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Transitioning kittens to new food

Molly StrothkampMolly Strothkamp MesaMember Posts: 1,381
edited 5 June, 2009 in Food & Nutrition
In about two weeks I\'ll be bringing TWO kittens home! They are currently in foster care and will come home with me once they\'ve been neutered. Very exciting! :D I\'d love to hear any ideas about how to add the two kittens to the household and hopefully eventually get them on the same diet and feeding schedule as my kitty Lucy. Lucy has severe food allergies and is restricted in what she can eat. She is allergic to all dry food as well as corn, eggs, tomato pomace, flax and flax seed, barley, and alfalfa. Lucy primarily eats Natural Balance Indoor wet food with a quarter cup of Ziwi Peak venison (air-dried meat, looks like beef jerky) every evening. Other foods she is not allergic to include Evanger\'s Braised Chicken Dinner and California Natural Salmon and Sweet Potato. The two male kittens (about 10 weeks old) are currently eating Taste of the Wild dry food. I\'m thinking that I will continue to feed them TOTW initially and slowly introduce the wet foods that Lucy eats. How long should I take to make the transition to an all wet diet? Also, how much do kittens really eat in your experience? I just want Lucy and the kittens to be healthy and happy! Thanks!


  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 1 June, 2009
    Hi Lucy:-h long time no see.......... Hey I would just start giving them the wet food right away, and give them as much as they will eat until they are about 8 months old, then start to set feeding times. Is there anyway you can give them other wet foods without Lucy getting into them? Glad to see you around :)
  • Nuk AnukNuk Anuk Member Posts: 846
    edited 1 June, 2009
    Hi Lucy I knew I posted this before (I had to go back a bit to find it) Over the course of 7-10 days go from feeding 100% of the previous food to 100% of the new food. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for several days. Then make it 50-50 for several days. Then 75% new food to 25% old food for several days. Then if that's tolerated well you can start feeding 100% new food. If at any time the brothers start vomiting, or have loose stools or appear constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching them over. Any food transition should always be done slowly. When feeding any animal a new food, titrate it. If you feed too much too soon, the brothers could suffer from stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, excess gas, or constipation. Normal bacteria in the intestine help to digest food. A sudden change in food can result in changes in the number and type of bacteria and their ability to help digest food.
  • Molly StrothkampMolly Strothkamp MesaMember Posts: 1,381
    edited 1 June, 2009
    Hi Shadow :-h Eventually I would like to have them all on the same food as it would probably be a bit more convenient. Of course, I\'d feed them seperately if I really have to for health reasons. There are some other foods that Lucy shouldn\'t have an allergic reaction to but she hasn\'t tried yet. According to her test results, Lucy can eat a couple of different formulas from the following companies: Avoderm (Select Cuts Chicken), By Nature canned foods, Canine Caviar, Nature\'s Recipe, Pet Guard, and the Wysong Au Jus formulas (which I think need to be supplemented). Have you heard or read good things about any of these foods? Also, I see Methionine is an ingredient in TOTW and the Avoderm food. What is that? Unfortunately, Lucy\'s allergies to flaxseed and eggs really limit the foods she can eat. She has been doing really well since switching to the all wet diet (and taking the cyclosporine medication) and I have been happy with both the Natural Balance and the Ziwi Peak. I wouldn\'t mind having her eat a little more variety. She\'s still pretty thin, too, but she\'s maintained her weight for the last 6 months so the vet hasn\'t been too worried. Thanks for your help! |:|
  • Molly StrothkampMolly Strothkamp MesaMember Posts: 1,381
    edited 1 June, 2009
    Thanks Nuk! That's helpful info! I think I'll probably transition pretty slow just to help their little tummies adjust. And they'll be completely separated from Lucy for at least the first week and then introduced very slowly so I'll be able to feed them without worry that Lucy will have access to their food...
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 1 June, 2009
    Hi Lucy here is a thread at itchmo that talks about Methionine. The foods that you listed I have heard of but no one sells them where I live, except for the By Nature, my cats like the Chicken and Liver organic canned one, but I choose not to get that one anymore as it is sold at Petsmart, and also the first time I gave it to Wilson he puked it all up and there were all these tiny little hulls in it (which was not listed in the ingredients). The second time, no puking but they both sure pooped alot (normal poop) but still too much. You can look at the rest of the brands on and see what others have to say about all the other brands.
  • Lacey KingstonLacey Kingston WilmingtonMember Posts: 7,527
    edited 5 June, 2009
    Hey Lucy, Hobie also has allergies and is on the Natural Balance (he's also done well on California Natural, so maybe try that?). We're planning on switching our new kitten to this as well as soon as her Science Diet runs out. The Natural Balance is all life stages, so our vet said it ought to be fine for her to eat it too! Good luck with your new babies!
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