If you’re used to constantly leaving a bowl of dry
food down for your cat to eat, one of the very first steps you must take
if you’re serious about switching your kitty to a diet of raw food is
to stop free feeding kibble.
Cats get addicted to dry food, so this may be the
hardest step, especially if your cat doesn’t also eat canned food. They
become like heroin addicts on kibble, so you really need a lot of
patience if this is the case. (You can do some reading here http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-03/chemistry-kibble on the topic) ..
For cats that will only eat dry food:
Your cats will get hungry, but that’s good. Nothing
enhances a meal more than having an appetite. Just make sure each cat
does eat, every day.
Please note that this does not necessarily mean
you should stop feeding kibble altogether immediately. Rather the idea
is to begin weaning your cat off kibble by discontinuing unlimited
access to the 24 hour buffet, and instead only letting him have access
to it a few times a day for limited periods of time.
Cats that are used to grazing on doom nuggets (as
they’re affectionately called by many experienced raw feeders) whenever
they please are a bit like kibble junkies. And if they’re continually
allowed to munch, munch, munch a little now and then to get their fix
anytime they want throughout the day, they never really experience any
hunger, and so may never develop much of an appetite for trying
If kibble is all he eats, there’s no need to force
your kitty to go cold turkey from his junk. Rather the answer is to
remove that bottomless, permanent bowl of kibble from your cat’s world,
and instead start getting into the habit of offering it to him only a
few times a day. Only allow your cat to eat that kibble for a few
limited periods of time each day, say for about 20 or 30 minutes at a
go. Let him eat his fill and once he’s done, pick the bowl back up and
put the kibble away, out of reach.
Instead of leaving a bowl of kibble out for your cat
all the time, only offer it to him for a few limited periods each day
and then remove it.
Making several “meal times” like this, instead
of perpetually free feeding you cat dry food, will serve a couple of
purposes. First, it will put a bit of an edge your cat’s appetite which
will definitely work to your advantage as you help him make the switch
to raw. Secondly, it will pave the way to breaking the cycle of your
cat’s addiction to the starchy grain based carbohydrates that are found
in most commercial kibble – which by the way have absolutely no place
whatsoever in the diet of an obligate carnivore such as a cat.
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