Why to Transition Slowly
If you introduce any new food too quickly, your cat may have diarrhea, constipation, vomit, or can even become lethargic due to GI distress. You’ll take your cat to the vet. If your vet is anti-raw, as so many are, they will blame the food. And they will be right – for the wrong reasons. This is not salmonella. This is kitty being transitioned too quickly.
If you’ve fed your cat kibble, did you ever read the bag? The advice is to transition your cat to the new food over 7 to 10 days: mix just a small amount of the new food into the existing food, and slowly increase the amount of new food and reduce the old food by a like amount. Rapid transitions cause GI upset. This is no different. The process of introducing food made with EZcomplete, no matter how much your cat likes it, should be similar.
While kitty enjoying the new food is wonderful, and makes the process much easier (!!), a transition that is too rapid will usually make your cat not feel well. Even if your cat is not new to raw feeding, your kitty may be new to some of the ingredients in EZcomplete fur Cats. The supplement contains New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Powder – many cats have never had this before. The supplement contains plant-based enzymes – many cats have never been given enzymes before. If a cat is new to raw of home cooked, then almost ALL of the ingredients, including the raw or cooked meat, will be new (human grade meat is not the same as pet grade)!
How to Transition Slowly
The rule of thumb is very simple: Start small. Go Slow. Problems? Back up, slow down.
With this in mind, do NOT start by making a big batch of food. Make just one meal. Store it in a baggie or container in the fridge.
If you plan to give ground food to your kitty, use 1.5 ounces (43g) of ground (boneless) meat. Add one scoop of EZcomplete fur Cats and water to the consistency you want the food.
If you plan to make chunked food, cut up 1.5 ounces (43g) of (boneless) meat into small slivers. Add one scoop of EZcomplete fur Cats and water to make the supplement stick to the meat. You can add more water when you serve it if you want there to be a bit of gravy.
Make additional single meals with that same protein as needed during this transition.
The First Meal(s)
Start small, increase slowly day-by-day, NOT meal-by-meal.
If there is any vomiting, back up, give a one or two day break, and start even smaller. If there is any diarrhea, back up, give a one or two day break, and start even smaller.
If your kitty “meatloafs” in discomfort after a meal, or if your kitty is lethargic, or not acting normal in any way, back up, give a one or two day break, and start even smaller.
For Subsequent Meal(s)
Keep your eye on the litterbox and be aware of your cat’s behavior. If there is any vomiting or diarrhea, any signs of nausea, back up to the amount you last used before there was a problem. Stay there for two days, and then increase the amount of new food by one-quarter teaspoon, instead of one-half teaspoon.
Method 1: mix ONE-HALF teaspoon into your cat’s existing food.
Method 2: place ONE-HALF teaspoon in the same dish as your cat’s existing food.
You can reduce the amount of other food by one-half teaspoon.
Feed just one-half teaspoon of the new food with existing meals for the first day. If you do not start in the morning, use that amount for all of the meals the following day.
If kitty did well the first day with one-half teaspoon, increase the amount of new food from one-half teaspoon to one teaspoon at each meal.
Days Three and Beyond
Increase the amount of new food by one-half teaspoon each day (decreasing the old food by the same amount) – NOT each meal – until your kitty is eating meals that are 100% food made with EZcomplete. Again, use only one protein until they are eating 100% EZcomplete.
If at any point your kitty has a reaction to the new food, back up, slow down.
Again, make additional SINGLE meals as need.
Continue to use the same protein until your kitty is eating 100% new food (EZcomplete).
To Add a New Protein
Use food made with that first protein and EZcomplete to introduce a second protein into the kitty’s diet. Repeat the process you just went through introducing food made with EZcomplete and the former meat/protein, but using food made with the second protein being introduced into the food your kitty is successfully eating at 100% with the first protein you just introduced. Follow the same process until your kitty is eating food made 100% with the second protein. Now you can rotate between those two. Use them to introduce (using the same, slow process) a third protein, &etc.
For example: If you introduced Chicken with EZcomplete first, use that as a “Base” to introduce a second protein into the diet – let’s say you now want to introduce Pork + EZcomplete as the second protein. Once your cat is eating 100% Chicken + EZcomplete, that is the “old food,” and “Pork + EZcomplete” is now the new food, being introduced slowly. Simply follow the same guidelines explained above.
Why not Start with Large Batches?
Raw food is NOT at all like canned food. This is a minimally processed food, and it must be thought of as you would if you were transitioning yourself as an adult from never having ever eaten any fresh fruit or salad to a diet that is only fresh fruit or salad. Your body will most likely freak out if you switch all at once. You must give your GI system time to adjust to it. Imagine if you are a vegan and all of a sudden you eat an all-you-can-eat BBQ – how would you feel? Yes – you’ll feel like you ate a brick, and most likely quite sick!
It is the same for our kitties, and if you transition too quickly, you simply have to expect problems – which is why we recommend a slow, controlled transition.
You need to determine which protein your cat likes and does well with, in that small amount, before continuing. If you had been eating only all dry cereal or canned stew, if transitioning to an all fresh fruit diet, you may not do well with oranges or pineapple, but you may do well with apples. When you’re stable on apples, then you can try adding pear. The process with our cats and the new raw or homecooked food must be thought of in the same way.
Start small. Go slow. Problems? Back up, slow down.
This blog post has been added as an article in the How To section of the website.