Worried that your cat is suffering from dehydration? We take a look at the signs and symptoms to look for, and the best way to encourage your cat to drink more water.
Our feline friends are not known for their love for water, or drinking. It’s a common problem for cat owners to notice that the cat refuses to drink from the water bowl but will happily indulge in the pools left by the shower. Feline history suggests that cats would traditionally get their daily fluid intake from the foods they eat. But as our domestic kitty has changed, this is becoming more and more of a challenge, particularly if your cat is fed an exclusively dry diet.
Keeping your cat hydrated is important as dehydration can cause many health-related issues in felines. Ensuring your pet is well-hydrated can also prevent any painful urinary and kidney problems.
It’s important to know the signs of dehydration in cats:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of elasticity
- in skin
- Sunken eyes
- Dry gums and mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms it is highly recommended to seek veterinary advice. If left untreated dehydration can lead to irreversible damage and extreme illness. Dehydration can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition, so it’s important to have a clean bill of health by a professional. Pet owners can check the elasticity of their cats’ skin by gently lifting the skin between the shoulders. If it takes longer to return to normal, it could be an indication of dehydration. However, if you suspect your pet is not well, it is advisable to book your pet in for a quick check-up.
What Causes Dehydration in Cats?
Similar in humans, dehydration is caused when there is an imbalance of electrolytes and water in the body. With water making up around 80% of your cat’s body, guaranteeing they are drinking enough is vital for their overall health and wellbeing. Daily water intake is required to replace fluids lost through normal behaviour such as breathing and toileting. Water also helps with all bodily processes including digestion and circulation.
Dehydration can occur quickly, particularly in hot or humid climates. When the water and electrolytes drop to a less than normal level, your pet can start exhibiting symptoms of illness. Other issues that can lead to extreme fluid loss include; vomiting, diarrhoea, and over-exertion.
How Can I Encourage My Cat to Drink?
For all cat owners, having fresh clean water is a must for keeping your cat healthy. Many cats will not drink out of dirty or soiled bowls. Most feline friends also prefer super fresh water – have you ever wondered why they love drinking out of your fresh glass of chilled water?
Other tips to help your cat drink more…
- Cat water fountains are a wonderful way to encourage your cat to take in more fluids. Cats simply adore these wonderful free flowing drinking bowls.
- Keep the food bowl away from the water bowl, it is a quirky behaviour that cats simply do not like their food and water being close to each other.
- Ceramic bowls are also preferable as they don’t tend to hold onto smells and stains like plastic can. Cats do not like smelly water bowls.
- Look for a wide shallow bowl so your cat can drink without annoying their whiskers.
- Offer more than one drinking station.
- Keep the water bowls fresh and clean.
- Keep the water bowl away from the litter box.
Pet Food Sherpa states that you can also add a little water to your cat’s diet. If you only feed your pet dry food, consider soaking your biscuits or adding some wet food into their daily diet.
Help, Is My Cat Drinking Too Much Water?
As with not drinking enough water, excessive drinking can be a sign that something is not right with your beloved cat. It is imperative you seek veterinary advice quickly. If you notice your cat drinking too much, it could indicate:
- kidney failure or disease
- liver disease
- Cushing’s Disease or even hyperthyroidism.