How to Use Baby Food or The Bland Diet
When your kitty is in crisis or during a flare, it can be very soothing to the GI system to feed a very simple, plain diet prior to transitioning to raw or homemade cat food.
We recommend making bone broth, which is nutritious, healing and soothing. Include up to several tablespoons of bone broth while feeding the bland diet. Please see “Bone Broth for IBD.”
The Plain Diet
You can use any protein. If you suspect your kitty has a sensitivity (or allergy) to chicken, many find that pork (as a “novel” protein that is easy to source) is well tolerated.
Simply poach the meat in a small amount of water. Important nutrients will leach into that water, it is very important that all of the water used to cook the meat be used in the food. You can
- shred the meat and feed it with the broth;
- use a food processor to basically turn the meat and broth into a homemade baby food
For sake of ease, you can also use commercial meat-only baby food ("gravy" or "broth" in U.S. brands means the water used in cooking the meat). If using baby food, be aware that Gerber contains cornstarch, and the beef also contains lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Beech Nut, or Goya (owned by Beech Nut) are nothing but meat and the water in which the food was cooked (it contains some unflavored bone broth, basically). The Beech Nut label says “broth,” but we have confirmed with the company that there are no preservatives and nothing else used in the product (no onion, garlic, veggies, etc). This said, please know that we find many kitties prefer Gerber baby food, and we are not aware of any cats that had a problem with the cornstarch, though it is a possibility.
Plain meat and baby food are not nutritionally balanced. These are meant to be used on a temporary basis, and can be used without supplementation for two weeks, three at most for an adult cat. For a kitten, 2 or 3 days, a week at most, unless otherwise instructed by your vet.
If your kitty does well with this plain food, it is best to transition to properly balanced homemade food. Options for that are found at the main menu.
If you want to start with just taurine, liver and calcium, while this does not make the plain meat balanced, these are the most important additions that will enable you to feed the plain diet longer while you decide how to proceed or work on introducing a more complete food.
Add 250mg of taurine daily (or 50-60mg of taurine per ounce of food fed). http://feline-nutrition.org/answers/answers-how-much-taurine-should-i-add
Instructions for using eggshell powder are in the article “Mini-Measuring Spoons & Eggshell for Calcium”
Instructions for using freeze-dried liver in place of fresh are in the article “Using Freeze-dried Liver in Place of Fresh”
How to Transition to Raw (or home cooked):
If your cat is free-feeding, a successful transition is most likely when kitty is transitioned to timed meals. This article will help: “Transitioning Free-Fed Kibble Kitties to Timed Meals.”
“Transitioning Your Cat to a New Type of Food (Canned, Raw, or Homemade)”