Transition Your Adult Cat

When people think of feeding their pet a raw food diet, they likely think about large dog eating a steak - and not a smaller house cat eating raw meat. A natural raw food diet has many benefits for your cat. Transitioning these feline friends to a raw food diet, however, can be a longer process than transitioning a dog to eat a raw food diet. The transition to raw feeding changes depending on the age of the cat, their previous eating habits and known health conditions; however, with any variable, the key is patience!

A transition to raw feeding for kittens is usually simple, as they typically take to raw food much faster and easier than adult or adolescent cats. They need to be fed much more frequently, approximately every 4-6 hours. Kittens should also have raw meaty bones introduced into their diet so that they learn to eat them properly while young.

In a perfect world the easiest way to transition your adult cat to a raw food diet would be to go cold turkey (i.e. finishing last meal at dinner and starting raw the following day). This is an effective method for some cats, who take to raw food quickly and love it. However, as most cat owners know cats are rarely that easy, and the transition might be a bit of a process so we're here to help!

If your cat is accustomed to snacking throughout the day and night, the first step is going to be transitioning them to a more regimented feeding schedule. Begin by offering their current diet at set times 4 to 6 times throughout the day and into the evening like the example below:

If you are unable to start a feeding schedule during the week due to work, try starting on Saturday morning. This allows a chance for you to give your cat 6 smaller meals per day for the first two days. Once Monday arrives, you should be able to feed your cat 4 meals throughout the day. (i.e. Meal 1 gets fed when you first wake up, Meal 2 fed just before you leave for work, Meal 3 fed as soon as you get home and Meal 4 closer to 9-10pm)

From here some cats can be offered their new raw diet and take right to it, for others you may need to follow the gradual transition method below and for a small group, they may require an even more detailed and long transition process.

Below are two examples of a transition program using our Basic Meals which has been formulated for feline nutrition:

For those extra picky cats, an interim step should be implemented. This would include transitioning from kibble to wet food and then approaching the gradual transition. Please refer to our extended transition guide below:

It is important to remember that cats can not be fasted and should eat every 12-24 hours to maintain liver function.

IMPORTANTOur Basic Meals and Original Dinners are not complete and balanced when fed alone. These formulas have been designed to be a part of a rotational diet (i.e. feeding 3-5 different proteins per month). Appropriate supplementation for Omega-3 and Vitamin D is also required to create a complete and balanced diet. If protein rotation is not possible then additional supplementation may be needed. If feeding our Basic Meals, a supplementation of iodine will also need to be added by using a Kelp supplement such as North Hound Life Atlantic Kelp or by incorporating some of our Original Dinners as well.



If they don’t take to raw food, you can try warming the food up slightly. Avoid cooking or microwaving the food as this can quickly harm vital amino acids such as taurine - instead, place it inside a sealed bag and put it in warm water for 5-15 minutes or reconsider the type of food bowl you are using. A shallow bowl or lick mat is ideal for cats as they don't like their whiskers to be touched. You can also begin integrating raw meaty bones into their food. Start by putting boneless chunks in the wet food to ensure that your cat works up their jaw muscles to tackle bones.


If you’re ready to give your cat raw food, click here to find your nearest Iron Will Raw® retailer.

Visit Formula Guidance next to learn more about the different formulas we offer!