One of the most common obstacles to transitioning cats to a healthier diet is their sometimes phenomenal resistance to change. Cats love routine and no where is this more evident than in their culinary behaviors. What they learn to eat at a young age, they tend to consider the only thing edible.
Complicating things even further, kibble and canned products are full of robustly flavored, strong smelling ingredients that are added to the products for the express purpose of encouraging pets to eat the food. Ever sniff a fresh chicken breast or check a steak to be sure it’s not off before cooking it? It doesn’t have much of an odor, does it? Fresh raw meat has a very different texture and almost no odor to it in comparison to canned foods or kibble products, and many cats don’t even initially recognize these raw dinners as real food.
Of course, some cats take to raw right away or with only a little coaching. This is especially true of kittens and cats that have spent time as a stray or a feral. There are several tricks for helping those who don’t, however, and one of the most effective is simple bribery. Find something your cat can’t resist and sprinkle it on the new food. Some of the most commonly used and effective bribes are:
- Parmesan cheese
- Forti Flora probiotic
- Fish food flakes
- Crumbled up freeze-dried meat treats
- Crushed Temptation Treats
You can also drip a bit of tuna juice or sprinkle a few crushed pieces of the kitty’s favorite, but soon-to-be-former kibble over the food, but be careful to drip or sprinkle as minimally as possible and wean the kitty off as soon as possible.
In fact, all of these bribes should be used at the minimum level necessary to entice the cat, and should be offered at steadily reduced amounts. Forti Flora and tuna juice are unhealthy in anything but small amounts and are very addictive (as is kibble, obviously), and Forti Flora has animal digest – the very ingredient that makes kibble so insanely addictive – and other ingredients that may upset an IBD kittie’s tummy.
Bribes may seem counter intuitive, and some aren’t even healthy, but they could very well make the difference between a successful and a non-successful transition, and are well worth trying!