If you are searching Cat Hydrated & Dehydrated Prevention solutions, then you are at the right place. Below are general guidelines on these topics and ways to encourage your cat to drink more water if it isn't drinking enough.
The appearance of a cat in the house is a big responsibility for the owner. It is necessary to provide the pet with proper nutrition and proper care. If this is not done, undesirable consequences may arise.
Like humans, a cat's body is two-thirds water. So, they also need to drink water to survive and stay healthy. But cats require less water than other animals because they can concentrate urine. Their thirst is not so pronounced, so they do not feel the need to drink water too often. Some owners find out that a cat is dehydrated only when it is having health problems. That's why it is necessary to keep your cat hydrated and take safety measurements in advance.
Importance of Keeping Your Cat Hydrated
Why is water so important for a domestic cat? Living in the wild, cats get water from food. Their prey, such as insects, birds, and rodents, contains a lot of moisture. But the domestic cats have a completely different diet - they only drink water from a bowl or get it from soft food. That's why drinking enough water is vital for the health of a pet cat.
Moreover, water is the most important nutrient! It moisturizes the air entering the lungs, promotes the transport of oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream to the cells, helps regulate body temperature, protects and lubricates internal organs and joints, helps remove waste products, and supports the functioning of the nervous system.
If your cat gets 10% less moisture, severe symptoms start appearing. And when the body is 15% dehydrated, then the cat will die without urgent action. Kittens are especially sensitive to water imbalance. For them, 10% dehydration is enough to become a serious threat to life. Therefore, you cannot neglect the importance of keeping a Cat Hydrated.
What Causes Dehydration in Cats?
Dehydration in cats occurs due to:
- Decreased fluid intake (shock, heatstroke, refusal to drink the water due to illness or improperly selected bowl, drinking and eating disorders)
- Increased fluid loss (vomiting, diarrhea, chronic renal failure, diabetes, bleeding, burns, fever, and other illnesses)
Often, dehydration is a symptom of other diseases, while dehydration leads to an aggravation of the underlying disease. For this reason, rehydration (replacing water and electrolyte loss) is an important part of treatment.
Signs of Cat Dehydrated
Dehydration in cats occurs in 3 stages and depends on the percentage of fluid lost:
- Light (up to 5%) - the activity of the animal decreases slightly. The nose becomes warm and dry (in a healthy cat, it is cool and wet).
- Medium (5-10%) - the mucous membrane of the mouth turns pale, the saliva becomes thick and sticky, the eyes slightly sink.
- Severe (more than 10%) - added general lethargy and depression, refusal to eat, poor sleep, avoidance of loud sounds and bright light, shortness of breath, heart palpitations.
There are also two simple ways to measure dehydration in cats:
- Pressing on the gums. Press your finger on the gum and release; the white trail should quickly turn pink. If the pink color recovers after 3-6 seconds, then the cat has moderate dehydration. If the normal color of the gums is restored within 7-10 seconds, then this indicates a severe form of dehydration.
- Checking the elasticity of the skin. Pull back the skin of the cat and release. In a healthy pet, the drawn skin instantly returns to its original position. If the skin returns after 2-3 seconds, the cat has mild dehydration; after 4-5 seconds - an average degree of dehydration; more than 5 seconds - severe dehydration.
The danger of dehydration in cats lies in the fact that at the first stage, it is difficult to notice the symptoms of the disease. When it progresses, the pet can die within 24 hours.
What Should I Do When Cat Dehydrated
If you suspect dehydration in a cat, you should immediately contact a veterinary clinic. Delay can cost your pet's life. The veterinarian will examine the cat and take a clinical and biochemical blood test and a general urine test. This will help confirm dehydration (hematocrit and protein in the blood will increase), assess the general condition of the animal, establish the cause of dehydration and prescribe the necessary treatment. It is possible to cope with a mild form of dehydration at home by providing enough water to your cat.
In moderate to severe forms, treatment of cats is more difficult. The body of animals is "flooded" intravenously or subcutaneously. Then, the veterinarian will inject the electrolyte solutions in the form of rehydron, glucose, and other medications.
How to Get a Cat to Drink More Water?
In fact, if you need to get your cat to drink more than it wants to drink, it's not that hard to do. If the pet is healthy, then the reason for a reluctance to drink lies rather in the water itself or in the bowl.
There should be no unpleasant odor in the bowl; daily washing is necessary. As mentioned above, cats are naturally low fluid intake and are very finicky, even when they constantly have fresh and clean drinking water.
You need to take enough time and attention to find a bowl for water, as well as water. Some cats have sensitive whiskers, so choose a wide bowl or pet water fountain for them. Many cats prefer fresh running water, so a drinking fountain can be a good idea if the cat is reluctant to drink.
You also need to know how to choose water. It is better not to give it from the tap. Purchase bottled water or filter your tap water. But it is better not to give boiled water.
Remember: Whichever method you choose, it is important to encourage your cat to drink water. Many people think that milk is a good substitute for water for a pet, but this is a myth. Milk can cause digestive problems. Teaching your cat to drink water is just as important as feeding it properly.
Let's Sum Up
The role of water as an essential nutrient can hardly be overestimated. Dehydration is a serious problem that threatens the normal functioning of the animal's organs, and in severe cases, its life. Therefore, it is essential to learn Cat Hydrated & Dehydrated Prevention solutions in advance. And closely monitor the behavior of your cat. If you suspect the development of any disease, immediately consult a doctor.