There’s no doubt, feeding an ancestral natural grain-free diet high in meat & organ content is the way to go, and is a choice that your furry friends will thank you for. It’s an approach that provides all the nutritional goodness your pet needs at every life stage. There is no need to add expensive supplements as you are already feeding every morsel of goodness & the nutrients that your dog and cat requires from its food. And you can avoid those expensive vet bills that come with feeding a lower quality kibble diet. So, you’ve decided… Feeding natural is the way to go. Good choice! You’re in good company. Increasing numbers of pet owners recognise the value of a high quality, raw-meat-based diet. You may initially encounter some resistance from your dog or cat when you make the switch, but here’s how to make it easier.
Transitioning your Cat to a new diet is VERY different than transitioning your dog. Cats are very suspicious of change and can take a little longer to adjust to new foods. Getting cats to change from one food to another can be a time consuming process. It does not have any bearing on the food and it does not mean that your cat does not like ZIWI® Peak if it walks away from it for a few days. It just means your cat is acting normally and is very suspicious of change. Many cats act this way towards new food. Our message is to be patient, persevere, and take the time to hand feed if necessary. The results from changing are worth the extra time and patience. Your cat will love you for it! If your cat has been on a kibble diet or a diet high in carbohydrates, it is likely that their gut and bowel health is all out of balance. If this is the case, we recommend that it is good to start on our wet food and slowly introduce the air-dried to it.
- Calculate feeding amounts on a daily basis using our feeding calculator. This will provide you with an accurate starting point specific to your cat’s activity level, weight, size and age.
- Take a gradual approach, introducing ZIWI® Peak over a minimum of five days. At first, swap 20% of your cat’s old diet for ZIWI® Peak. Then each day increase the amount of ZIWI® Peak fed by 20% until after 5 days you are feeding 100% ZIWI® Peak. Remember to decrease the existing food by the same amount. Slower is better than faster.
- For small cats we recommend that you weigh the food on reliable scales as any mistake caused by eye judgement can result in overfeeding. We know from experience, it can be tempting to want to put more in your cat’s bowl as it looks like they are getting such a small amount of food - however, rest assured, there is sufficient protein and energy (kcal) in the recommended amount to give your cat all its daily needs. Why? Because our air-dried food is made from over 90% real raw meat and organs, with the moisture gently removed using our unique air-drying process.
- It is normal for your cat to experience soft stools during the first 1 to 2 weeks. This is completely normal as the cat’s flora and fauna in the gut “cleans” itself out and adapts to the new diet.
- Once the transition period has completed the stool should be firm and you will notice less volume than before. If the stool remains soft or runny, it is usually an indication that you are overfeeding. We advise at this point to reduce the daily feed amount to suit your cat. For cats with really sensitive tummies, it may take a couple of goes to get the feeding amount perfect. However, overfeeding is not always the cause of soft stools. It can also mean that your cat’s gut & bowel health is not balanced and a probiotic may be required.
- Treats count! You must add up all food and treats your cat gets in 1 day. Too many treats given on top of the food amount will result in over feeding. So calculate treats as a part of the total daily feed amount.
- Is your cat a picky eater? You can feed a combination of the Air-dried and the Moist canned food if you wish to. Just reduce the amount fed of each by half. For example, feed 50% Air-dried and 50% Moist. If your cat is an especially picky eater, a helpful hint is to rotate proteins. Each time you purchase a new bag of our Air-Dried Cuisine or Moist cans, buy a new flavour… This works for us!
- The older the cat (or the longer it has been eating a kibble processed diet) the longer the cat may need to transition to the new diet. So you will need to be patient with your cat and persevere. You may need to extend the transition over a few weeks, introducing a little more ZIWI® Peak each day. It’s normal for your cat to take a while to become accustomed to new food.
- It’s as important as anything. Your cat should always have access to fresh, clean water. Cats do not drink a lot of water however, but it does aid your cat’s metabolic function.
Dogs and cats are very sensitive and can pick up on any hesitation or reluctance shown by you. It is important that you are confident in your choice to switch your dog or cats diet. So be positive!