is it bad to switch cat food

An abrupt change in foods can cause your cat to have an upset stomach, so it’s best to change your pet’s diet gradually and systematically. You’ll need to research different types of cat food to determine which cat food is best for your cat based on life stage, lifestyle and health consideration.

Steps for Switching Cat Foods

Generally speaking, changing your cat’s food should be done gradually over a period of one to two weeks, unless your veterinarian advises otherwise for health reasons. This will help to prevent gastrointestinal distress from a sudden change in diet.

By using this guide, you can introduce the new flavor to most cats in a good way:

Days 1-2: Feed 75% old food and 25% new food.

Days 3-4: Change to a 50%-50% mix.

Days 5-6: Feed 75% new food and 25% old food.

Day 7: Generally, you can only feed the new food.

Revert back to the amount that was tolerated and stay there for a few days before moving on if you notice any indications on any given day that your cat isn’t handling the change well (such as vomiting, diarrhea, or not eating). Don’t give up if your cat takes two weeks or longer to adjust to a new diet—some cats are just not that patient.

Why should I change my cat’s food?

There are various factors that could lead you to determine that it’s time to switch your cat’s diet. Some of the common ones include:

  • You want to switch to a higher-quality food
  • Your veterinarian has recommended switching to a new diet
  • There is a recall on the food you currently feed your cat.
  • Depending on their stage of life, your pet requires a different diet (e g. , a food for senior cats).
  • Their current food is causing digestive problems
  • You should try giving your finicky cat something a little more agreeable to eat because they are picky eaters.

Regardless of the circumstances, there are several reasons your cat might be open to switching up their diet. However, abrupt dietary changes are generally discouraged unless your veterinarian specifically recommends them. However, the most effective strategy is usually to gradually introduce your cat to their new diet.

Reasons for Changing a Cat’s Food

The most significant justification for switching your cat’s food is probably when your veterinarian advises an instant dietary adjustment due to a medical condition. Or maybe the food your cat has always eaten has been recalled or discontinued, or it’s simply too expensive or hard to find these days.

If your cat just doesn’t seem to enjoy their food as much as they used to, you might also need to hunt for something else. Perhaps after reading up on cat nutrition, you want to give your cat a better-quality food, or you want to move from a high-carb dry food to a high-protein canned food. Age plays a role as well. Kittens must eventually switch to adult cat food, and adult cats will finally switch to a senior formula.

When you start a new diet for your cat, you don’t want them to go on a protracted hunger strike for whatever reason.

FAQ

Is it OK to feed my cat different brands of food?

Answer: There is nothing wrong with feeding a variety of brands and flavors of natural wet cat food. In fact, it is actually a good way to ensure they are receiving a well-balanced diet and supports cats with food sensitivities. It is not a good idea, however, to free feed the dry kibble, even natural dry cat foods.

How long does it take for a cat to adjust to new food?

You may be anxious to switch your cat’s food, particularly if the new food can help address weight or health concerns. Our experts recommend a gradual transition over a 7 to 10-day period, however. A slow transition helps avoid digestive upset and gives her time to adjust to the new flavors and textures.

Is it OK to switch cat food brands often?

Whatever the situation, there are lots of good reasons why your cat might welcome a change in diet. However, sudden diet changes are generally not recommended — unless, of course, this action is advised by your vet. But in most cases, the best approach is to transition your kitty to their new food gradually.

Can cats get sick from switching food?

Switching foods too fast can leave your feline friend with digestive upset, diarrhea, and vomiting, so whatever you do, avoid abrupt changes. When planning food transitions, think seven days. On the first day, offer your cat a mix of mostly the current food with a tiny taste of the new food.