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Author Topic: Transitioning foods  (Read 3684 times)
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Mandycat
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« on: March 04, 2011, 10:09:42 PM »

The recommendation seems to be that when you introduce a new food to your cat that you transition to it slowly by adding a little bit at a time to the regular food to prevent any kind of digestive upset. That seems to be a reasonable thing to do.  However, when I read posts on here about people trying new brands of food, I am getting the impression that transitioning is not actually done and it doesn't seem to cause problems.  I would like to try to add some additional foods to Mandy's diet, but it seems that it would take a long time to do each food so slowly.  Years ago, at times when my cats got too picky, I would buy several brands of foods and offer them without any transitioning just to see what they liked and didn't like and I don't remember any problems.  This was many years ago when I really knew nothing about what one should or shouldn't do in this instance.  My question is - do you transition slowly with new foods, or do you just offer a new food all at once, and does it seem to make any difference if you have tried it both ways?   Huh   
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Fizzy1
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 10:37:52 PM »

The only time I remember doing a slow transition was with Fizzy's renal food, hoping that would get her to eat it!  It didn't work Sad  The rest of the time I think I just gave them the new foods with no transition and no problems.  But I really didn't change their food that much before they both got sick.



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Mandycat
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 10:49:06 PM »

Thanks, Fizzy.  I did the slow transition to the Hill's c/d when Mandy had to have that, but that was what I was told to do, so I did it thinking that she was going to have to eat that food forever.  That, of course, wasn't in HER plans!!   Roll Eyes  She did eat it for 6 months, but then decided she didn't want it at all. So, back to Fancy Feast we went.  I don't mind just giving her the FF, but I do also realize that if something happened with it that I don't have a proven back up.  So, I thought I might want to try a few other things and see what she likes.  I just don't want to spend a week or more introducing each food.  Since I only have the one cat, 2 days is about the max I would want to feed from any one can before worrying about spoilage.

ETA:  Ironically, when I decided to try something else last Fall, it was Wellness!   Shocked  Fortunately, I didn't have a problem, but Mandy also didn't seem to like it so much, so I stopped using it.  Thank goodness!
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 10:51:49 PM by Mandycat » Logged
NedF
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2011, 11:17:50 PM »

Whenever I changed Gremlin and Thunder's foods, I mixed the foods together for maybe a couple days at most. This was dry food only. There were no major problems that I remember. I've never done a slow transition. With wet food, I just gave it to them without mixing it at all.
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lesliek
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 06:25:03 AM »

I used to always slowly add new foods, but don't any more. Now they eat different things with no trouble other than a little soft poo at 1st & only for Trooper & Oreo. I think unless they have a sensitive stomach you are ok just trying the new 1.
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bug
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 06:41:26 AM »

I just give them whatever new food I've bought without transitioning. I always want to see what that new food does without having any interference from the old food. That way I can really tell if the new stuff agrees with them.
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catbird
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 09:25:46 AM »

I have never, ever had to do gradual transitions with cat foods, wet or dry.  Like bug, I just give them the new food so that I have a clear picture of how it affects them.  We've never had any upset stomachs or anything as a result, but then, I've not had cats with IBD or similar conditions.

All my cats have always been used to eating a variety of food; as I've posted elsewhere, I never feed them the same thing two meals in a row.  I see this as a more natural way of eating (cats who hunt for themselves catch a variety of prey), and I think it's probably kept my cats more adaptable, too.

I think it's OK to just go ahead and feed the new food unless the cat has a history of digestive problems.
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Sandi K
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2011, 10:08:43 AM »

I think it sort of depends...if you have a Sophers or not, lol  Grin I think if you have a picky cat or one with digestive issues, it might work better if you slowly transition.  With Sophs, it doesnt matter, anything new, whether its mixed in or not, forgeddaboutit, lol With KiKi and her IBD issues, we had to transition and extremely slow, slower than the normal reccomendations but she would eat about anything.  Another thing you could try is feeding her the normal food you use but put out a separate bowl at the same time with just a spoonful of the other food in it to see if she will eat it sort of as a treat.  If she does you could slowly offer more of that in the separate bowl until she is eating a larger amount and then you can see if she is having any digestive issues as well.  Good luck and I'd be interested in hearing if you have any success and if so, with what food.  Im always looking for ideas.  We thought we had Sophs eating at least a different flavor of FF but that stopped abruptly.   Roll Eyes
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bug
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2011, 04:35:46 PM »

Sandi, have you tried sprinkling some dry Prowl on Sophers food? Seems my cats really like it as a dry treat. Maybe she'd like it too  Undecided?
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petslave
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 09:44:40 PM »

I've rarely transitioned mine to new foods either, mainly because I always managed to run out of the old food before doing so.  I found if they had trouble with the new food, it was ongoing and not because of the quick switch.

I really like Honest Kitchen food for the dogs, but when I had my cats on Prowl during the recall, several got bad diarrhea on it.  Might want to try with caution for IBD cats since they are so sensitive.
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Mandycat
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2011, 10:44:37 PM »

Thanks to everyone for your experiences.  You made me feel better about just starting a new food all at once.  I bought one can of Blue Wilderness Chicken, 95% meat, grain-free and gave it to her for dinner Sunday night.  She ate every bit of it!   Grin  I don't think I want to use this every day, though, because it is pretty high calorie compared to Fancy Feast (about 1/3 more calories per can).  She doesn't need to add any weight!  Now to wait to see if her digestive system tolerated it okay!  Undecided  I also have to find some other decent brands to try.  They have to be pate type because she is toothless and doesn't handle chunks well.  Some good brands I have seen here all seem to be chunky.  She also can't have anything that is totally fish.  I have found recently that the FF Salmon and Salmon and Shrimp tend to give her soft stools, so I am now avoiding seafood types of food.  She never really liked fish foods too much anyway, but I added these to give her variety and it was a mistake.  I don't think I will ever switch completely from the Fancy Feast because I know she likes it, and, despite what others may think about the big companies, I have faith in Purina.  I hope that I don't ever find that that trust is misplaced!   Tongue  Undecided   
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JustMe
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2011, 11:28:45 PM »

I've never transitioned wet foods at all, but once they are used to Fancy Feast or Friskies, it has been a challenge to switch them to other foods (at least for my cats) because they crave the FF or Friskies.  With dry foods, I do transition over a week for cats and dogs. Davey has had biopsy diagnosed IB since being a youngster, so when he was on dry, I had to transition him gradually from foods with grain to grain-free.  Now, the grain-containing canned foods sometimes give my cats loose stools, particularly barley and oat.
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catwoods
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2011, 02:11:34 PM »

I've never made slow transitions between different canned foods, and the cats never had problems due to the changes. I think they enjoy the novelty.
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Mandycat
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2011, 08:58:11 PM »

No digestive issues from the Blue Wilderness.  I will try to find some other brands to try.  I just wish I had more trust in other companies!   Undecided
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