As I’ve mentioned before I have been transitioning my three cats from dry food to low-carb canned food. It was not as easy or quick as I had originally thought. I started this crazy switch to “paleo kitty food” in April and it’s only recently that they are eating all of the food without refusing altogether or vomiting later.
After going through dozens of types, they have settled on: Wellness Core, Wellness Healthy Indulgence, Nature’s Variety Homestyle and Nature’s Variety Instinct. The biggest hurdle was finding flavors and textures that all three liked. I wasn’t willing to keep buying duck for one, chunks for the other, etc. Once they are fully settled, I’ll start introducing raw food. There are some packaged raw brands that I’ll start with (e.g. Feline’s Pride, Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw) and eventually once I am sure it’s worth the trouble, I hope to be making this on my own.
- Never let your cat go more than 1 day without eating. They can become deathly sick very quickly. If they refuse breakfast, lunch and then dinner, it’s time to give in and feed them their normal food.
- Don’t expect this to be a quick process. It may seem like they will never accept the new food but if you keep at it, eventually they will adjust.
- The more cats you are transitioning, the more longer the process will take. Each cat has different preferences and it may take a while to find something that everyone agrees on.
- Younger cats or cats used to wet food will be much more cooperative than older cats or cats fed exclusively dry food. Ideally cats should go directly to raw or canned food after being weaned.
- Remove all traces of dry food from the house. They can smell it and will “hold out” for what they are used to.
Now that the worse part of the transition is over, I am noticing many improvements in all three cats. Which was some much needed motivation to keep at it! :)
- They are all much more affectionate. I cannot stress this enough. Maybe I’ve finally made them realize who’s the boss or at least who’s the person who feeds them!
- Sola sits on our laps all the time now and meows like crazy when thwarted by a laptop.
- SilverBelle has gone back to her old favorite sleeping spot, my chest. Luckily she’s only 4 lbs so she still fits.
- Big Red follows us through the house and especially loves to supervise in the kitchen. He has his own stool now in an out of the way place to prevent being stepped on.
- Kittenish hijinks are back in full force. They sleep less and are more playful. Whereas previously Sola would just watch me waste my time frantically dangling expensive toys for his amusement, he now delights in destroying said toys. Good Kitty.
- Their fur is softer. They had a big improvement from high carb kibble to low carb kibble but it keeps getting better the longer they are on quality canned food.
- Less vomit! The old “normal” was cleaning up kitty puke a few times a week and now it’s down to 2x a month. It has even helped with Sola’s formidable hair balls.
- Better litter box habits. SilverBelle would occasionally have trouble with diarrhea and Sola was plagued with “dingleberries”. This has pretty much stopped completely.
- Big Red has lost 2 lbs and is down to 13 lbs. He still has maybe 1-2 more lbs to go but this is a safe rate of weight loss.
- Big Red’s neurosis is much less pronounced. He used to become upset and frantically/obsessively lick his left shoulder when his butt was scratched or petted. It sounds funny but was a sign of brain abnormality. Now he enjoys a good butt scratch and does the standard “hydraulic kitty butt” maneuver to get more.
- I can throw away my alarm clock. I prefer Big Red’s “I’m a starving kitty” meow over a blaring alarm anyway.