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Introducing Your Cat to Young Again Food

Because our food feeds differently, it is important that you read the feeding instructions on the back of the bag for a quick and easy transition. Teaching your cat how to eat properly now, can prevent many issues later on.

Please do not hesitate to call or email us with your concerns.

Some cats are hesitant to try a new food, while others plunge right in and chow down. If you have the second kind of cat, just feed them the new food exclusively and they’ll be happy.

 

If your cat is overweight or has been in the past, it is likely that they will start by overeating our food and may experience soft stool. If the soft stool continues for more than 10 days then we recommend a restricted feeding program.

 

Most cats will adjust to our food and realize that they need to eat less within a few days so there is no need for you to do anything. They often overeat out of habit because that is what they did with the high starch food they were previously eating. After a few days they should learn that they need less of our food and they quickly lower their consumption.

 

Some cats within a few days and others can take a few weeks. The following advice is for those few cats who do not like change or have food issues and are taking longer than 7 days to correct. Most overeating issues are related to competition from another cat or animal in the household or the perception that food is in short supply.

 

The following advice is for those few cats who do not like change or have food issues:

A bowl of food and water for every cat in the house.

  • Free-choice feeding. Always keep food bowls more than half full. Your cat will assume she will starve if you allow the bowl be become less than half full. If you have too few bowls then they will overeat because of competition.

MORE ABOUT OUR INGREDIENTS

THE IMPORTANCE OF FREE-CHOICE FEEDING

  • ALL bowls should be large enough to hold TWO CUPS of food. A bowl that is full makes your cat feel secure about the abundance of their food supply. Wide shallow bowls are best.  We recommend this Corelle bowl for your cat's food and water.
  • ALL bowls should be placed so a cat standing at one bowl of food and water cannot see another cat feeding at another bowl. This method prevents the dominant cat in the house from intimidating a less secure cat. The dominant cat cannot guard every bowl at the same time. If you don't provide multiple bowls of food, the insecure cat will overeat when they finally do get to the food. Access to food becomes their overriding thought. They will eat any time they get a chance, even if they are not hungry. The result is soft stool and/or weight gain. This behavior also explains the “Scarf and Barf” vomiting episodes that we see with some cats.
  • Place food and water bowls somewhere other than the kitchen or family room. When you have a problem eater never put the food in the kitchen or any room that you spend time in. You eat and prepare food in the kitchen and your cat will follow you there to be social. If you are eating or working with food they may feel the need to do the same. Instead, move the food to the basement or spare bedroom. Usually the cat will choose to stay in the kitchen and continue being social, instead of running to another room to eat.
  • Food and treats should never be part of playtime when dealing with a food obsessed cat. It is best if your food obsessed cat does not associate eating with love and attention. Keep all interactions with food as mundane as possible.


Soft stool… what can I do?

Soft stool is almost always caused by your cat's overeating our food. It is seldom an indication that Young Again Cat Food disagrees with your cat’s digestive tract. Because our high-protein, low-starch cat foods are completely different from any cat food you've ever fed, it's important to follow our feeding suggestions.

 

While overeating other cat foods that contain more than 15% starch, cats will typically produce a well-formed stool. However, they will often experience gradual weight gain. Overweight cats are at a greater risk for diabetes, kidney disease, stones and crystals. When a cat overeats Young Again, they will generally have a stool that has the consistency of mashed potatoes. The soft stool is because meat and fat process differently than starch/carbs. Meat and fat are not good stool binders. Soft stool is not harmful, but it does smell. You may think soft stool is not good, but it does let you know your cat has an overeating problem. This gives you the opportunity to fix the problem before a more serious medical issue develops. If your cat overeats our food they were likely overeating their previous food and will continue to overeat the next food you try. For more information about cats that overeat, please click here.

 

Soft stool again after success.

If you see soft stool again it may be from a new stress; a new animal in the neighborhood, adding another cat, dog or child to the household or your cat has just caught a cold or virus. Sometimes a newly opened bag of food will be so fresh and taste so good, that your cat may overeat for a few days. Her stool should firm back up in about 10 days.

 

Still have soft stool?

Some cats have such a strong psychological dependence on food that free choice feeding is not an option. For these cats we recommend that you feed a measured amount of food divided into 2-3 feedings a day. Give them their first feeding in the morning when you wake and another small portion when you get home from work and the remaining larger portion just before bed.

 

Generally, a 10 pound cat needs to consume somewhere between one level ¼ cup and one rounded ¼ cup of our food every 24 hours. The easiest method is to place the ¼ cup in a zip bag (or the amount appropriate for your cat’s weight) and then divide this amount into 3 feedings for the next 24 hours. For any cat experiencing soft stool, from overeating, it should clear up within 48-72 hours with this feeding method. If your cat begs for food increase the amount you feed by a tablespoon. If they have soft stool lower it by a tablespoon. When making changes to the amount of food, it is best to only do so every other day to allow time for your cats system to adjust.

 

If you must restrict feed your cat, please use these guidelines:

Average consumption for 24 hours:

8 lb. cat –  Level ¼ cup

10 lb. cat – Rounded ¼ cup

12 lb. cat – Level 1/3 cup

15 lb. cat – Rounded 1/3 cup

20-25 lb. cat – Level ½ cup

For Maine Coons and other giant breeds add ¼ cup to each of above measures for 12 pounds and up.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Because Young Again is a nutrient-dense food, your cat will eat MUCH LESS than other cat foods. It does not mean your cat does not like our food. Please do not use distilled water with our food, we recommend spring water with a neutral pH.

 

My cat doesn't want to eat Young Again. . . now what?

Converting a stubborn cat to Young Again using dry food.

Let’s face it, some cats are difficult when making changes to their diet. Taste is not the primary reason most finicky cats refuse to eat a new food; unfamiliarity is. Cats are naturally suspicious of new things so for the first week, try grinding some of our Young Again cat food into a powder and dust it on their old kibble. Gradually increase the level of powdered Young Again until there is more dust than will stick to their old kibble. Starting the second week, place only Young Again kibble in their bowl, grind the old food into powder and dust the Young Again with more than will stick to the kibble. Once the cat is eating our food dusted with their old food, start reducing the amount of dusting until only Young Again kibble is in the bowl. Your cat should never go more than 12 hours without eating. If your cat has not eaten after 8 hours, go back a step so they are eating something. You can try the final step again in a few days. Please call us at any time for assistance with a difficult feline.

 

Converting a stubborn cat to Young Again using wet food.

Grind Young Again kibble into a powder and mix a pinch into your cat’s wet food each time you feed. Slowly increase the amount you add each day until you reach 2 parts wet food to 1 part Young Again kibble powder. Put out a bowl of Young Again Cat Food, but continue adding the powder to the wet food until they are eating both wet food and our kibble routinely. A minimum of one week is recommended to make the transition. In some cases, you can try using whole kibble instead of powder, it just depends on the cat. Coffee grinders, food processors and rolling pins are good ways to powder our food.

 

Keep in mind that 2 tablespoons of our food is the nutritional equivalent of a 3 ounce can of wet food. As you mix more of our food with the wet food, your cat will need to eat less of the mixture. Cutting back on the wet food will also encourage them to start eating our kibble.

 

What you are doing is changing your cat’s perception and teaching her that new can be good and need not be feared. After a few days, your cat will think, “This food seems familiar, I think I remember it from yesterday, it must be safe.” Persistence, consistency and patience are key when transitioning a stubborn cat to Young Again.

 

My cats are vomiting whole food.

When changing to a new food it is not unusual for a cat to vomit a couple of times that first week and is seldom a cause for concern.

 

Some people notice that when their cat vomits, she brings up whole pieces of food and they, therefore, think that the reason their cat vomited is because she did not chew the kibble or the kibble does not agree with her. But this is almost always not true. If the kibble is small enough, most cats will prefer to swallow their food whole and swallowing whole food will not trigger vomiting.

 

The main reason for vomiting is your cat was super hungry or very excited about the new food and ate until she was stuffed. When the kibble moistens in the stomach it swells, causing pressure in the stomach. The pressure causes discomfort and the cat tosses the food back up. Binge eating like this is common with a new food that the cat really likes. It usually only happens the first time you put the food down and the vomiting almost always occurs within 30 minutes of eating.

 

Placement of the bowls is extremely important for cats that vomit. Vomiting can also be a sign of territorial eating.  Multiple cat households, please see this important section for information on placement and quantity of food.

 

Hairballs (trichobezoar) in the stomach will also cause vomiting. There is simply not enough room in the stomach to accommodate the amount of food she thinks she needs to eat as well as the hairball. Vaseline (pure petroleum jelly) or hairball gels are a good option to help move the hairball out.

 

How do I know if my cat is eating enough?

Because Young Again Cat Foods are nutritionally dense, cats eat a lot less of it. It may seem like they are not eating enough compared to the amount they were eating of their previous food, but a typical 10 lb cat fed Young Again kibble free choice (full bowls available at all times) will generally consume about ¼ cup in 24 hours. When eating a standard high starch/carb food, they were likely consuming ½ to ¾ of a cup in 24 hours. A 15 pound cat will generally consume 1/3 of a cup per day, only a few cats that will consume more than a ½ a cup of our food in 24 hours. Each cat is different. Large breed cats like Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats require more than a domestic shorthair. See our consumption calculator here. Still have questions? Please contact us.

 

Another way to know your cat is eating enough, check the litter box. Normal litter box use for a cat eating Young Again Cat Food is 1 stool every 24-48 hours and 2-3 urine balls. If your cat is using the litter box like this and seems content (not keeping you up at night), they are likely eating enough. If you believe you cat is not eating the food properly, we can send a flavor pack, but we ask that you check your cat's food consumption before ordering a flavor pack. Adding flavoring to a cat's food when they are already eating the proper amount can cause them to overeat.

 

Still not convinced? Here's another way to check whether you cat is eating the proper amount of Young Again Cat Food. Empty her bowl and refill with a 1 level cup of food. At the end of 24 hours, measure back the remaining food to determine how much food your cat consumed. If she is eating the recommended amount for her breed and weight, she is eating enough. Think of it this way, if your cat was hungry, would she allow you to sleep through the night? She'd likely keep you up begging for food.

 

Still have questions? Please contact us. Keeping your best friends healthy and happy is our top priority.

 

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