January 2008 Issue

Changing Your Cat's Diet

Before making the switch, you should first consult with your pet's veterinarian. But here are some guidelines to consider.

If switching your catís food is warranted, be sure to do it gradually. For any number of reasons, you may feel that your cat could do well with a change in diet. If thatís the case, contact your catís veterinarian for advice. Find out if switching foods is indeed necessary and will truly benefit your animalís overall health. If your veterinarian recommends a diet change, you should make the switch gradually so that the catís digestive system can properly adjust to the new food. "Itís good to offer your cat a bit of variety within each meal," says Ilona Rodan, DVM, director of the Cat Care Clinic in Madison, WI. "You can accomplish that by mixing two foods that have different shapes and sizes, or by blending canned and dry food. That will help prevent the animal from becoming fixated on one specific type of food, which is important in case a diet change is needed for medical reasons later in the animalís life." Otherwise, Dr. Rodan says, cats donít really need more variety than that, and change merely for the sake of change is unnecessary.

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