What Should I Do If My Cat Is Dehydrated
Dehydration is often a sign of a serious underlying medical condition in cats. If you suspect that your cat is dehydrated, contact your veterinarian for help right away.
In the mean time you can try some home remedies to rehydrate your cat:
- Add a small amount of chicken broth or tuna juice to their water.
- Instead of dry food, try giving them wet food.
- Place some ice cubes in their water bowl.
You must get to know your catâs food and water preferences. For instance, some cats like drinking water from a water dish while some like using a cat fountain. You want to try to encourage them to drink. However, you should never force them.
What Can I Do If My Cat Won’t Drink Water
There are lots of tricks that can help if your cat wont drink water. We recommend experimenting to get to know your cats preferences:
- Leave several water bowls around your house in places in where you cat spends time. Data collected by Affinity shows that an increase in the number of bowls available leads to an increase in water consumption.
- Use water bowls made from different materials. Some cats dont like plastic as it can leave a taste in the water, but then again others do. Also, its very likely that your cat will prefer a bowl thats full to the brim.
- Try different sized bowls: maybe you cat will favour a small one, or he might like a bigger one so that his whiskers dont touch the sides.
- Place you cats water bowls somewhere quiet, well away from the places where theres a lot of foot traffic, or noise from household appliances. And remember to keep them away from his litter tray too.
- Feed your cat several times a day, or leave his food out for him to eat whenever he feels like it eating prompts thirst.
- Some cats like flowing water. You could try turning on the tap, or buying a cat fountain. He might just play with it, but then when he licks his paws hes actually drinking. Other cats prefer bottled water. The best thing is to experiment and learn about your own cats preferences.
- Combine dry cat food with wet, as wet will help to keep him hydrated.
Signs Of Dehydration In Cats
If your cat is not drinking enough water to meet their daily needs, they may become dehydrated. This can lead to issues in the cats energy, organ and skin health. Dehydration is caused by drinking too little water or urinating at a faster rate than they consume water, or by more serious factors such as blood loss, vomiting, heat stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease2.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- increased heart rate
Be sure to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms your cat may be dangerously low on electrolytes.
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Should I Feed My Cat Her Regular Diet
In order to recover, your sick cat needs to have both food and water. When cats are ill they will often stop eating and drinking, therefore, it is important to monitor your cat’s food and water intake so that you know when intervention is necessary. It is important to separate your ill cat from other pets in the household so you know who is eating the food.
Fresh water should be available at all times. Healthy cats that eat canned food often drink very little because the food contains a high proportion of water. If your cat stops eating, she will need to have additional fluids. Fluids can be administered by mouth using a syringe. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions on how much and how often to administer fluids. If it is not possible for your cat to be given fluids by mouth, your veterinarian will hospitalize your cat to provide the necessary supportive care.
“Your veterinarian will advise you if there are any foods that you should not offer.”
Encourage your cat to eat small, frequent meals of a palatable, high energy, highly digestible food. Warming food to body temperature often makes it more appealing. Some sick cats can be encouraged to eat more by hand feeding. Your veterinarian will advise you if there are any foods that you should not offer. If your cat cannot be tempted to eat voluntarily, your veterinarian may suggest giving liquid food via a syringe. An alternative is to hospitalize your cat in order to feed her via a feeding tube.
Get A Drinking Fountain
In the wild, flat water is more likely to harbor parasites, so cats may be more likely to drink flowing water than flat water. Cat drinking fountains have the added benefit of making it easier for your cat to hear and see the water than if its in a bowl.
Alternatively, you could leave a faucet dripping if your cat likes drinking water that way.
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Tips To Train Your Cat To Drink From A Cat Water Fountain
So, you see a cute cat water fountain and decide to get it for your furry friend. Good choice, but not to burst your bubble, but theres a high chance they may not be interested. They may even be scared of this strange, new contraption spewing out water.
For your cat to drink from it, youve got to get creative with the execution. Transitioning them from their trusted water bowl into a foreign water fountain can be frustrating and an uphill task.
Yes, you have the best interests of your cat at heart, but how do you show it that the water fountain is the best way for them to drink water? Lucky for you, there are tricks and tips you could use to help your cat accept their new water source playfh.
Add Ice Cubes To The Water Bowl
Youve seen the videos of cats playing with ice cubes circulating online its nothing short of adorable. Many cats are fascinated by the look of ice cubes bobbing around in water. Adding a couple of ice cubes to your cats water bowl should encourage it to drink more water and keeps it entertained at the same time.
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Tips To Encourage Your Cat To Drink More Water
As with humans, water is a crucial part of a cats diet so its important that they have access to a fresh, clean supply at all times. Although cats are able to survive on less water than dogs their desert-dwelling ancestry means they can adapt well to dry conditions they are still prone to dehydration and this can lead to common health issues such as constipation, lower urinary tract disease and urinary blockages. Mature moggies in particular will need to drink plenty of water each day as their kidneys will need a bit of extra help to function properly. Its important to remember that milk, cream or any other liquid is no substitute for water in a cats diet. In fact, cats are lactose intolerant and have difficulty digesting dairy products, so drinking milk could make them unwell. If youre worried that your cat is not drinking enough water, here are a few tips and tricks you can try…
1. Refill their water bowl daily
The thought of drinking from a glass of water thats been sitting around on the floor for a few days probably doesnt sound very appetising. Your cat is likely to feel the same, so they will appreciate a fresh, clean bowl each day.
2. Place bowls throughout the house
Cats prefer drinking in different locations. Give them plenty of options to choose from so that a bowl of water is never too far away.
3. Try a different water bowl
4. Try a water fountain
5. Keep water and litter trays separate
6. Separate the food bowl too
7. Switch to canned food
What Do Kittens Drink
Although kittens drink their mothers milk until she weans them as early as four weeks old, they also need to drink water. After being weaned off of milk, some kittens lose the ability to digest milk sugar efficiently. For this reason, its best to feed only a small quantity of milk to cats. Some products, like Fancy Feast Creamy Delights feature just a touch of real milk enough to create a creamy, dreamy taste with careful attention to sensitive systems.
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Number Of Water Bowls
Have several water bowls so that your cat does not need to go far to find one.
- For example, one on each level of the home so the cat does not need to go up or downstairs to find their water
- If you have more than one cat, you need to provide enough resources for each social group of cats at least one bowl of water for each social group of cats in the home
Keep Fresh Water Available In A Different Bowl
Your cats water fountain will most likely make it nervous. You can fill the water bowl in the fountain and not turn it not until your cat begins to get curious and use it.
After this, you can turn it on once or twice weekly, but at the lowest setting if it has multiple settings.
If the cat familiarizes itself with the fountain, well and good, but if its still scared, be patient and provide them with another source of clean, fresh water. and that could be why your pet is slow to adapt to its new fountain.
Dont force your cat to drink from the fountain by removing all other clean water sources.
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Give Them The Chance To Investigate
Cats are real-debrid/device by nature theres even a saying for this. They spend more time in one part of the house than in others. Carefully monitor your pet and find out which space or room in the house they like more.
Most cat owners put their cat fountains on stands or tables. If you do this, ensure enough room for them to move around without knocking it over.
At first, your cat may be too scared to come up to the water fountain, or they simply dont see the bowl of water. You can try to show them by putting your finger in the bowl of water and bringing it close to their lips.
This may help them understand what this new device is.
How Much Water Should A Cat Drink
Its difficult to determine exactly how much water a cat should drink per day, as water intake varies depending on a cats size, the time of year, general diet and age. In addition, felines that only consume commercial feed, for example, will require more water than those that eat wet food on a regular basis.
On the other hand, kittens, immunosupressed and older cats will need to drink more water, especially in summer. In general, however, a healthy adult cat weighing roughly five kilograms should generally drink around 250 milliliters of water a day, under normal conditions.
If, however, you notice that your cat is drinking more water than normal, it could be a sign of:
- Diabetes in cats
- Thyroid problems
- Liver failure
If you notice that your cat is drinking a lot of water, we recommend consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible in order to rule out the possibility of a pathology. For more, we recommend reading our article: my cat is drinking a lot of water.
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Ways To Test If Your Cat Is Dehydrated
For less severe cases of dehydration, Dr. Greenstein says to consider scooping your kitty up for an at-home examination. If the signs point to dehydration or if youre unsure if they do, its best to consult your vet.
How Is Dehydration Treated
A quick procedure your veterinarian can perform involves them giving the cat fluids under the skin. In severe cases, your veterinarian can recommend hospitalizing your cat and giving them fluids through a needle that goes directly into the catâs vein. This method can usually rehydrate your cat within a few hours or days.
Your veterinarian will also diagnose the underlying reason for your catâs dehydration and help you nurse them back to health.
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Add Food Into Their Diet
Have you ever wondered if you should be feeding your cat a mixture of dry and wet food? One reason feline owners do this is to increase their cat’s water intake. “Wet food is made up of about 70 percent water as opposed to dry food, which is only 10 percent,” Dr. Fox says. “This alone allows your pet to get a large part of their daily water needs through their food.”
In addition to giving them a can of tuna or salmon here and there, you can also add more water to their foodwhether it is wet or dry. Additionally, Dr. Fox says you can make your cat’s water more palatable by adding a small amount of tuna water or chicken broth to it.
My Cat Isn’t Drinking
Staying hydrated is important for the overall health and well-being of your cat. Typically, animals will drink when they are thirsty, and the amount of water needed to stay hydrated varies from animal to animal. So although it may seem to you as though your cat hasn’t been drinking much water, they may be perfectly hydrated.
Cats are known to drink small amounts of water each time as that is all they require.
Cats don’t require as much water per kilogram as some larger animals do, meaning that your cat may not need to drink as much water as you think.
Having your cat on a canned or fresh food diet also provides them with added water, while cats that mainly eat a dry food diet will need more water on a daily basis to ensure they keep hydrated. For every ounce of dry food, cats typically drink about 1 ounce of water, whereas cats eating wet foods will drink considerably less because much of their hydration comes from their food.
While your cat needing less water compared to other animals is true, there might still be situations that your cat isn’t drinking enough. If you notice that your cat isn’t drinking any water then it’s time to look into why. There may be an underlying health condition, the water may not be fresh enough or the location of the bowl could all be potential reasons why your cat isn’t drinking enough.
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Introduce Wet Food Into Your Cats Diet
Water isnt the only way to keep your cat hydrated! Earlier we mentioned that cats have the habit of obtaining their liquids from food sources. Dry cat food typically contains only about 10% water whereas canned cat food has around 78% water. If your cat has been living on a generally dry cat food diet, why not switch it up a little and incorporate some wet foods into its meals?
How Much Water Should Cats Drink
Cats need between 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day. For a 10-pound cat, thats 7-9 ounces a day.
Your cat doesnt need to drink all that water from a bowl, though. If you feed your kitty wet food, they could get between 3.85-4.4 ounces of water from a 5.5-oz can of food. On the other hand, cats who only eat dry kibble wont get much moisture from their food and should drink plenty of water to make up for it.
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Try Ice Cubes In Your Cats Food
It adds moisture and its like a little treat for the cat. The cube takes on the foods flavor, and while your cats licking the cube, hes getting more water, too. Ice cubes in your cats water bowl might work with a cat not drinking water, too. Some cats prefer icy-cold water, just like some humans do.
Serve Smaller But More Frequent Meals
Cats tend to want to lap on some water after theyve eaten. By breaking up your cats usual meals into several smaller ones interspersed throughout the day, youre encouraging it to drink water more frequently!
We hope these tips have been useful for you in getting your cat to drink more water! Ensuring that your cat is drinking enough water and does not get dehydrated is so important for your cats health and happiness. Dehydration could very quickly lead to insidious diseases if left untreated so it would be great to also know the signs to look out for!
*Featured Image Source: Pixabay
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