How to wean your cat off dry food

Posted by Ingrid, July 25, 2011


原文在此 (Original article here)

The ownership and copyright of this article belongs to the original writer and this is just a translated version, only for sharing.



Allegra eating canned Wellness grain-free food

你能做到對貓咪健康最好的事情, 就是停止餵食乾乾。乾乾對貓咪來說就像垃圾食物。 許多退化性疾病, 像是糖尿病, 泌尿道疾病, 腎臟病及發炎性腸躁症的發生直接與這些食物有關。

One of the best things you can do for your cat’s health is to stop feeding dry food. Dry food is the equivalent of junk food for cats. Many of the degenerative diseases we’re seeing in cats, including diabetes, urinary tract disease, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, may be directly linked to these foods.

貓咪需要肉及水分Cats need meat and moisture

貓是嚴格的肉食性動物。 這表示他們需要吃肉以存活。 他們無法由植物性的蛋白質(如穀類及蔬菜)得到足夠的營養, 因為不像人類及狗, 他們沒有那些特別用來代謝植物性蛋白質的酵素。 他們的飲食幾乎不需要碳水化合物。

Cats are obligate carnivores.  This means they need meat to survive.  They cannot get enough nutritional support from plant-based proteins such as grains and vegetables, because, unlike humans and dogs, they lack the specific enzyme that processes plant-based proteins metabolically.  They need few to no carbohydrates in their diet.   

貓也需要飲食中有水分。 他們不像其他的動物會主動去喝水, 而且如果貓咪的主食為乾燥的, 這可能導致慢性的輕微脫水。 如果貓咪只吃乾乾, 就算他會去喝水, 這也是不足的。 貓咪自然的食物(獵物)含有約75%的水分。 乾乾只有約7-10%。 罐罐含有約75%的水分(依品牌而不同)。 就算只吃乾乾的貓咪喝的水比吃罐罐的貓咪多, 總共的攝水量還是比較少。 想想為什麼貓咪常會有泌尿道及腎臟問題, 這就是為什麼乾乾的爭議性那麼的大。

Cats also need moisture in their diets. They do not have a strong thirst drive when compared to other animals, and this can lead to chronic low-level dehydration when the cat’s main diet is a dry one. Even if your cat drinks water, it won’t be enough if she only eats dry food. A cat’s natural diet (prey) contains about 75% water. Dry food only contains 7-10%. Canned food contains somewhere around 75% (depending on the brand). Even though a cat on only dry food will drink more water than a cat who is eating canned food, when you add up the water they drink and the water that occurs in their diet, water intake still falls short for the cat on dry food. Considering how common urinary tract and kidney problems are in cats, this in itself should make a convincing argument against dry food.

定時制, 非隨口可及Meal-feeding, not free-choice feeding

許多家長餵乾乾就是因為乾乾可以放在外面一整天。 這個餵食方式是貓咪肥胖症的其中一個主要原因。 貓咪, 天生為狩獵者, 他們整天24小時都有食物可以吃是不合邏輯的。 定時一天餵食兩次和他們自然的狩獵行為較為相似, 而且藉由餵食一定的量, 熱量攝取及體重都可以得到較好的控制。

Many pet owners feed dry food because it can be left out during the day without spoiling while the cat is left at home alone.  This method of free choice feeding is one of the leading contributors to obesity in cats.  Cats, by nature, are hunters, and it doesn’t make sense that they should need access to food 24 hours a day.  Meal feeding twice a day mimicks their natural hunting behavior much closer, and by feeding controlled portion sizes twice  a day rather than leaving food out all day long, calorie intake, and weight, can be controlled much better.

乾乾對牙齒清潔沒有效Dry food does not clean teeth

乾乾可以幫助清潔貓咪的牙齒是一個流傳很久的傳言, 這完全錯誤。 大多數的貓咪不會咀嚼乾乾很久, 所以這個依據咀嚼動作而來的傳言是不正確的。 他們只是將這些小塊咬碎而已。

The myth that dry food helps clean cats’ teeth is one of the most persistent beliefs when it comes to pet food, and it is simply not true. Most cats don’t chew their kibble long enough, if at all, for any of the scraping action that is the theory behind this myth to kick in.  What little they do chew shatters into small pieces. 

有些寵物食品製造商提供"潔牙配方", 將乾乾做得比較大塊以使貓咪咀嚼的時間久一點, 但是很多的貓咪還是會直接把它吞下去。 還有, 乾乾會在貓咪的嘴裡殘留碳水化合物, 這會促進牙垢及牙菌斑的生長。 說真的, 如果乾乾可以潔牙, 人的牙醫怎麼不會建議我們吃乾的穀片以增加我們的牙齒清潔度?

Some pet food manufacturers offer a “dental diet” that is made up of larger than normal sized kibble to encourage the chewing longer, but many cats swallow even those larger size pieces whole.  Additionally, dry food leaves a carbohydrate residue in the cat’s mouth that actually encourages growth of tartar and plaque. And seriously, if it was true that dry kibble cleans teeth, wouldn’t human dentists recommend that we eat dry cereal to keep our teeth clean? 

如何從乾乾轉換成無穀的罐罐或是生食How to transition from dry to grain-free canned or raw food

有些貓咪的轉換過程很簡單。 你第一次餵他們無穀的罐罐或是生食, 他們直接就會開始吃, 而我猜想他們心中應該是想說"終於, 這個人類發現我應該要吃什麼了!"

Some cats will transition easily. The first time you feed them grain-free canned or raw food, they’ll start eating it right away, and I’m guessing what goes through their minds at that point is something along the lines of “finally, the humans have figured out what I’m supposed to be eating!”

其他的貓咪會比較有挑戰性。 其中一個很大的原因就是因為寵物食品製造商將乾乾做的十分誘貓。 在處理的過程中, 烘烤及擠壓出來的乾乾會噴上動物消化產物(這是以化學或是酵素水解後的乾淨及未分解的動物組織)。 貓咪非常喜歡這些消化產物; 對有些貓咪來說, 這就像貓咪的古柯鹼, 真的會造成他們的成癮症。 有些貓咪很愛乾乾的質地, 而且可能會抗拒從乾乾變成無穀罐罐或生食這樣大的質地變化。

Others can present more of a challenge. This is in no small part due to what pet food manufacturers do to make these dry food so enticing to cats. As part of the production process, the baked or extruded kibble is sprayed with animal digest (and yes, it’s pretty much as disgusting as it sounds: digest is material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolisis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue.) Cats love the taste of these digests; for some cats, it’s like kitty crack and actually causes them to be addicted. Some cats also love the texture of dry food and may resist the drastic change in texture from dry to grain-free canned or raw food.

慢慢來, 耐心Go slow, and be patient

轉換這些乾乾成癮貓大王的關鍵是要慢慢來, 而且要有耐心。 而你可能需要一些技巧幫助。 對某些貓咪來說, 這可能需要幾個月的時間。 我曾經聽過有個貓咪的人類持續好幾周,每天都會放一點點的罐罐在他的乾乾旁邊。 他拒絕去碰那些罐罐, 那個人類只好最後每次都把罐罐丟掉。 結果有一天, 在好幾周的轉換過程後, 他突然開始吃旁邊的生食, 後來再也沒有碰過他的乾乾!

The key is to transition these hard-core dry food addicts is to go slow, and be patient. And you may need a few tricks up your sleeve. For some cats, it may take several months. I’ve heard of one cat whose human would put down a small amount of canned food next to his dry food every day for several weeks. He refused to touch it, so she wound up throwing it out each time. Then one day, several weeks into the transition, he gobbled up the raw food and never touched his dry food again!

停止無限量供應Stop free choice feeding

如果你的貓咪只吃乾乾, 而且你把這些食物隨時都擺出來給他, 馬上停止這些行為。 個步驟是很重要的。 每天定時定量餵兩次, 而且半小時內就把沒吃完的部分收掉。他要直到下次的餵食時間才有得吃。 如果你讓他的碗裡隨時充滿了本來吃的,他熟悉的食物, 他不會去嘗試新東西。

If your cat is eating only dry food, and you leave food out at all times, stop this practice immediately. This step is critical. Feed twice a day, at set meal times, and take up what the cat doesn’t eat within about half an hour. She gets no other food until the next meal time. Your cat will not try anything new if you keep his bowl filled with the old, familiar food 24/7.

你要有心理準備, 你的貓咪會讓你感覺你好像在讓他挨餓。 這個階段對人類來說比對貓咪來說還要艱難。 堅持是關鍵。 一點點的飢餓感會是一個很強的動力促使貓咪接受新的食物。

Be prepared that your cat will make you feel like you’re letting him starve. This phase of the process can be much harder on the human than it is on the cat. Persistence is key. A little hunger at meal times can be a powerful motivator to get a cat to accept the new food.

慢慢增加罐罐或生食的量Gradually increase the amount of canned or raw food

如果你的貓咪已經接受一點點的罐罐或生食當作特別獎賞, 他可能會比較容易接受轉換成全罐罐甚至全生食。 你只需要慢慢的增加罐罐或生食的量, 而且降低乾乾的量, 直到你可以完全只餵罐罐或生食。

If your cat is already getting a small amount of canned food or raw food as a special treat, she will probably be much more receptive to being transitioned to all canned food or even raw food. All you have to do is gradually increase the amount of canned or raw food, and decrease the amount of dry food, until you’re only feeding canned or raw.

給挑剔食客們一些獎勵Add some incentives to tempt finicky eaters

有些乾乾成癮貓大王會因為你在罐罐或生食上面灑冷凍乾燥的雞肉或鮭魚而去嘗試。 一點點的鮪魚或蛤蠣汁也會有幫助。 其它的"賄絡"方式還有切小塊的熟肉, 一匙以肉為主的嬰兒食品(要注意裡面不能含有洋蔥粉), 或是最後的大絕招--一點點的壓碎乾乾。

Some hard core dry food addicts can be convinced to try canned or raw food by sprinkling freeze dried chicken or salmon on top of the food. A little bit of tuna or clam juice drizzled over the canned or raw food can also help. Other “bribes” can include cooked meat, cut in small pieces, a spoonful of meat-based baby food (make sure it doesn’t contain onion powder), or, as a last resort, a small amount of crushed kibble.

永遠不要讓你的貓咪超過24小時沒有進食Never let your cat go without food for more than 24 hours

在轉換的期間要有毅力及耐心, 但永遠不要讓你的貓咪超過24小時沒吃東西。 尤其是過重的貓咪, 這有可能會造成危及生命的脂肪肝。

Be patient and persistent during the transition period, but never let your cat go without eating for more than 24 hours. Allowing a cat to go without food, especially one who is overweight, can result in a life-threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis

降低腸胃不適Minimize intestinal upset

大多數人會建議你慢慢的轉換成新的食物, 用好幾天的時間慢慢從舊的食物轉換成新的食物, 以避免胃部不適及軟便。 我發現如果你是轉換成無穀的食物, 這通常不會是個問題。

Most people recommend to transition to a new food gradually, by reducing the amount of the old food and increasing the amount of the new food over a number of days to avoid upset stomach and soft stools. I’ve found that when transitioning to grain-free food, this is usually not an issue.

我建議每天添加一些好的益生菌。 不只在轉換的期間, 這可做為一生增強免疫系統的幫助。 益生菌有無口味的粉, 可以混在食物裡面。 我用Dr. Goodpet’s Feline Digestive Enzymes, 這是消化酵素與益生菌的混合物。

I do recommend adding a good probiotic every day. I actually recommend this not just during the transition period, but as a lifelong immune system booster. Probiotics come in unflavored powders and can be mixed in with the food. I use Dr. Goodpet’s Feline Digestive Enzymes, a mix of enzymes and probiotics.

讓貓咪成功戒掉乾乾的家長們通常會對於他們的變化感到驚訝。 過重的貓咪會開始減少脂肪, 增加肌肉。 皮毛會更光亮柔順。 便便的體積與氣味會降低。 最重要的是, 貓咪更健康了。

Cat parents who have weaned their cats off of dry food are usually amazed at the difference. Overweight cats who have been unable to lose weight are starting to lose fat and build muscle. Haircoats look sleeker and shinier. Stools decrease in volume and smell. And most importantly, cats are healthier.


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