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How should I transition my cat from one dry food to another?

2 min read

Transitioning your cat from one dry food to another requires careful planning and patience to ensure a smooth and successful change. Sudden changes in diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, stress, and refusal to eat. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you transition your cat safely.

Why Transition Gradually? #

Cats are known for their sensitive digestive systems and their often finicky eating habits. Abrupt changes in their diet can lead to:

  • Gastrointestinal issues: Such as vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • Food aversion: Cats may refuse to eat the new food if the change is too sudden.
  • Nutritional imbalance: Ensuring a gradual transition helps maintain a balanced diet during the changeover.

Step-by-Step Guide to Transitioning Dry Cat Food #

1. Choose the Right Time #

Begin the transition when your cat is healthy and stress-free. Avoid starting the process during times of stress, such as moving, introducing new pets, or after medical procedures.

2. Gradual Introduction (7-10 Days) #

A slow and gradual introduction is key. Here’s a suggested schedule:

  • Days 1-2: Mix 25% of the new dry food with 75% of the old food.
  • Days 3-4: Mix 50% of the new dry food with 50% of the old food.
  • Days 5-6: Mix 75% of the new dry food with 25% of the old food.
  • Days 7-10: Transition to 100% of the new dry food.

3. Monitor Your Cat’s Reaction #

During the transition, closely observe your cat for any signs of gastrointestinal distress or refusal to eat. Common symptoms to watch for include:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in stool consistency
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to eat

If any of these symptoms occur, slow down the transition process. Before progressing, it may be necessary to extend each phase by a few days or even revert to the previous mix ratio.

4. Maintain Hydration #

Ensure your cat has constant access to fresh water, especially during the transition. Proper hydration supports digestion and overall health.

5. Consistency is Key #

Stick to the same feeding schedule and avoid giving treats or additional food types during the transition. Consistency helps your cat adjust to the new food more easily.

Troubleshooting Common Issues #

  • Refusal to Eat: Slow down the transition if your cat refuses to eat the new food. Sometimes, mixing a small amount of wet food with dry food can make it more palatable.
  • Persistent Gastrointestinal Issues: If your cat continues to have digestive issues, consult your veterinarian. They may recommend a different transition strategy or identify underlying health issues.
Updated on May 19, 2024
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How the score is calculated?

The actual calculation of the score is based on sophisticated and advanced algorithm that takes into account multiple parameters.

To simplify the explanation, the calculation is based on three main criteria:

(1) Amount of protein (more is better)

(2) Amount of carbohydrates (less is better)

(3) Quality and source of ingredients.

Based on that 3 main criteria, 9 score calculation rules are used to compare the different foods.

One major assumption is that the closer an ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the greater its relative weight and contribution to the food.

In general, cat food is composed of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein is the most important component in a cat’s diet, and cats primarily get their protein from animal meat.

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrates are controversial in a cat’s diet, as cats are obligate carnivores and typically consume very few carbohydrates.

Fibers play an important role in digestion and food absorption, and vitamins and minerals are essential for different organism functions.

Dry matter values are used to compare the amount of nutrients in different cat foods.
This means that moisture is excluded from the equation to provide a more accurate comparison.

Putting all of these and more into a formula results in a product score.

The maximum score a cat food can receive is 100.
Points are added or removed based on the score calculation rules.