal’s attention to similar home-made products.
- Combined – aimed at gradual habituation of the animal with a decrease in the proportion of dry food in the daily diet.
- Canning – changing the diet first to wet food, and then to natural.
No dry food – a radical method
There are 4 main stages of the transition:
- Preparation – natural and dry food are mixed, with a minimum amount of pellets. Such a system of nutrition for 2-3 days.
- The addition of biological additives. To stimulate the digestive tract, vitamins are added to food to stimulate the digestive system.
- Food food cleaning – you can not hide it, it is important to remove the food completely from the house, so that the cat does not smell or hear the familiar rustle. Give food to your pet-loving neighbors or feed stray animals.
- No indulgences – the cat may refuse to eat for a few days, but it will not be able to starve itself and will start eating unusual food. You can not give in to the “provocations” of the pet, as it will quickly understand how it can get the usual food.
The habituation period is 3-14 days.
Important! You can not use this method to change the diet of kittens under 12 months of age, since their digestive system is not yet fully formed.
Loyal transition method
The cat is given 2 bowls of food. One contains the usual dry food, and the other contains home – made food. Gradually, the volume of dry food is reduced, after which the animal stops eating and involuntarily switches attention to the bowl standing next to it. To increase the attractiveness of home-made food, add meat to it. In the first days, cereals and meat can be mixed with a blender to create a pleasant uniform consistency.
During the withdrawal period, add vitamins to maintain the balance of nutrients in the pet’s body.
The transition period is 14-21 days.
The combined method
Put 2 bowls of dry food, one of which is added water to make the pellets soft and give the impression of wet food. Gradually, the proportion of dry food decreases. When the cat has completely switched to soft food, in another bowl, start to add fish or meat mixed in a blender with the dealer.
Gradually, you can achieve visual similarity by consistently reducing the proportion of granules mixed with water. The transition to home-cooked food takes 30-35 days.
Wet food and canned food
The most gentle way for the cat’s digestive system is to replace dry food with canned food containing the usual flavorings, then with fish and meat mixed in a blender.
Replace dry food with canned food for 7-14 days, then gradually introduce home-made food.
Add one at a time:
- cooked meat – rabbit, Turkey, veal and lean pork;
The consistency of canned food is made the same to achieve maximum similarity. The transition period takes 91-120 days.
To reduce the stress level and encourage the animal during the diet change, buy treats that will be given after eating. This method of motivation immediately solves 2 problems – the body receives vitamins and a reward for eating the “right” lunch.
Follow the rules that will help the animal switch to natural food easily, without acquiring various types of diseases:
- Do not deviate from the selected type of feeding, as if the animal is not “blackmailed”. If necessary, consult your veterinarian to make sure your pet is well.
- Add vitamin supplements to your food, and you can also give them separately, as a bonus for good behavior.
- Do not mix straight food and dry food.
- Do not make allowances and stick to the chosen method of changing the diet.
- Change your pet’s water at least once a day and ensure that there is enough liquid throughout the day.
- Feed according to the schedule in the morning and evening.
- Do not apply the radical method to animals with diseases of the nervous system.
Transfer your cat to home-cooked food gradually, because the longer the adaptation period, the fewer diseases and health problems it will have in the future.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.