Cat Diet | How to Safely Change a Cat’s Diet
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

How to Safely Change a Cat’s Diet



A cat’s diet will need to be changed at least twice during its life time. Adult cats will need to eat cat food instead of kitten food, and senior cats will need to eat senior food instead of adult cat food.

Potential Causes

From time to time, for health or some other reason, a cat’s diet may need to be changed. For example, the pet may develop hairball problems and require a hairball formula diet. Or, it may need a special diet for kidney problems, weight management or food allergies. Unfortunately, because cats tend to be picky eaters, it can be quite challenging to transition them from one diet to another. Many cats will simply refuse to eat the unfamiliar food. This can become dangerous because cats have especially high nutritional requirements for protein, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids and need to eat regularly. If they don’t get regular nourishment cats can develop a potentially dangerous condition called hepatic lipidosis, or “fatty liver syndrome.” This condition is especially common in overweight cats that suddenly become anorexic.

How to Change a Cat’s Diet

Owners should not try to “wait it out” until their cat gets hungry enough to eat a new diet. A much safer technique is to gradually mix the new cat food in with the existing diet and slowly being increasing the percentage of the new food over time. This may take several weeks, so be patient. A slow dietary transition will also help the cat’s digestive system adjust to the new food gradually without causing indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal upset. In some cases, cats just won’t like the taste or texture of a particular food and never will accept it. If that happens the owner may have to switch to a different brand, aroma, or flavor of food. Remember, cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell and a less well-developed sense of taste. They tend to prefer canned food that is served at or slightly above room temperature, and they almost always turn their noses up at food that is served straight out of the refrigerator in a chilly clump. Of course, like all pets, cats should have free access to fresh water at all times, unless a veterinarian recommends otherwise for some health-related reason.

Source: PetWave


Cat Care

General Cat Care Guide: General guidelines for how to properly care for your cat...

Cat Boarding

Owners should always be prepared to have a place for their cats to go if...

Neutering Male Cats

Neutering Male Cats Guide: Veterinarian reviewed information on Neutering Male Cats. Learn all about what...

Cat Grooming

Cat grooming is not simply a matter of good looks, its also a matter of...

Halloween Safety Tips for Cats

Halloween Safety Tips for Cats Guide: Veterinarian reviewed information that discusses Halloween Safety Tips for...


Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Email Friend about Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2015 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.