Starting Your Cat on a New Food
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Steps to Switch Cat Foods


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Starting Cat on New Food Ok, so you've found the perfect healthy food for your pet. Now comes the fun part - giving your pet the first taste. But don't feed too much too soon. . . make sure you introduce the food slowly, or your pet could suffer from stomach upset, vomiting, excess gas, constipation, or diarrhea.

Here's Why. . .

Normal bacteria in the intestine help your pet digest food. A sudden change in food can result in changes to the number and type of bacteria and her ability to help digest food. These changes can lead to intestinal upset. Therefore, your pet must be switched to a new food slowly.

Here's What You Should Do. . .

Switch your pet's food gradually over the course of 7-10 days. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for three days. Then make it 50-50 for three more days, then 75% new food and 25% old food for three more days. If your pet seems comfortable with this progression, you can start feeding 100% new food.

If at any time your pet starts vomiting, has loose stools, or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching the food. And as always, if problems continue to occur, consult your veterinarian.

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