1.Introducing the flavor
A great start is to rub a small amount of raw food on your cat’s paw. During cleaning, your cat will lick their paw, familiarizing themselves with the new flavors and texture. Do this throughout the transition process, allowing your cat to gradually accept the new taste.
If you have been feeding your cat a consistent diet of dry or soft commercial food, don’t expect to one day suddenly fill their bowl with raw food and have them gobble it up. Start by mixing the new-to-them raw food in with the food they are used to. Gradually increase the ratio of raw to commercial food, as they become accustomed to the new flavor and texture.
3.From dry to soft, then soft to raw
Has your cat been eating dry food their whole lives? Use soft canned food as a transition device. It’s very difficult to go from dry cat food, directly to raw cat food. If you can get your cat off dry cat food and onto canned cat food first, you’ll be able to then transition them from the canned cat food to the raw cat food. Canned Tuna is also an excellent transition food, but be careful with this technique. Cats can easily become addicted to canned tuna, so tread lightly.
4.Dry food seasoning
As your cat becomes more accustomed to having raw pet food mixed with their usual diet, and you’ve greatly decreased the amount of commercial food in the mix, a final step may be to sprinkle crushed dry food over their bowl. The smell will add familiarity to their bowl, and gradually you’ll be able to remove these final traces of commercial food as well.
5. Be patient and work at your cat’s pace
This will be a slow and difficult process for your cat. Be patient, and allow your cat the time he or she needs to adapt to their new diet. You have nothing to gain by rushing them through this process, but the long-term benefits are well worth the effort. If you sense your cat resisting, back up a step and try again. Don’t give up! Your cat is worth it and deserves the healthiest diet you can provide them with.
*This article was researched from various sources including "The Real Poop on Pet Food: True Confessions of a Raw Feeder" by Dakota Bawden-Tutte