Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Big Switcheroo

When I went shopping, I didn't buy food or litter, two of the most important items on my list, because I'm not sure how to transition my cats from the food/litter they are used to at the shelter to the food/litter I want to buy.

Now, since I don't have cats yet and I'm not 100% sure of where I'm adopting them from or their exact ages (hopefully 3 to 10 months, but that's a wide range), I really don't know what they're getting now.

So how do you move a cat from one type of food or litter to another? What if the cat has been on an all-dry diet and I want him to feed him some wet food?

If a cat is used to using newspaper for litter and I buy high-quality litter at the store, will he even know that the litterbox is the place to go?

I'm posting my question about switching food and litter to the Cats forum in hopes of finding some answers. If you have any insight, I'd love to hear it.


Anonymous said...

Hello Avram,

Any change you make to your kittie's life must be done gradually. Kitties like routine and order.

First of all, ask at the shelter all questions pertaining the time the kitty spent there: type/brand of food, litter habits, toys, playing time, daily routine. Then, slowly switch to what you think is best for the kitty. This may entail mixing two different types of food, trying several litter box fillings, and so on. Open plain litter boxes resemble best their elimination environment in Nature.

Observe closely how your kitty reacts, her likes and dislikes. She will guide you through the process of decision-making.

A golden rule: food and litter areas must be set wide apart as kitties do not eat where they eliminate and the contrary.

Make a cosy napping area by a sunny window sill, place cushions and folded blankets in different parts of the house for the kitty to choose from (my kitties like to sleep their siesta by the window and the night by me).

I personally recommend to spay/neuter the kitty and make her indoors-only.

Taking your kitty to a cat-only clinic would be a sensible choice (no barking or canine scents to scare her even more).

A wish from my heart? Adopt the neediest. Should you adopt a deaf kitty, do not hesitate to let me know. One of my kitties is deaf and I am writing a practical guide about leading a happy life with a deaf kitty.

All the best,

Carmen and her three feline soul mates

Anonymous said...

Avram, don't rush it. Franny is right...It's funny, but you "just know." I've been owned by one or more cats most all my life. In 1986, I got into a lifestyle that allowed me to get a cat again. I went to the shelter, and they were all so precious. But one pregnant calico looked at me most aloofly as if to say, "I know you are coming back for me." I had decided not to make my decision that day, and seemed that she knew it! Next day, I went to get her (Queenie) and we were inseparable for 15 years. I kept two of her sons and had them all neutered/spayed and we had a great run together.

My next and current baby is Sonsy, a little tortie I picked from a motherless litter that had been rescued by a friend of a friend in the highway. The kittens (9 in all) were the most pitiful I've seen! But Sonsy had the cutest little left ear. It's black with yellow spots. I had a great need at the time for comic relief, and that little ear was a clue that this would be the funniest cat in the universe, and she is! And she's ferociously protective of me, like a dog. She attacked her best friend, big black cat Pawley, when I was trying to clip Pawley's claws and Sonsy thought Pawley was trying to hurt me!

I can blab for hours about how intuition should be your guide, but I'm a 44-year veteran of the feline relationship scene! But have confidence in yourself and take your time…it will work out for the best. Every cat I've ever lived with has been the perfect cat for the time. Cats are exceedingly sensitive and they seem to grow and develop according to the way that you treat them. If you play with them, they become playful. If you love on them, they become loving. The kittens that Queenie gave us had their personalities before their eyes were even open!! Louis was always timid; Cheetoh was always boisterous. But they were all three totally in love with me.

Queenie used to sit across the room, stare at me with her eyes slanted, purr loudly and “make bread” with her front paws. (Ask Franny if you don’t know what I mean.) She was telling me, “Thank you for rescuing me…I love you so much.” Cheetoh would lean into me so hard and purr like a buzz saw. Louis would get on the couch with me and lie beside me. And now Sonsy is my constant shadow. She stays in bed after I get up and “hides” in the rumpled covers, “stalking” me as I move around the room. All these things are the ways that different personalities say, “I love you.” Just open your mind and your heart, find a pair of kitties you think are just too cute, and welcome them into your life. And thank them for allowing you to serve!

Morven said...

All the guide books say change everything slowly, mix a little new with mostly old and gradually eliminiate the old...Sam didn't eat for the first two days we had him and I eventually put some flaked tuna down for him and he wasn't even keen on that but he did nibble. The shelter told us he liked Whiskas dry but he wasn't touching it. So I bought a single pouch of food and he wolfed it down. He now has two whisaks steamed pouches a day and snacks on the biscuit. He had diarhea once in the first two weeks but I think that's cos he overate.
Same with Ziggy...he hardly touched the IAMS we bought which the shelter said was all they'd had. He started straight onto the pouches and hardly even looked at the IAMS. He now eats a bit of Ziggy's biscuits and his own wet stuff. He was sick once in the first three days we had him and has been fine since.
I guess some cats ust chage quicker than others!