How to safely change your cat’s diet according to Rory the Vet

How to safely change your cat’s diet according to Rory the Vet

Changing your cat’s food isn’t always easy, as discussed in our post about how to feed fussy felines but with the help of our resident Vet, Rory, we’ll explain why an insect-based cat food could be the answer.

When to change your cats diet

Most cat owners change their pet’s food once or twice in their cat’s lifetime - for many the first being when they grow from kitten to adult and then usually if they develop an intolerance, or we as owners decide to change food types. But introducing a new type of food is not as easy as you think, especially when it comes to cats. 

You would be forgiven for thinking that on Monday you can be feeding your furry friend their trusty old favourite and then Tuesday morning open a new bag and voila, the transition is complete… It’s not quite so simple I’m afraid.

Firstly, with cats being the discerning beasts they are, this often causes food aversion and induces fussiness. Any experienced cat owner out there will probably know that some cats are so fussy that they will only have wet food on Thursdays and that one particular biscuit is for Saturdays at 3pm… jeez.

Change cat food over slowly

Changing food over quickly can also cause an upset stomach. Imagine eating the same food day in, day out and then suddenly one day eating something completely different. Chances are your stomach wouldn’t be so great either…

‘Gradual’ is the key when introducing your cat to a new food. You will know your cat best and if they are on the fussy end of the spectrum then it is likely you will have to take this slower than most. I have even had clients in the past have to do it one biscuit at a time (don’t worry that is pretty extreme)!

The general recommendation for this transition is over the course of a week. On days one and two, make sure there’s a 75% old food to 25% new food split. You can then slowly increase the proportion of new food until on day seven, you’re feeding your cat almost exclusively new food. 

If this doesn’t work, then you can slow it down even further and introduce the new food gradually over the course of two - three weeks.  If you find that your cat’s stomach doesn’t agree with the new food at first, you can think about adding in a probiotic to try and help the change. And if you have tried slowing down, really, really gradual changes and it STILL isn’t seeming to work, then maybe that food just isn’t for your cat. And that’s perfectly okay too – every cat will have its own palate.  

With Lovebug, for example, because it is a novel protein (i.e. insects rather than beef or chicken), it may take a little getting used to. This means it’s even more important that we stick to these gradual change guidelines to make sure we aren’t upsetting our cat’s tummy. 

If our palatability tests are anything to go by, your cat is going to LOVE the taste of Lovebug, so no matter what tricks they try and pull – the kitty eyes, the cold treatment, the mew-sical performance – a slow and steady transition will work best.

Otherwise, if your cat gorges themselves on Lovebug, they may make themselves sick, and if they associate their upset tummy with their new food, no matter how tasty, they might decide Lovebug is not for them!

Why is Lovebug great for sensitive cat tummies?

Finally, allergies and intolerance are something we see really commonly in cats. But one of the really exciting things about of Lovebug is that it is a “novel” protein which make it a hypoallergenic cat food.

This means that if your cat is suspected to have an intolerance to more conventional proteins, such as beef or chicken, then there’s a chance they may be less likely to have a negative reaction to Lovebug! Great huh!? 

Of course, we always recommend speaking to your vet first before you make any changes to your cat’s diet and following our guide to switching cat food