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How to Change a Cats Diet

Published date: 08 March 2024

Cats have the reputation of being ‘fussy’, because of this many owners fear changing their dinner. It is true that cats are sensitive to change, however this doesn’t mean we can’t slowly switch their diets.

The first thing to understand, is that our furry feline friends are very different to us, especially with the way they approach food. Did you know cats have a sixth sense, referred to as the ‘The Taste of Smell’?

Inside the roof of a cat’s mouth is a handy sensory organ, this organ picks up the scent and nutritional value of food. This means that before your cat even takes their first bite, they are taking in valuable information about a new food.

For more information on cat’s magic senses, check out our Guide to Fussy Cats.

So, with this in mind here are some methods you can use to change your cat’s food slowly.

1) The Two Bowl Method

Pop a bowl of their new improved diet, near to their current food dish. At first expect your cat to essentially ignore this new bowl…

Remember cats are taking in information through their sense of smell! By popping this new bowl of food down every time you feed your feline, you are allowing them to get more familiar with the scent.

Eventually your cat will begin to investigate the new food. At first, they will likely walk over and sniff or paw at the biscuits. When your cat finally strolls up and takes their first bite, this is the moment of victory!

2) Offer as Treats

What cat doesn’t love a treat? Try introducing the new food as a treat during training or after play.

This helps to build a positive connection between your cat and the new food.

Rewarding your cat after a play session is a brilliant way to complete their natural hunting cycle. To discover more about play, read our Guide to Playing with Cats.

3) Microwave Their Kibble!

This will certainly sound a bit strange but bear with me!

Add a splash of water to your cat’s new dry food, then pop in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. This brings out the natural oils and makes food smell much more appealing.

Cats pick up on the taste of smell better, when the food is just above room temperature.

I hope you have great success in switching your cat’s diet. Remember patience is key, any diet change should be expected to take at least 2 weeks.

If you want some in-person cat advice, head over to your local Pets Corner.

Check out our other cat blogs.

Written by Lucy Marcham

Lucy teaches all aspects of the Pets Corner curriculum and specialises in animal nutrition, ensuring that our staff have the right knowledge and understanding of pet diets to assist customers with confidence and care.