Can I Disguise the Raw Food During the Transition Period?
– aka the “Bribe” or Gupta Greeting …
If you do need to continue feeding commercial food during the transition, you may need to get a bit crafty to help your kitty learn to like his new raw food. Therefore as an additional incentive you should begin to disguise the raw food as necessary by making it taste or smell more enticing to your cat, which will encourage him to be more tempted to try it. In this way, as you ‘bribe’ your kitty into gradually getting a taste for his new raw food, he’ll begin to eat more and more of it day by day. And as this happens, you can then slowly but surely begin to reduce the amount of commercial food needed to feed your kitty each day accordingly.
Compared to crunchy kibbles or cooked canned cat food, both of which are relatively pretty darn stinky, fresh raw meat has a very faint odour and quite a different texture. As a result, some cats simply won’t recognize raw meat as actually being food when they’re first exposed to it. For this reason it’s sometimes necessary to disguise the raw food and ‘stink it up’ a bit with another, more pungent, smell or flavour.
It’s also important to keep on offering raw food to your cat even if he turns his nose up at it at first. Some cats need time to get used to this new raw stuff, so repeated exposure can be key.
You can use whatever favourite food you know your cat likes as a bribe food to encourage him to take the raw plunge. Some possible suggestions for bribe foods are:
- a drizzling of juice from a can of water packed tuna
- a smear of canned cat food
- a bit of grated Parmesan cheese
- crumbled dried liver
- some smashed canned sardines, anchovies or herring
- a sprinkling of crushed kibble
- some plain, home-made meat, bone and/or giblets broth, used as a marinade
- whatever other favourite treat you know your kitty loves
Use your imagination and experiment with different things until you find what works. Once you find some disguises that work, then you can begin to gradually offer more raw food using decreasing amounts of the bribe until your cat will accept it without the bribe.
Some of this work was adapted from the works published by Linda Zurich, Raw Fed Cats, http://rawfedcats.org.
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