Cat Dehydration: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Cat Dehydration: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Water is one of the essential elements for all life on earth, including both plants and animals. Without water, everything that we known would not exist. If you have ever watched your cats behavior you may have noticed that it does not drink much water. Cats actually don’t need as much water as you might think. Compared to dogs and other animals, the body of a cat actually requires far less water. In addition, if you are feeding your cat canned food or other wet food, your cat is receiving hydration from the liquid in the cat food.

You should only become concerned if your cat changes its behavior in regard to water consumption. If you notice that your cat suddenly reduced its water intake or that your cat won’t drink water at all, you should go to the vet to determine if your cat is suffering from an undying condition or illness. If your cat also displays other worrisome symptoms such as tiredness, behavior issues, or loss of appetite, you should go to the vet right away as your cat may be suffering from a serious illness that needs to be addressed with medical attention.

How To Tell If your Cat Is Dehydrated

If your cat has continued to refuse to drink water, you may notice that it is beginning to lose energy. In addition, you may notice that its urine is a darker color, and its body temperature has drastically increased. Along with these common symptoms are the following:

  • Tiredness
  • Decreased movement
  • Change of behavior
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Stomach issues
  • Constipation
  • Loss of mobility in the legs

A cat that is dehydrated might also display symptoms that include sunken eyes, lethargy, panting, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and increased skin elasticity. A good method to determine if your cat is suffering from dehydration is to check its skin. You can do this by lifting the skin near or between the cat’s shoulder blades. If the skin falls back quickly, your cat is adequately hydrated. If the skin takes a few seconds to return to its normal position, your cat may be dehydrated. If this is the case, you should determine if there are additional factors that may be leading to this dehydration in your cat.

What To Do If Your Cat Won’t Drink Water

If you have ruled out any underlying illness or health issue, there are some measures you can take to encourage your cat to drink more water and ensure they are receiving enough hydration. Getting your cat to drink more water can be somewhat of a tricky thing to do. You may have to experiment with several different measures until you find something that your cat likes.

Change of Diet: One easy thing that you can do to increase your cat’s water intake is to switch its diet from dry food to wet food. Wet food or canned food has a much high water content. This method will naturally increase the amount of water your cat is consuming. In the wild, cats are used to eating a diet of wet food, as they receive most of their water intake from the animals that they would hunt, particularly mice. Due to this, cats are not used to drinking large amounts of water.

Water Bowl: If your cat is not drinking water, it may be because their water bowl is dirty or contains debris that the cat does not like. Be sure that your cat’s water dish is regularly cleaned and is always full of freshwater. Some cats prefer that their food and water bowls are in separate areas. Additionally, if your cat’s current water bowl is deep or narrow, it may be rubbing against the cat’s whiskers, making it feel uncomfortable. You can try switching your cat’s water bowl to a wider and more shallow dish that does not rub against its whiskers when it is drinking.

Fresh Water: Keep the water in your cat’s water bowl fresh. The longer the water sits in your cat’s water bowl, the longer it has to collect dirt and unwanted debris. It is recommended to put fresh water in your cat’s bowl one to two times a day, depending on how much your cat drinks or how dirty the water has become. If the water is more appealing to the cat, it is going to be more likely to stay hydrated and drink the water.

Cat Fountain: If your cat is still refusing to drink out of its water bowl, you may want to dry a cat water fountain. In the wild, cats would drink from running streams in order to prevent parasitic infection. A cat fountain mimics a stream and plays into the cat’s natural instincts. In addition, a cat water fountain plays into your cat’s senses and makes drinking water a much more fun experience.

Multiple Water Sources: To encourage your cat to drink more water, it is recommended to place water fountains around your house in different rooms that the cat frequents. If you increase the access that the cat has to water, it is more likely to use the water fountains to quench its thirst. Additionally, cats in the wild never drink water where they hunt or eat food, so be sure that your cat’s water bowl is away from its food. This also prevents the water from becoming dirty with food debris.

How much Water Does A Cat Need?

The answer to this question may be a bit surprising to some people. Cat’s do not drink as much water per kilogram of body weight compared to dogs. The amount of water that your cat needs varies significantly depending on the diet it is eating as well as the environment it is living in. A typical healthy cat drinks about an ounce of water for every half-ounce of dry food that it eats. However, if your cat is eating wet food, the food is providing the cat with additional hydration, helping the cat to avoid dehydration.

In order to stay properly hydrated, your cat needs to have access to water at all times of the day. It is also important to ensure that this water is fresh. Keep the cat’s bowl clean and full of clean water at all times; to avoid unwanted contamination, be sure that the water bowl is away from the cat’s food bowl. Your cat will thank you!

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