There’s a reason cats appear to be finicky. It’s actually a manifestation of their natural instinct to fixate on a certain food, which helps kittens learn what food is and to recognize it later on. Cats that have been eating the same thing for a long time may not recognize fresh raw meat as food. Commercial pet foods are coated with flavor enhancers that become addictive to cats and it will probably take some patience on your part to transition your cat if your cat has been eating commercial food for a long time.

If your cat currently eats kibble only: Start by offering your cat a small portion of raw meat as a treat in the morning and evening. You may need to warm it up. Don't microwave it, you may end up accidentally cooking it, rather place it in a bag in a bowl of warm water. If your cat eats it, gradually start feeding raw food at meal times, slowly increasing the amount of raw food and decreasing the amount of dry food you feed each day. If your cat won’t eat the raw food alone, start by mixing a small amount with their kibble and gradually increase the raw portion.

Another option is to transition to a commercial wet food, then transition to the raw diet from the canned food. Sometimes this makes it easier for cats to transition.

If your cat currently eats wet food only: Start by placing small amounts of the raw diet next to the regular diet or mix with their current wet food. Gradually begin increasing the ratio of raw to canned until the transition is complete.

If your cat eats both wet and dry food: Slowly move to feeding the wet food twice per day and reduce the amount of kibble left out during the day for grazing. Add small amounts of the raw diet to the canned wet food or offer as a separate treat at meal time. Gradually begin offering kibble only during meals, and eventually not at all. For cats that have trouble recognizing a raw diet as food and are completely ignoring it all together, here is something to try: Place a tablespoon of raw food next to their regular food. This lets cats begin to associate raw food with meal times. It may be a slow process, they may only sniff it at first, but gradually they learn this might also be food, will taste it, and eventually begin a transition.