How to get your cat to eat new food

How to get your cat to eat new food

Hi. My name is Dr. Uri Burstyn,
I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver B.C. and I’d like to welcome you to my series
of practical skills for pet owners How to get your cat to eat new food Today’s video is going to be a little tutorial
on how to get your cat to eat new food Now, we often have to change cats’ diets
for a variety of medical reasons and, as most cat owners know,
cats can get pretty finicky about their diet The way vets describe it is that cats develop
food affinity, or food addictions, quite easily Now, cats typically get obsessed with food
if it’s the only food they’ve had for a long time They’re neophobic, they don’t like change too much,
and while taste is important to them, they actually get quite particular
about texture as well and unfortunately, when we have to– Oh, hi Unfortunately, when we have to change their food
for medical reasons, we often don’t have a lot of choices
in terms of taste and texture Food is a tool, like any drug or surgery, that can be used to maintain
the health and welfare of our little patients Yes And unfortunately in some cases
a food is the most powerful intervention we have, such as kidney disease, diabetes, obesity So, if you’re lucky and you have a cat like this
who’ll eat anything You simply take the new food
that your vet prescribed, you put on the table And voilà. And this is always worth trying Now a lot of people talk about
gradually transitioning foods And, sure, if you’re just changing foods at home,
gradually transitioning them does make sense When we’re talking about clinincal diets, where this is a tool that we’re using
to manage a specific health condition I don’t bother with doing
the slow transition if it’s not necessary Put the food down, the cat eats it You just thank your lucky stars
because your life just got a heck of a lot easier Now, if you’re not so lucky and your cat doesn’t want
to eat the one food that will save its life What do you do? Well, there’s a couple things you can do The most important thing to realize
when you transition cats is that cats don’t like change,
so you’ve got to take it slow and easy with them You give yourself lots of time, you make the diet change,
which is what we call it: a diet change, you know, a two-week, three-week,
month long project. It’s a project There’s no specific timeline, we should do it
as fast as we can, but we’re not going to be rushed What we wanna do is:
we wanna give the cat some choice We also want to get the cat used to the new food and a classic way of doing that is to just start a little bit of the old food,
and start mixing in with the new food You could be changing from wet food to kibble,
kibble to kibble, wet food to wet food It doesn’t really matter what you’re changing from and to The basic principle is:
you add 10% new food, 90% old food on day one On day two, you go up to 20% new food, 80% old food And so on and so forth, by little 10% increments until, at the end of that,
your cat’s just eating the new food Now, if we stall anywhere along this process for example if the cat
eats the food when it’s fifty-fifty but once you go over that they start sort of
turning away and being a bit off their food, you can always just take it back one step going back to fourty-sixty,
and then push it up to fifty-fifty again This is what I mean by taking your time
and making this a longer term project So, gradual mixing-in of the new food and the old food
typically does the trick for most cats Now, there’s certain things you can do
to speed the process and make the food a little bit more acceptable We don’t want cats to ever starve so
sometimes we offer two dishes side by side One has a mixture of new food and old food,
one has just the old food So if the cat really turns their nose up
they can just eat from their old food dish And then you slowly decrease every day,
you decrease the amount in that dish until it’s no longer enough to keep them full
and then they’ll hopefully pick at the new food dish, again, having had time to get used to the smell
and the flavour and the texture of the new diet You can also try to disguise the flavour
of the new diet and we have a couple tools for that One that I really like to use is:
you simply go to your local supermarket and get tuna in spring water Now, tuna is typically sold in spring water or oil,
not the oil one Tuna in spring water, and you use just the water from that can to sprinkle it on the food.
Most cats love that flavour and it helps them accept the new– (laughs) helps them accept the new food a little easier In terms of other ways to flavour the new diet
that makes it a little bit more acceptable we don’t have too many options, and to be honest with you, typically in these cats you don’t want to feed them
anything other than the prescribed diets so you are gonna be a little bit limited with it but in some cases it’s okay to mix in
some other protein like tuna or lean chicken meat to flavour the food Often that’s unnecessary and you should
only be doing that if the vet says it’s okay because in many conditions where we use diets,
such as kidney disease, feeding a high-protein meal like that
is actually quite harmful, so you don’t really wanna do that on your own Always check with your vet
before you make any changes like that So another thing you can do to flavour the food that is typically okay in most health conditions is a product from Purina called FortiFlora I’m not, just– Full disclosure I’m not sponsored by Purina,
they’re not paying me to say this This is actually something I use in my practice
all the time It’s a probiotic powder,
it’s hydrolised protein, so, it’s okay to use in cases where you have
inflammatory bowel disease or food allergies and cats seem to quite like the taste of this
so if I sprinkle this on the food it does really encourage Mr. Pirate to eat
as well as many of my patients who are reluctant to try a new flavour Normally I don’t need to encourage Pirate to eat but I do use it sometimes with him
if he’s on antibiotics or if he’s having tummy upset.
It’s quite good But we also use it for encouraging cats to eat adding a little bit extra flavour
that they typically quite like Some cats don’t really like this that’s because they’re cats
and that’s the way cats are they’re all weird, they’re all individuals,
and all have their own preferences So we talked about a few things:
we talked about gradual mixing of the food, We talked about flavouring the food
with something that’s gonna make it really acceptable to the cat,
something really tasty and then, again, we talked a little bit
about probably the hardest thing which is to have patience and of course not making any significant changes
without consulting a veterinarian first if you’re trying to change the food
for medical reasons to manage some health issue because there could be factors
that maybe not everybody’s aware of,
that your vet should be aware of So, with this approach, I find that I can get
just about any cat to eat just about anything There’ll always be the odd one that just
will refuse to eat the food you want them to eat In those cases you just have to find a workaround or do without that one really powerful tool
when managing their health But I would say, what do you think, Pirate? 90% of cats? 90% of cats plus can be gotten to eat anything
if you use this kind of approach Anything else? What do you think, Sir? I think that’s it Please click like and subscribe Feel free to share this video with your friends And if you want to support our good work, please check out our webstore we have some adorable “Squish the cat” merchandise there for you Please give it a look And once more, thank you very much
for watching my videos

Comments (100)

  1. My cat eats Halo cat food for weight reduction. Is this a good food or would you recommend another food for him?

  2. Mister Pirate obvously loves you <3 He's super sweet, and your instructions are great as ever! Thanks!

  3. These videos have been so helpful as my cats have all become elders; I've never had 17-18 year old cats before, so I look for anything about ageing and changing health in older cats. I was wondering if there are any standard tips for administering ear medicine. I do it, and two of the cats don't mind at all, one of them complains a lot at the time but gets over it, and the fourth one holds a grudge for days, lol.

  4. Could you do a video on urinary health in male cats? More water, more wet food, cranberry supplements? My cat will eat the (expensive) vet-prescribed food for about a month and then not at all. Does Purina One Urinary Health work the same? He loves him some Purina brand for some reason ๐Ÿˆ

    Love how you love cats, keep up the good work ๐Ÿ˜ธ

  5. So Garfield being addicted to lasagna kind of makes sense

  6. You are so sweet and helpful. I dearly love you and plan to buy a squishy cat shirt to help you.

    That being said…..

    (Devils advocate) But your cats are ALWAYS willing. You never have a video of a cat that fights back.

    Not that I would wish that on you…. But maybe showing how to deal with a recalcitrant cat might help us normal folks.

    My two cents.

  7. I love these videos! Could you do one on how to discipline a cat? I hear a lot of mixed things, the spray bottle doesnโ€™t work. My cat is in the habit of pulling tacks off my bulletin board and Iโ€™m worried if I canโ€™t teach her to stop, she will get hurt. Thanks!

  8. How do you get a cat to not eat everything, including dog food? If I didn't keep a tight limit on portions with a good brand I'd have a little Garfield on my hands.

  9. Love that your merch shop is called (what else?) "Squish that Cat" haha! I don't suppose that you're also the designer?

  10. I love to watch you interact with the pets in your videos. Your love for them is so evident. I can attest to the fact that cats are weird and each have their own individual identities.

  11. Love these videos I have a cat and find these super informative!

  12. I heard that if you stroke cat's a lot, it stresses them, is that true?

  13. He stared at the doctor's shoulder pretty intently and even made a little move toward it. 1:08 and 4:25 a true shoulder cat!I had to change The Donut's food from dry to wet. I put the cat food down and she started eating it without hesitation because she ate anything and she was a pig, RIP Donut Girl.

  14. Mr Pirate loves you!

  15. I love these videos. So calming, loving, and full of great advice. Keep up the great work!

  16. My Waffles had FLUTD and was on urinary tract food.

  17. I like how Mister Pirate hangs around… he could easily just jump off the table and go on his merry way. Instead he waits while the doctor talks to someone else (us!) and waits and waits… love how he finally goes in for a nose rub as if to tell the doctor, hey, I'm here stop talking to your imaginary friends and pay attention to me!

  18. Mr. Pirate seems to be part dog! He sits and stays (and snuggles too). ;-D My cat is ultra-finicky. I give her Forte Flora because she has digestive issues. Sometimes all she does is lick the Forte Flora off the food. She is really addicted to it! In any event, it has helped with her stools. Sometimes, if she doesn't want that particular food, she'll lick off the Forte Flora and not eat what is in her bowl…even if I leave it out for a couple of hours. Of course she eats the most expensive Wellness brand without hesitation. Sigh. Thanks, Dr. Yuri! Always fun and interesting to see your videos.

  19. Thanks for this ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm going to try this with my 19yo CKD cat, Misty ๐Ÿ™‚ She'll eat the CKD biscuits, but not the wet food. I have to admit that the Royal Canin has a powerful smell. I'll see how Misty goes over the coming weeks. 19yo on the 5th October, and the last of a family of 5. Still sprightly ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Hi Dr Burnstyn, Can you make an episode of how to help cats loss weight? Thanks!

  21. This could be useful. Our cat refuses to eat wet food (we consulted with our vet, as long as she's drinking enough alongside it'll be fine, kibble and meat is enough for now)

  22. Can we also have the story on why you named him Mr. Pirate? I liked the story of Lancelot as well.

  23. Mr. Pirate is an absolute UNIT

  24. can you cover why my cat won't eat the fucking food hes already used to? I constantly have to buy him new types of fucking food or he wont fucking eat it, about every month i have to buy a different brand and its fucking annoying

  25. Hi Dr. Burstyn, how do you tell if a cat has kidney disease? We have a cat that exclusively eats dry food, drinks a lot of water, and hides away in the basement a lot. Our other cat enjoys her wet food and doesn't drink as much water or hide as much.

  26. I don't even have a cat but I watch all your cat videos

  27. Very, very, very helpful video thank you

  28. Pirate is such an awesome little guy. What a love!

  29. I have a garbage can cat. She will eat almost any food put in front of her…the other one eats plastic, shoes, and doorframes…

  30. Are you a cat whisperer? My cat loves to watch your videos with me.

  31. I loved your videos and now the bubble is gone with recommending prescription diets :c

  32. Thanks for this, Doc!

  33. A great vet, a wonderful personality .. a real cat person with love and compassion who cares.. you Dr. Burstyn are a credit to your profession..

  34. Mr pirate is always so laid back, just observing the world

  35. One of my foster cats was super picky & that fortiflora really works!!!! She'd at least try anything I sprinkled it on!

  36. Mr. Pirate is a beautiful cat, he is a joy to watch.

  37. This should be banned for an excess of wholesome content

  38. could you talk about coconut oil and fish oil, do they have any benefits for cats and dogs? do you recommend them?

  39. Dr. Burstyn, can you do a video on feeding an older cat and a younger cat together? Should I feed them in different rooms? Should I use different feeding times? How do I stop my younger cat eating my older cat's food etc? My older cat needs special food so can't have the youngster getting into it.

  40. Can you do a video on how to exercise a cat? (we have an indoor cat)

  41. I want to change my cat's diet from the common cat food brands to the ones that doesn't include sugar, yeast and weird uneccerasy stuff. My sister's cat got sick on one of the brands my cat love. But he blankly refuse to eat the new brand, what should I do? So far he's perfectly healthy, and he may never get the problems my sister's cat got, but I'd feel so much better if he ate proper, clean food.

  42. I am not a veterinarian, but my veterinarian warned me about the 'juice' from canned tuna – it can be very high in sodium even for a human, and sodium is as bad for cats with kidney problems as it is for humans.

  43. this is a very helpful channel

  44. Please don't ever change your format- I love the fact that you don't use music, and it's just you and the pet with your soft calming voice. It's absolutely fantastic, and I connect much more to it than other vet channels.

  45. i dont even have a cat but like tonwatch

  46. Im always amazed at the way his cats look at him.

  47. Mr. Pirate is adorable! He certainly loves you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I found my answer to my previous question about changing food for my cat (Gracie). Thank you.

  48. The video mentions not simply depriving them of food until they eat. Provided you don't let them starve for a week, what would be the harm in "new food or nothing" for a few days? One of mine is 8 years old, fat and very attached to her solid food so I'd like to transition her to wet food.

  49. I feed my savannah cat with self made raw chicken, is it possible to change the diet to dry food? She always left the dry food even if I mix the food well.

  50. wow…mr pirate doesn't look that old… his face is still a face of kitty…

  51. Could you make a video about managing cat allergies? That would be greatly appreciated!! Love your videos theyโ€™re always informative and helpful

  52. Great video!! I need help with transitioning one of my cats. She gets diarrhea even when going slowly. I have 2 female litter mates. Also, they BOTH get diarrhea from the Friskies treats I always gave them! I don't know if they changed their formula or what…sad I can't "treat" them at all. Any recommendations Dr??

  53. What great advice. I've just changed my kitty-cats' food, but she will barley eat! I will use some of your methods and maybe that will help. By the way, your cat is quite handsome and thank you for the upload! usmale 49 & "Baby"

  54. Watch how he's talking but also paying attention to how the cat is responding to his petting. If the cat is giving off a 'that's enough of that kind of petting' vibe, he gives it a break and changes to a gentler, different form the cat's now ready to enjoy. Lovely, and very skilled.

  55. One time, my cat was sick and my vet gave me some pouches of Fortiflora to help him eat. I put the pouches on the kitchen counter in a ziploc bag, and the next morning, they were all torned apart. It was like cocaine to my cat.

  56. Everybody loves pirate. I can see why! He is a pretty boy! I love his fur patterns.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  57. Pirate is such a sweet boy!

  58. Mr. Pirate is a sweet old man! LOL! He's handsome too! Very good video!!!

  59. My cat is so darn picky. She gets a primarily raw diet. I try adding the tiniest dot of new food (like raw beef, rabbit, etc.), and she'll refuse the entire thing. She hates fish, so tuna water won't work. I try sprinkling her favorite treat on top, and she just eats the treats (freeze dried raw chicken cat food, freeze dried plain chicken, etc.)

  60. Merry Christmas!!!! Where is the promised mr pirate riding on shoulder compilation video ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ™Œโค๏ธ

  61. Pirate is such a cute kitty.. Thank you for the tips by the way. My young tomcat is not too iffy when it comes to food. I understand I need to view this as a lucky break ๐Ÿ˜‰

  62. Dr. Burstyn is the most important person in my life

  63. What breed is Mr. Pirate?

  64. Mr. Pirate rules.

  65. Put adds on the videos so we can help you out Dr Burstyn!!!!
    What a handsome little kittty i'm in loveeeee

  66. What would be the best way to make my cat accept the omega 3 supplement I have to give her? It's in a soft gel cap (it's the only option here in Brazil) and I've tryed just giving it like any other pill, but she ends up biting it and the liquid goes everywhere and I also worry about it getting stuck in her throat, also she absolutely HATES the taste and if I try to put it over her favorite wet food, she just ignores it. She get so upset!!! But the vet said it is the most important thing to give her since she has chronic kidney disease.

  67. ".. they're all weird" .. (Pirate starts sniffing a sign on the wall)

  68. Good job Doc ๐Ÿ’

  69. My cat will eat anything in her bowl, included screaming at me at 6 in the morning to get it

  70. Helpful and Quite Cute Vancouver Vet! i have a question. My cat actually stopped drinking water because he got used to wet food with jelly, like whiskas cans etc. It would be a lot nicer if he ate some dry food and drank normal water, but i dont really have any more faith in him dong that and i dont want him to starve if i try to teach him eating dry food. I'm just scared he still wont drink. Do You think i should try mixing-the-food way? I'm sorry if im taking Your time (if You read this)
    And i wanted to let You know that i've just found out about Your videos and i love them! You're doing awesome job which You definitely love and it's extremely adorable to watch. Have a good day.

  71. can dislikers tell me why you'd dislike this adorable videoo t.t

  72. Thank you for sharing your videos! If possible, could you please provide your thoughts as a vet on the raw cat food trend? And maybe give some recommendations for the healthiest cat foods (raw or otherwise).

  73. Which six monsters don't like this?!

  74. So๏ผŒI guess it's better to start a rotational system early when the cat is healthy? Just so they won't set for one particular kind of food and have a wide exposure. Then, it won't be too challenging if they have to eat a particular kind of food for medical reason.

  75. Okay now how do you get a cat to not eat anything it finds? Mine would eat rubber bands, it would try to eat coins, uncooked ramen, deodorant when I wasn't looking, it was chaos!

  76. Redbubble's translation of ''squish the cat'' is ''Zerquetsche diese Katze'' (German) what translates to ''squish the cat till it's dead'' (no literal translation). WTF ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Btw you are extremely handsome!

  77. I'm in love with this doctor !!! He's soooo nice

  78. Hi doc ! I have 18 rescue cats and I don't have food prblms with most of them but two of them don't want to eat anything even luxurious cat food ! (A female khaw manee 4 years old and a male Siamese 3 years old ) the vet told me that it's bcs they were abandoned by their owners so they feel sad and depressed! but I have other cats also abandoned but they play and eat normally ! …I don't know what to do with them ! It breaks my heart seeing them like this ! Any advice sir !
    Wish u can see my comment !

  79. I love how the cats on his videos are always so affectionate toward him. Cats are quite intuitive, so he must be an awesome vet.

  80. Blue Buffalo apparently recently changed their formula — so I don't have an old food to go back *to*, because all the bags on the shelves have the new formula (this was their blue-bag adult indoor health, specifically). What should I do in that case?
    Thankfully, I have family who use the same food and had some extra of the old stuff to transition with, but he's not taking to it. I've tried mixing (which he seemed to take to for a while, but not now, even after I cut the percentage of "new" food back), as well as flavoring with a brothy cat food (which he likes, but he'll go so far as to just lick it off of his dry food).
    He'll tend to eat late at night, presumably when he gets hungry enough to "risk" it, but that worries me thoroughly and I don't want him to feel like he's being neglected because the damned brand changed his food out from under him.

  81. Iโ€™ve had to switch my cats food several times for health reasons as well as foods being discontinued. And whatโ€™s even trickier is doing this with THREE kitties who have different texture and taste preferences. One loves dry crunchy textures and one loves soft textures the third eats anything we had to get a variety pack of cans and pouches and do nightly taste tests to see what everybody would compromise on. It was quite a project but we found something everyone would eat. Btw the helpers in your videos are always the sweetest babies ever. I wish you were our vet !! Even though ours is very nice. ๐Ÿฑ

  82. My cat is so picky about wet food, she will only eat pate/mousses & if i buy her the food which has chunks in gravy or jelly she will lick up the gravy & leave the chunks ๐Ÿ™ how do i get her to eat all of it

  83. I love these videos you are making. If you have a Patreon or paid subscription, I'd gladly support you through that!

  84. Can you make the cat smell the food and then will they eat it maybe if your lucky?

  85. Hvis video is wonderful. Not just very informative, but also calm and soothing in a way. Thank you!!

  86. Sooo… after watching a number of your videos, I decided, it's time to hit that subscribe button! Fortaflora? Oh my gosh. The best thing ever! Really good to have if your cat gets diarrhea, which can happen if the vet prescribes antibiotics for a sick kitty! Since it's just a probiotic, & NOT an anti diarrhea medication, you don't have to worry about kitty, getting constipated! Plus it works in the intestinal tract, helping to maintain the good bacteria that not only helps with absorption of food but also helps maintain a healthy immune system…and yes, cats love the flavor! ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ‘

  87. Arrr! Me name is Mr. Pirate, and I'm about to board ye shoulder matey! ๐Ÿ˜ผ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ˜นโ˜ธ


  89. is it okay to give a young Persian cat 7-10 months old raw or boiled eggs every other day or maybe everyday? especially in winters

  90. if I dont regularly change the flavour of the food my cat has, he'll actually stop eating it, and ye he'll eat anything with no issues

  91. My fur baby is recovering from gastritis (I love our local pet ER). He ate a little while in the ER, but he wonโ€™t eat now. Bland diet, tuna, banana tidbits (which he loves). Nothing is working. His reg vet has been on vacation. Any thoughts/ideas on getting him to eat would be greatly appreciated. ๐Ÿˆ

  92. Cats can have food addictions? I've never understood cats more in my entire life.

  93. How to get your cat to eat new food in my house.
    Step 1: put the food in the catโ€™s dish.
    Step 2: put the dish on the floor.
    Step 3: there is no step 3. The cats eat the food.

  94. My cat will eat anything why am I watching this

  95. Thank you thank you thank you ๐Ÿ™
    Iโ€™m so grateful to you, Iโ€™m suffering since days, searching in the internet for hours, until I found this helpful video, thanks a lot I will try everything ๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

  96. I noticed Mr. Pirateโ€™s dish looks like plastic. I heard that plastic sometimes gives cats problems. I guess heโ€™s ok with it?

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