Post Published on April 5, 2016 | Last Updated on April 1, 2021 by Jenny
Tips for Transitioning Cat Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food
If there is one thing I am passionate about on this site, it is to spread the word that a dry food diet for cats is not a good choice for cat or human. All the reasons why I am opposed to dry food can be found on our best canned cat food page or you can read Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM to learn more.
If I had a quarter for every time a reader sends me an email about a problem with a cat on a dry food diet, I would be a rich woman. Usually the owner (and the owner’s vet! YIKES!) has no idea that dry food is the culprit or a big part of the problem. Dry food problems I hear about on a regular basis: kidney failure, kidney stones, bladder stones, bladder infections, diabetes, UTIs, constipation, tar-like poop, obesity, lack of energy and more.
When I got my Ragdoll cats, Charlie and Trigg, I had them on a dry and wet food diet. After having this site for a few years and after reading, Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, Charlie and Trigg were switched to wet food only (Read how we switched them to wet food only). My mom quickly followed suit after Murphy was diagnosed with kidney stones.
I know, some of you are thinking about their teeth – there is a HUGE MYTH that dry food helps to keep a cat’s teeth clean. This is a fallacy perpetuated by the big pet food companies, so they sell more dry food. Again, Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM will have the answers to your questions about that.
A reader wrote in the other day explaining the difficulty she has been having transitioning her kitty – and her kitty is in dire need to get off of dry food – he is having reoccurring bladder infections and losing weight (he has tested fine – and the vet is stumped!). It upsets me when a vet is stumped about a kitty with recoccuring bladder infections and the first thing not being examined is what the cat is eating. I guess because I had a thyroid disease for 8 years, I think of things differently. Western medicine addresses the problem, whereas Eastern medicine tends to address the cause. Most vets operate from a Western medicine perspective (since they are trained as such) – when we need to start with the cause. Please read Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM to understand this more in depth.
So I made the following video with my parents’ Ragdoll cats, Caymus and Murphy, to show some of the things I do to get them to eat wet food – this occurs too when we try new foods.
As you’ll see in the video, my parents have a Cuisinart Mini Chopper Grinder that is great for breaking up kibble quickly – and then you can sprinkle some ground up kibble on the top of wet food. So that they understand it’s something to eat and also so that they might be attracted to eating it.
In the video, I offer a Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Variety Pack Cat Food Pouch to Caymus and Murphy (they have been on wet food only for 5 years or so, and this is a brand/flavor they like – so it wasn’t difficult to get them to eat it). And then I show how you can sprinkle ground up dry food or the Purina Fortiflora Feline Nutritional Supplement (learned about it from Dr. Pierson) or the dust left from Whole Life pet treats. The Purina Fortiflora Feline Nutritional Supplement is essential for kitties who have had a round of antiobiotics.
Yes, some kitties live their entire lives on dry food and do not have the medical issues listed above. This post is just to discuss tips and tricks on how to transition if you choose that route with your kitty.
Catinfo.org also has a PDF that you can print off that gives you tips for transitioning.
Have you transitioned your kitty off of dry food? What does s/he eat now? And what did you have to do to transition them? Got any tips or tricks?