For the best results when transitioning your cat to Young Again, you MUST follow these feeding guidelines.
Young Again Cat Food is unique.
Welcome to a whole new way of feeding your cat. Your cat is an obligate carnivore whose natural diet in the wild is small prey. Young Again food is patterned after that diet, with a high protein, low starch/carb balance. Because its natural nutritional needs are being met, your cat will feel full and satisfied eating smaller portions of Young Again.
We recommend free-choice feeding your cat.
The best way to feed Young Again is by free choice. Fill the bowl and keep an eye on it so that it never gets below half full. If you find that you’re filling the bowl more than every other day, you need to use a larger bowl. Free-choice feeding is easy for you and the best way to ensure that your cat will be content, satisfied and not overeat. Free-choice feeding works with Young Again foods because they contain less than 6% starch/carbs. If your cat has not done well with free-choice feeding in the past, it is likely because the food you were feeding was high in starch/carbs. The typical cat foods available today contain 15-20% starch/carbs.
Converting your cat to Young Again.
If your pet immediately accepts Young Again cat food, your job is done. Take away their old food and replace it with Young Again, it’s that simple. Changing a cat slowly to a new food often ends in failure.
My cat doesn't want to eat Young Again. . .now what?
Let’s face it, some cats are difficult when making changes to their diet. If you put our food down and they refuse to eat it, don’t worry. Taste is not the primary reason most finicky cats refuse to eat a new food; unfamiliarity is. Cats are naturally suspicious of new things, new things could be dangerous. In their mind, it is safer to stick with what they know rather than try something new. It now becomes your job to show them that the new food is safe.
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. Do this for a week. Starting the second week, place our food in their bowl and grind and dust their old food onto the Young Again kibble. By now, our food will seem more familiar and after a few days you can gradually reduce the powder until the transition is complete.
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 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.
Keep in mind that 2 tablespoons of our food is the nutrional 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.
What if my cat is overeating Young Again?
First, implement and follow the rules we’ve established. The typical overeater will see a big bowl of our food, dive in and eat way more than they need. Sometimes they’ll eat so much, they’ll vomit whole pieces of food. This only happens with a few cats and should only occur once or twice before your cat self regulates. If you find your cat is eating more than 15 or 20 pieces of food when you first introduce them to Young Again, take your cat to another room and distract her with playtime. By the time the play session is over, your cat will feel satisfied and the next time she’s hungry, the food will not be such a novelty.
What happens when a cat overeats starch vs protein?
When cats overeat other cat foods containing more than 15% starch they will usually have a well-formed stool, but over time, they can also experience a slow and gradual weight gain. Any cat that is obese is at a greater risk for diabetes, kidney disease, stones and crystals. Because Young Again is a high protein food, when your cat eats too much, they will generally have a stool that is soft with the consistency of mashed potatoes. Soft stool is not harmful, however, it does let you know that your cat is overeating.
It has been two weeks and my cat still has soft stool.
Sometimes transitioning an overeater may require more persistence. You may even have to do some detective work to figure out why your cat behaves a certain way. Many difficult cats are rescues that were found starving or cats that lived with a territorial or dominate cat. These cats often have food issues, but the following suggestions should help. Never put the food bowl in the kitchen or any room that you spend a lot of time in like the family room. If you are eating or preparing food, your cat may feel the need to do the same. Instead move the food to a spare bedroom or room that sees little activity. Usually your cat will choose to stay with you in the kitchen, rather than running off to another room to eat. Treats or food should never be part of playtime. It is best if your cat does not associate eating with love and attention. When refilling your cat’s dish, do not encourage excited behaviour or draw attention to filling the bowl. Your cat’s interactions with food should be as mundane as possible.
Is my cat eating enough?
Because Young Again is nutrient dense, your cat will likely eat four to eight small meals a day. The average 10-15 pound cat typically eats a quarter to a third cup of Young Again kibble in 24 hours. If your cat is not keeping you up at night pestering you for food and is defecating in its litter box every 24-36 hours, she is getting enough food. Please do not ever starve a cat to get them to transition to a new food. Your cat should never go more than 12 hours without eating or drinking, this can cause serious liver problems.
Rules for a content kitty.
You need at least one bowl of food for every cat in the house. Once you exceed 4 cats you generally can limit the maximum number of bowls to 5. Even though your cats may appear to get along, they will almost always have competition issues with the household food. Having multiple full bowls of food around the house will typically eliminate overeating issues due to competition.
The bowl must be 8-10 inches across and about 1 inch deep. A standard 9 inch glass pie dish works well. However, our favorite dish for food and water is the 20oz/591ml Winter Frost White dish sold by Corelle. Do not use those cute little 4 inch cat dishes commonly sold in pet stores. They do not hold enough food and your cat will therefore feel they are always running out of food. When their food supply looks low it will cause their survival instincts to kick in and they will overeat. This is especially true if there is competition from other cats in the house.
It is best to put at least 2 full 8 ounce cups of food or more in each food bowl. The bowl must never be allowed to be less than half full. When using multiple food bowls, one or more bowls will usually empty faster than others. It is a good idea to fill the fast emptying bowls from the bowls that empty more slowly, so as not to waste food. The new food is always added to the slow bowls. Food rotation will maintain freshness and no food should be allowed to remain out for more than 7 days. Remember if you use a pet food container, other than our bag, to store your food; you must scrub the container with soap and water between fillings. Oil remaining on the container surface will go rancid quickly and will contaminate new food that is added to the container. Cats are very sensitive to rancid oils and keeping everything clean is a must.
Each bowl must be placed around the house so that when a cat is standing at any one bowl they will not be able to see any other cat, at any of the other bowls. Place bowls in different rooms and on different floors for best results. Privacy is very important to all cats. Place bowls out of the way, under desks, behind furniture or around corners; cats like small places.
The best locations for food and water bowls are in rooms that you do not spend a lot of time in. Spare bedrooms and basements are great. Try not to put the food in dead end areas like inside a closet, cats may feel trapped. Cats need an alternate way to leave any dish, should another cat approach. Be sure that the bowls are not in hallways or places where they can conveniently grab a snack as they walk by. When they get hungry we want them to seek out their food
By choosing to feed your cat a diet tailored to carnivores, you’re providing the foundation for a healthy and happy cat. And a happy cat makes for a happy home.
Still have questions?
Please contact us if you are still not successful with the above methods. Flavor packets are available to make our food even more appealing to a finicky feline.
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