Have you ever wondered if your precious kitty should be drinking more or if they are dehydrated? Cats often don’t drink nearly as much as their canine counterpart. This may be because they consume enough water through their diet. What are the signs of dehydration? How do I prevent kitty from becoming dehydrated? Read on and find simple answers to these questions.
💧Kitty, Why Are You Licking the Drops of Water from the Shower? 💧
If you have ever observed your cat lapping up water condensation from a cold glass, the shower or sink, it could be a sign that she is mildly dehydrated.
What are the Common Signs of Feline Dehydration?
Other common signs of dehydration may include
- refusal to eat
- if you touch her gums and they are dry or sticky
Sometimes the signs of dehydration are not as apparent. Dehydration can cause lethargy or lack of energy and depression. Dehydrated cats may also stop grooming herself as often.
Signs of serious dehydration and an immediate need for medical attention include
- sunken eyes
- Lack of physical coordination
- The skin not falling back into place after picking it up at the back of her neck
How Can Dehydration Affect Your Cat?
And at the worst extreme, your kitty may go into shock and be at risk of death. Your poor purr box should definitely be seen by a vet if the dehydration is severe.
What Causes Feline Dehydration?
Dehydration can be the result of your cat’s circumstances. Kitty may be chronically mildly dehydrated or more severely dehydrated due to acute problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, or being lost or trapped and unable to get water. Extreme heat may also lead to dehydration.
If you never see your kitty drinking from the water bowl you are not alone. Many cats are prone to mild chronic dehydration. Not all cats drink water readily. This goes back to their ancestors who survived on prey. The mice and other creatures they fed on would provide enough moisture to keep them hydrated.
How Can You Keep Your Kitty Hydrated?
Now, our cats’ lives are very different. For one thing, many cats are fed only dry food which contains very very little water. So what are some ways that we can provide them with sufficient water? And how can we tell how much water they are getting?
One way to provide your cat with extra moisture by feeding her wet food. This provides around 4 ounces of water if they eat the whole 5-ounce can. Experts tell us they need at least 4 ounces per five pounds of body weight per day or about half a water bottle per day for an average 10-pound cat.
Canned food increases your cat’s fluid intake, but she still may need more water to prevent dehydration. A great way to monitor their water intake is to carefully note how much water is missing from their water bowl in a 24 hour period. Noticing the level you fill it to. Then measure how much you add to refill it to the same level the next day.
For some cats, preventing dehydration may require some extra creativity. These are some techniques to attract kitty to water and to increase her drinking.
Creative ways to increase your cat’s water intake:
- Add low sodium tuna or clam juice, chicken stock (or even making kitty her own special ice cubes from these)
- Add extra water to the wet food (most cats don’t like soggy dry food)
- place crushed ice or ice cubes in the water bowl
- Many cats love running water and there are cat water fountains available if you don’t want to leave the sink faucet on.
- You could also add more water stations around the house. Some cats may want their own personal water bowl rather than sharing with other pets.
- You may also want to try filtering kitty’s water or offering her bottled water.
- Remember to wash your cat’s bowl regularly to remove odors or bacteria.
Stick with It can Keep Your Cat Drinking
As all of us who own cats know, they can be very particular and persnickety, so just be persistent and have fun experimenting to help keep your precious cat from becoming dehydrated and staying healthy.
ViviPet OMI Plant Pot
— Meow for now —