How Do Cats Become Dehydrated
Aside from your cat not drinking water, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, trauma and heatstroke can all dehydrate your feline. Chronic dehydration is usually a symptom of another disease, such as diabetes, kidney disorders, cancer or hyperthyroidism. Elderly cats and felines who are nursing can also be susceptible to dehydration. Electrolytes like sodium, potassium and chloride, essential for normal body functions, are also lost when your cat becomes dehydrated, so rehydrating with water and important electrolytes often becomes the first line of treatment for many of those underlying diseases.
Reasons Why Your Cat Is Drinking A Lot Of Water
In the article below, well walk you through some of the most common causes of increased thirst in cats. Some of these causes are more serious than others, and only your vet can tell you for sure which problem may be causing your cats increased thirst. Read on to find out more.
Some common reasons why your cat is drinking a lot of water include, but arent limited to:
Signs Of Dehydration In A Cat
It can be hard to tell whether your cat is actually dehydrated simply by their water intake. Additionally, most cats do not have detectable dehydration till they are about 5% dehydrated. This basically means that your cat has lost 5% of their body water before you can tell dehydration is present. When cats are 10% dehydrated, they are very ill and most do not survive without intensive care once they reach 12% or more.
Also Check: Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottles
Increased Thirst In Cats
When cats suddenly start drinking more or urinating more frequently, they might be experiencing an underlying medical condition. For instance, hyperthyroidism involves the overproduction of hormones that increase a cats metabolic rate. The result is often an increased appetite, accompanied by increased drinking and urination.
Another common cause for increased thirst in cats is chronic kidney disease . Trusted SourceCornell University College of Veterinary MedicineVeterinary school.Go to source Cats with CKD may lose the ability to concentrate urine properly in the body. In response, they often urinate more frequently and drink more water to compensate.
Some Fast Facts About Cats Drinking Water
Thumbnail: Photography by sarkao / Shutterstock.
This piece was originally published in 2009.
Read Also: White Water Rafting In Gatlinburg Tn
Tips To Prevent Dehydration
As with so many pet medical conditions, prevention is often best. One simple step to ensure your cat is getting enough water is to consider switching to wet food. Some wet cat food contains up to 80% moisture, so this can be an easy way to increase your cats daily fluid intake. If your feline friend simply refuses to eat anything but dry cat food, try adding a splash of water or low sodium chicken broth to their kibble at mealtime.
Your cat should always have access to fresh water throughout the day. If a normal water bowl doesnt cut it for your kitty, consider a dedicated cat water fountain. Some, like this option from Felaqua, even include additional features to provide statistics and insights into how much your cat is drinking each day.
My Cat Is Drinking A Lot Of Water Should I Be Concerned
As a cat owner, you are probably very well-versed in your pets behavior and regular routine. Of course, this also means youre quick to recognize any changes in your cats behavior that may indicate a problem, too. If you notice your cat drinking a lot of water, much more water than he used to, this may be a cause for concern. Many causes of increased thirst will also cause increased urination.
Don’t Miss: Shower Head With Filter For Hard Water
How Much Water Should A Cat Drink
Most cat carers are good at monitoring how much their pets eat, but what about measuring how much they drink?
Measuring water consumption can be an effective way of gaining a better understanding of a cats health, but most cat carers dont know enough about this topic to know the significance of the information they gain. This article aims to correct that, by delving into the topic of drinking water in detail.
How To Control Your Cats Water Intake
You cannot judge a cats water intake based solely on how much water you see it drinking. If your cat is on a wet diet, she probably wont have much of a need for extra water. And when they drink, it could easily happen when you are away from home or even when you are sleeping.
Instead of trying to catch your cat in the act, focus on monitoring the water levels in her bowl at the end of the day . When you clean and refill their water bowls each day, make a note of how much is left. Make sure to fill the container to the same level every day so its easy to tell when there is a significant change.
Also Check: Wildwood New Jersey Water Park
How To Help Your Cat Drink More Water
Feeding your cat a high-moisture diet is the best and easiest way to get them to drink more water.
The best way to encourage a cat to drink more water is to feed a moist food diet rather than dry food. Moist food is over 80% moisture, so cats that are fed this will drink more without going near their water bowl.
Read More: Wet vs. Dry Cat Food
Alternatively, other options to encourage additional water to be consumed include:
What About Hot Days Should My Pet Drink More
Yes! On hot summer days, or if your pet has been running/playing a lot, make sure they have access to even more fresh, clean water. Water helps cats and dogs regulate their body temperature, digest their food, and stay hydrated.
If you think your pet may be very dehydrated, take them to an emergency vet or your full-service veterinarian right away. If your dog or cat seems mildly dehydrated but is not vomiting, give your pet small amounts of water, 1 teaspoon for a little dog or cat, 2 tablespoons for larger dogs, every 10 minutes for a few hours.
Despite what you might think, if your pet is mildly dehydrated dont let them drink rapidly. Drinking too much too fast could cause vomiting and thus more dehydration. Help them cool down, encourage them to drink small amounts slowly, and monitor them closely.
Besides being extra thirsty, here are 4 signs that your pet may be dehydrated. If your pet has these warning signs, youd best get to a vet.
- sleepy or unwilling to play
Also Check: Which Water Softener Is Best
How Can I Hydrate My Cat If They Won’t Drink Water
If your cat doesn’t exhibit any of the symptoms of dehydration but you are still concerned about their water intake, there are a few things you can try to increase your cat to drink more water.
- If your cat’s water bowl is near their litterbox, make sure to move it
- Make sure your cat has access to fresh water throughout the day. Many cats will not drink water that has been ‘sitting out’ for an extended period of time.
- Try moving the bowl to a different location
- Try a different bowl or a pet fountain/bowl that provides running water.
- If your cat eats only dry food, introduce wet food to their diet.
Contact your vet right away if you’re concerned that your cat isn’t drinking enough water. Dehydration can be an indication of a serious underlying condition such as kidney disease, heatstroke, or diabetes. When it comes to your cat’s health, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Note:The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Water Needs Depends On Diet
Cats’ body tissues consist of about 67 percent water. Coincidentally, that is approximately the percentage of water in the prey they catch and eat in the wild. In contrast, dry cat food contains between 6 and 10 percent water and canned cat food has at least a 75 percent moisture content, making it a good source of water. Therefore, a cat on an all-dry food diet would require more supplemental drinking water than a cat on an exclusive raw or canned food diet. Likewise, a cat on a combination of dry and canned cat food also needs more drinking water.
Dr. Jennifer Coates, in an article for PetMd.com, created a formula suggesting that a 10-pound adult cat on a dry food diet needs about a cup of water a day. The same cat on a canned diet needs about a third a cup of water daily.
Don’t Miss: Automatic Water Bowl For Dogs
The Importance Of Fresh Water
Cats, like all animals, need to have freely available access to fresh, clean water at all times. Your cats water bowl should be emptied, washed and refilled at least once a day- twice is better- and not just topped up on an ad-hoc basis.Some cats are particularly fussy about what kind of water they will drink. Some will only drink running water from a tap or fountain, or from a certain bowl, and some seem to have distinct preferences for hard or soft water respectively. Of course, there is always the odd one or two whose water source of choice is the bottom of the bath, or even worse, the toilet bowl!
Why Water Is Important
Water is a critically important part of normal daily life and health. The body needs water for many reasons:
- Water enables the moisturising of air as it enters the body through the nose and mouth
- Water allows the continual hydration of internal and external body surfaces
- Water is a key part of the composition of the blood as it flows around the body carrying nutrients and removing waste products at a cellular level
- Water is a key ingredient of faeces and urine as it removes waste products from the body
- Water is an essential part of many biochemical reactions all around the body, all the time
Recommended Reading: How To Test Water For Bacteria At Home
Is My Cat Unwell
To help determine whether your cat’s thirst is normal or a sign of them being unwell, keep an eye out for other symptoms. If your cat is extra thirsty, theyll probably also use the litter box or pee outside more than normal.
Conditions that can cause excessive thirst might also cause changes in your cats appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, vocalization, or even breathing problems.
So, let’s find out what specific symptoms could mean:
What Causes Dehydration In Cats
Dehydration in cats is typically caused by the cat not drinking enough water or by excessive water loss. Cats can also lose moisture by sweating small amounts through their paws but this does not usually cause drastic water loss. Dehydration could be brought about by many different factors like:
To help your cat maintain healthy hydration, ensure that they can always access fresh water in a clean bowl every day.
You May Like: Indoor Water Park In Indiana
Is Your Cat Drinking Too Much Water
At the other end of the spectrum, if you often notice your cat at the water bowl or they seem to be drinking a particularly large volume of water or showing a lot of interest in the water itself, this is often indicative of an underlying health problem. Some cats actively enjoy playing in water and splashing about, but if your cat is actually drinking or trying to drink rather than just playing, it is important to look a little more closely to discern if they are maybe drinking too much.Drinking too much water, especially when accompanied by a corresponding increase in their urine output can indicate the onset of a range of potentially serious health conditions, including diabetes, kidney and renal problems, thyroid problems and bladder infections. Monitor your cats water intake for a few days if you suddenly start to notice that they may be drinking a lot but are in otherwise good health. But dont leave it too long to get your cat checked out by your vet if you suspect a problem, as by the time dehydration and increased water intake manifest within cats, the underlying cause of this symptom can often be quite advanced.
My Cats Eyes Are Watery Some Days Is This An Allergy
Watery eyes can arise due to a variety of reasons in cats, including infection, inflammation or a blocked tear duct. The most common reason in cats is usually because of an eye irritation of some nature for example dust, smoke or allergy, as you rightly suggest. If your cat is squinting, blinking or closing the eye this could be a sign of pain and you should have your vet check this out. Cats also commonly get scratches to the surface of their eye which need treatment by a vet. If the discharge becomes yellow or green or you have any other concerns, you should have your cat checked over by your vet.
You May Like: Heating Elements For Water Heater
How Much Water Should A Cat Drink It Depends On A Few Factors
How much water should a cat drink? The amount of water consumption depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your cat, the time of year and whether your cats diet includes wet cat food or dry cat food only. If cats are given dry food only, they will require significantly more supplemental water to stay acceptably hydrated. Normally, a cat will require 2-4 ounces of fresh water in addition to his food. Dry food is only 10 percent water, while canned is approximately 80 percent water. So obviously your cat is going to drink a lot more water if you are providing dry food only.
Is It An Emergency If My Cat Wont Drink Water
Not drinking enough water will cause dehydration if it goes on long enough. This is a serious condition that can even be fatal. Unfortunately, pet parents dont always notice the signs of dehydration in cats until they become severe. Signs of dehydration include:
Dry gums: Try to press your index finger gently into your cats gums and watch them turn from white back to a normal pink color. This should happen in less than 2 seconds. If the gums are cherry red, your finger sticks to the gums, or the refill time is longer than 2 seconds, your cat may be significantly dehydrated.
Increased skin tenting: Gently pinch the skin between your cats shoulder blades or on top of the head, pull it upward, then let go. The skin should bounce back into place within a second. If the skin remains tented any longer, your cat is likely dehydrated.
Sunken eyes: Your cats eyes will appear sunken into their head with moderate to severe dehydration.
Constipation: The colons job is to pull water out of the feces to rehydrate the body and to form stool. When the body is already dehydrated, the colon continues to dry out the stool, leading to constipation. If your cat is straining to defecate in the litter box, and there is no feces or only small, hard fecal balls, your cat may be constipated and dehydrated.
You May Like: Water Filters For Frigidaire Refrigerators
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Dehydrated
Cats can be picky and awkward with their water consumption.
A cat who appears to be drinking less might not be unwell or dehydrated, but its important to keep a close eye on them.
Dehydration is dangerous for any animal, and it can lead to significant dangers, including lethargy, and even organ failure.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
Read this next: 10 Best Cat Foods For Diarrhea
How To Treat Your Cats Dehydration
When you visit a veterinarian to address your cats dehydration, you may be given several options. First, the doctor will attempt to address the root cause of the dehydration. In some cases, simple changes that encourage your cat to drink more water can help. However, some cats with dehydration require a treatment known as fluid therapy.
Fluid therapy is employed in a number of ways. The ultimate goal is to restore normal fluid levels, so treatment will depend on your pets needs. Fluids can be administered orally, under the skin, or through an IV catheter. Intravenous or subcutaneous fluids are often the safest and most efficient methods of delivery.
You May Like: Travel Trailer Hot Water Heater