Cats are naturally carnivorous and require a diet rich in animal protein for longevity and to stay healthy. While opting for commercial cat foods can be convenient, many pet parents are switching to raw diets, as they are a more natural and nutrient-rich alternative. Transitioning your cat from commercial food to raw cat food comes with great benefits. However, the process itself can be challenging. When you are familiar with the step-by-step process given below, you can make a smooth and successful transition to a raw diet for your feline friend.
The Step-by-Step Transition Guide
A raw diet can aid in improved digestion, give your furry friend a healthier coat and skin, and improve their dental health. If you have realized the benefits of following a raw diet for your cat, here are the steps you can follow to help your cat gradually transition to a completely raw diet.
Step 1: Consult Your Veterinarian
It is extremely crucial to assess your cat’s health and dietary requirements before making any dietary changes. Therefore, make it a point to consult your vet to understand what your cat’s diet should comprise based on their current health. Most veterinarians can help you create a balanced raw diet plan that meets your cat’s daily dietary requirements.
Step 2: Do Your Research
While going to the vet should give you great insights into the right raw foods for your pet, you should also be aware of different types of raw foods, such as bones, meat, and organs, and their benefits. Further, determine the types of raw foods that your cat might require based on their age and breed. Once you do your bit of research, planning your cat’s diet will be significantly easier.
Step 3: Choose High-Quality Ingredients
The best way to ensure that your cat consumes good quality raw foods is to incorporate human-grade ingredients, such as raw meat, bones, and organs. Further, make it a point to buy fresh raw ingredients by shopping from your local butcher or pet store. It is recommended that you focus more on quality than quantity.
Step 4: Gradual Transition
The transition from store-bought commercial foods to a raw diet can be overwhelming for your fur baby if you choose to implement the change all at once completely. Therefore, give your pet adequate time to make the switch by introducing small amounts of raw ingredients alongside their current diet. The ideal way to do this would be to mix raw ingredients with their canned foods or kibble. You can gradually increase the portions of the raw food in your cat’s diet on a day-to-day basis so that they get the time to comfortably transition.
Step 5: Observe Your Cat
You should keep track of your cat’s reaction to raw foods whenever you increase the proportion of raw ingredients in their current diet. While some cats may develop an instant liking for raw foods, that may not be the case for every cat. Depending on your cat’s attitude towards raw foods, you can control the portions and give your pet more time to adjust to the new diet. Further, keep an eye out for signs of allergies or digestive issues.
Step 6: Focus on Hydration
Transitioning to a raw diet may cause a change in your cat’s daily water intake. Since raw foods retain more moisture, your cat may not be consuming enough water throughout the day. If that is the case, make sure that your cat stays hydrated by filling their bowls with water and encouraging them to have water at regular intervals.
Step 7: Complete Transition
As you slowly increase the raw food portions and your cat seems to eat their food well without experiencing any digestive issues, you can choose to make a complete transition. However, ensure that you include all the ingredients required for a balanced diet so that your cat receives all the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
Step 8: Add Variety
As already mentioned, you should opt for a variety of raw ingredients so that your cat’s diet is well-balanced and rich in nutrients. Having variety will also help ensure your cat does not get bored of the food.
Following these steps can help you and your cat make a gradual yet successful transition from commercial foods to a healthy, raw diet rich in nutrients. While you follow these steps, make sure that you take your cat for regular check-ups to monitor their health. If you have any concerns or questions, it would be best to get them resolved in a timely manner so that your cat stays healthy.