Dehydration - Cats>
How Do I Keep My Cat Hydrated?
Dehydration in cats is caused by a severe lack of fluid intake. While it may seem obvious to set out a bowl of water, there are reasons your cat may refuse or be unable to drink. Some symptoms of dehydration include lethargy, loss of appetite, dry mouth, panting, sunken eyes, and increased heart rate. If your cat is severely dehydrated, they could begin to enter organ failure and die. Fortunately, a quick diagnosis and treatment at Animal Wellness Center will keep your kitty happily hydrated.
To test for dehydration, try skin tenting. If your cat is a healthy weight, carefully lift the skin on the back of their neck. The skin should return to its normal position right away when you release the "tent". If they are dehydrated, the skin will be very slow to move back to its usual position. You should also check if their gums are dry. Only a vet can determine the severity of the dehydration and provide an IV if needed.
My cat won’t drink from their water dish. Why?
Cats do not like drinking water close to their food source. If you place a water dish next to your cat’s food bowl, they’ll avoid drinking from it due to instinct. This is because cats used to hunt their food, and nearby water could be contaminated by the kill. Even when their water is fresh and clean, your cat would rather be safe than sorry. Place their water dish somewhere else and see if they start drinking from it more.
Many cats prefer to drink running water because they know it is fresh and uncontaminated. There are specially designed water fountains made just for cats, so consider getting one to encourage healthy hydration. If you feed your cat wet food on a regular basis, this will keep them hydrated without having to drink water often.
Dehydration as a Side Effect from Other Diseases
Cats can become dehydrated due to other medical issues. Diabetes, heatstroke, and advanced age can all cause cats to become dehydrated. A visit to Animal Wellness Center will determine if another health problem is causing your cat's hydration issues.
Heatstroke is one of the more likely causes of dehydration. Keep multiple water dishes around your home to ensure your cat has plenty of access to clean water while you are away. On hot days, consider setting up a cooling corner for your cat with plenty of shade and extra water to keep them from overheating.
Treat Dehydration in Cats
If you believe your cat is dehydrated, the first step is to try to get them to drink water. You could offer them wet food or “flavored” water from a can of their favorite fish. If they still refuse to drink, you need to take them to our veterinarians as soon as possible.
With proper diagnosis from Animal Wellness vets, treatment and recovery can begin for your cat. Set up an appointment as soon as you notice signs of dehydration.