By Dr. Dirk Dekens
If you’ve been thinking about switching your pet to a raw diet, but you are a beginner in the raw food department, here are some suggestions on the best way to transition.
Dogs and cats are different when it comes to their food preferences, mostly because cats tend to be more choosy with what they eat.
What to consider when switching a cat to raw food
For cats, texture and smell are the most important thing. Switching a cat overnight to raw food is not going to work, so you will have to use the slow method of transitioning. For cats that are eating kibble, use the slow method to first transition them to canned, moist food and then transition them again by slowly introducing a raw diet.
The ‘slow method’ of switching cats to a raw diet
- Switch your cat from a canned food diet to a raw diet over 5-14 days
- Don’t combine raw and kibble or raw and canned in the same bowl.
- Start by giving your cat their usual meal and add a small meal of raw food during the day.
- Keeping adding a little bit more raw food day by day until one meal per day is raw
- Gradually continue adding raw food until all meals are raw diet
What should I do if my cat is not liking the raw food?
First, try different flavours. Your cat may enjoy food with more fish, or poultry, for example. Another important factor is food temperature. Raw food should not be served frozen or cold. It should be at room temperature, or even a little warmer, so it will smell appealing to your cat.
More on raw feeding for pets
I feed a raw diet and have written a few more blogs on the topic. If you would like more information on feeding raw click on the links below
If you have questions or concerns about switching your pet to a raw food diet, please call our clinic in NW Calgary at 403-615-8016 to talk one of our vets. We’d love to help you give your pet the benefit of a raw diet!