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When to switch foods?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I get to bring home my new babies soon (this weekend or early next week). The breeder feeds them Royal Canin dry and Friskies wet, and will be providing a little of those foods. I don't want to upset their little bellies right after I bring them home, because I know that kittens can get upset just from a change of location and new environment (the stress!).

So here is my question: How long should I wait after bringing them home to begin slowly switching their foods? I want to feed them Wellness dry I think and some combination of Wellness, Innova/Evo, and Merrick's canned (whichever they like).

Thanks for the advice! I feel much better after spending the last few weeks on this forum. More prepared about the kittens.
post #2 of 12
Personally I would wait at least 2 weeks or so. Kittens are for the most part resilient, but they are about to be taken away from the only world that they've ever known, and even though they have each other and you'll be providing them with a suitable level of care, it could still be very stressful for them as you've already noted.

Give them enough time to become acclimated to their new environment, and to demonstrate that they know where the litter boxes are and will use them faithfully. If they have litter box or digestive issues at first, at least you'll know that it most likely isn't due to the food, since you'll be continuing with what they are presently being fed.

Maybe also ask the breeder for his/her opinion?
post #3 of 12
I have this question, too! I'm bringing my kitty home next week from the breeder who is feeding Royal Canin dry and Whiskas packets wet (neither of which I want to continue feeding). Any suggestions would be helpful!
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSmith0385 View Post
I have this question, too! I'm bringing my kitty home next week from the breeder who is feeding Royal Canin dry and Whiskas packets wet (neither of which I want to continue feeding). Any suggestions would be helpful!
Continue it for about 4 weeks ... reason the kitty has enough change to get used to ...

what are you looking in a food?? no grain?? no animal by products >??

Often with cats it is THE BEST theyll EAT , you are willing to feed and can afford ... unlike dogs( generally speaking) cats will tell you what to feed them
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Continue it for about 4 weeks ... reason the kitty has enough change to get used to ...

what are you looking in a food?? no grain?? no animal by products >??

Often with cats it is THE BEST theyll EAT , you are willing to feed and can afford ... unlike dogs( generally speaking) cats will tell you what to feed them

So I should continue feeding Royal Canin kitten dry & Friskies wet for about four weeks, and then slowly try to switch them to the foods I have chosen? I want to feed Wellness kitten dry and some combination of Wellness, Innova/EVO, and Merricks, if they will eat it!

Okay, well, I am not sure if I want to use Wellness kitten dry or EVO, the Wellness is a few dollars cheaper vs. amount. Orijen & Felidae are not available in my area, I think EVO and Wellness CORE are the only grain free dries I have been able to find. I feel like I am waffling. I want to feed them great food, but my budget is not super huge! I like the EVO canned - it is available at Pet Supplies Plus in 13 oz cans for $1.60 or so, which makes it about $0.20 an ounce, not much more than the really cheap brands at Wal-mart which are about $.50 for a 5.5 oz can. I would like to feed them a dry food also, so that they will have something all the time as kittens, and then as they get older, feed mostly wet.

Am I on the right track? LOL. Decisions!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Continue it for about 4 weeks ... reason the kitty has enough change to get used to ...

what are you looking in a food?? no grain?? no animal by products >??

Often with cats it is THE BEST theyll EAT , you are willing to feed and can afford ... unlike dogs( generally speaking) cats will tell you what to feed them

I am going to try to switch her to EVO dry if she'll eat it (after four weeks as you have suggested) and I bought Wellness pouches, cans, Merrick's and EVO cans for her to try for wet. I was under the impression that I could just start trying wet food (because it is different than dry). Is this true? or do I have to wean her off of wet, too, letting her keep eating it for four weeks?

The breeder says she isn't eating dry too well yet (which is why her spay was postponed - so she could gain weight). She is already 13 weeks old, and will be 14 weeks by the time I get her. Maybe she won't be too "set" on the Royal Canin?
post #7 of 12
to both of you .. sorry but saves time and me typing

Make sure to go SLOWWWLLLYYY.. RC is a decent food I dont like the $$ for the ingredients and you both have chosen IMHO good ones ...

Wet you can try strait away but I would IMHO mix a few cans together since the INGREDIENTS are SO vastly different

If she is not eating dry ( breeders please chime in or those with Lots of youngin experience ) you may want to just try wet and skip the dry altogether
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Definitely on the $$ for ingredients with Royal Canin. I can pay less for Wellness or EVO and get what are IMO better ingredients! Thank you for the advice/reassurance Sharky. I really appreciate it.

So my plan for now: continue to free feed Royal Canin dry for 3-4 weeks, then slowly switch to Wellness or EVO dry. Feed Friskies wet for the first week, then slowly switch to the higher quality wet foods.

Sounds like a plan.
post #9 of 12
I'd feed the RC for the next 3-4 weeks and by the 4th week start mixing in the Wellness a little at a time. It will give your kittens a chance to get used to food, water, and the new house - so less stress. BTW you might want to give them bottled water for a week; otherwise the kittens may have some diarraha due to the change in water.
post #10 of 12
It is true to take it slow. When I brought my boys home from the shelter I took time. I fed them the dry they gave me but changed their wet faster. It took me about a week to change over the dry and then after the bag was finished I stopped completely.
With Mary when she came home I was like you and had done some research about foods. But she was older so I had to see what she would eat. Her tummy did get upset at first because she was not used to richer quality wet food plus she was living in a new place. But we hung in there together.
With the newest kittens they took to Wellness wet kitten food very fast. I fed it right away. But they had been getting quality wet food from me since they were born under the porch.
I have fed both sets of kittens mostly wet only diets once they were used to my home.

The reason I went faster is that they were being fed whatever the shelter had that was donated. So they were used to change. Royal Canin is much better than what they were getting though like you said it is not cheap. I would not have felt as compelled to speed it up if they had been given something decent.
I notice that with good food they eat less. They are fulfilled faster and they go poo less which means less litter in the long run.

Good for you for getting as much info for your babies as you can. They will be happy and well fed. Of course we want pictures ASAP.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice Goldenkitty and CC12. I hadn't thought about the bottled water, but that is good advice. I will buy some when I go to the store tonight!
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Often with cats it is THE BEST theyll EAT , you are willing to feed and can afford ... unlike dogs( generally speaking) cats will tell you what to feed them
I have to totally agree with that. With all of the food reformulations in the last year my cats decided they wanted nothing to do with the "higher quality" (no by-products, corn free, etc) foods. Not even Nutro. They've been pretty constant in wanting Purina or Meow Mix canned. And believe me we've tried everything out there, several times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zorana_dragonky View Post
Thank you for the advice Goldenkitty and CC12. I hadn't thought about the bottled water, but that is good advice. I will buy some when I go to the store tonight!
I use a Pur pitcher for my cats water (and mine). Something to consider if you want to do bottled water full time. It's less expensive in the long run.
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