How to Convince a Cat to Eat New Food

Cats are creatures of habit. Getting one to accept a new cat food requires patience and a plan such as the one described here.

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Learn how to take care of a cat or kitten in this cat care and grooming video series from Howcast. You'll learn how to give your cat medicine; clean your cat's teeth; massage your cat; care for an elderly cat; clip your cat's nails; groom your cat; make your own kitty litter and cat scratching post or pad; keep your cat safe in the car; and much more.

You Will Need

  • Regular mealtimes
  • Old cat food
  • New cat food
  • Cat food blend
  • Treat

Steps

  1. If at any time your cat starts vomiting, has loose stools, or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are introducing a new food. If problems persist, consult your veterinarian.

  2. Step 1

    Introduce the food at mealtimes

    Introduce the new food at regular mealtimes. If the cat does not finish it, take it away after half an hour. Offer it again at the next scheduled mealtime.

  3. Give the cat emotional encouragement to try the new food. Smack your lips and -- if you can -- salivate as you give it to the cat. Cats are responsive to human reactions to food.

  4. Step 2

    Introduce the food gradually

    Try introducing the food gradually over the course of a week by blending the old and new foods together if the cat continues to resist the new food. Increase the proportion of new food to old until you are feeding the cat 100 percent new food.

  5. Step 3

    Add a treat

    As an alternative, try mixing the new food with a treat that has a strong aroma. Then gradually reduce the amount of added treat over the next few days. Remember: cats won't eat what they can't smell. With these tricks, you'll persuade your cat to enjoy his new meal!

  6. Cats have a short intestinal tract designed to accommodate a diet of meat.

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