How to Wean a Cat Off of Soft Food

Dry cat food is often cheaper but less nutritious than canned food.

Dry cat food is often cheaper but less nutritious than canned food.

Feeding your cat a nutritious diet is essential for keeping him happy and healthy. Since many of the important nutrients your cat needs is found in canned food, always consult a veterinarian before weaning him completely off of soft food.

Cats have sensitive digestive systems that make transitions between foods challenging. Weaning a cat off of soft food is a process that must be carried out gradually to avoid intestinal and digestive problems.

Gradual Transition

Introduce your cat to dry food by crushing it into crumbs and sprinkling it over the soft food for several feedings. When you are ready to begin the transition, give your cat 75 percent soft food mixed with 25 percent dry food for the first three days.

Increase the amount of dry food and decrease the amount of soft food given every three days until you are feeding your cat only dry food. For example, give your cat 50 percent soft food mixed with 50 percent dry food for days 4 through 6. On the seventh day, increase the amount of dry food so that the ratio is 75 percent dry and 25 percent soft.

On the 10th day, feed your cat 100 percent dry food.

Items you will need

  • Soft cat food
  • Dry cat food


  • For cats that require more gradual transitions, begin with a 5 percent dry food mixture and increase by 5 percent every three days.
  • Since bacteria can quickly develop on dry food when it is wet, discard any uneaten portions of the mixed food after each feeding.
  • Monitor your cat closely during the transition to watch for vomiting or changes in stool. If you notice vomiting or soft stool, slow down the transition process to avoid digestive problems.


  • Dry cat food has lower water content than canned food, which can lead to dehydration, renal failure or urinary tract infections.
  • Dry cat food has a higher carbohydrate content than canned food, which can lead to feline obesity and other medical problems.

About the Author

Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

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