Here is a story narrated by a cat owner. A couple of years back, he found his cat Pugsley spending a lot of time in her litter box and was getting strained to pee. Nothing was coming out. When he picked around her middle, she started crying of pain. He realized that there was something wrong. It was Friday night at 10.
The story of a Dehydrated Cat
He rushed to the emergency Vet who found that Pugsley’s urethra was cloggedwith urinary stones. Those were like a plugof soft, compressible materials consisting of minerals, mucous-like protein, andcells. The vet described the phenomenon as the backing up of urine and the disability of the kidney to remove toxins from blood or to keepfluids and electrolytes in balance.
If not treated immediately, the cat might die within 48 hours. Pugsley was treatedand saved, but the cat owner knew how important ‘hydration’ was for his cat and the need to make cats drink more water than the natural.
Natural Feline Urge for Drinking
Your cat drinks water on her natural urge of thirst because she does not know how much water she should drink to keep herself properly hydrated. Obviously, it becomes your responsibility to make habituated to drink adequate water. But how can you know if she is taking enough water?
There isa number ofvariable factors that affect the desirable consumption of water every day. These are her size, time and kinds of her diet; dry food or wet food. If she is eating dry food only, she will require more water. Dry food contains only 10% water; whereas, the cannedfood contains 80%.
Signs of Proper Hydration
- The elasticityof Skin: Pull the skin of your cat gently at the base of the neck or scruff. If the skin springs back when left, your cat is properly hydrated
- Shiny Coat without any dry flakes is the sign of hydration
- Lethargic activities are signs of dehydration
- If she is urinating 2-3 times a day
Making Cat Drinking Surplus Water
If your cat is not drinking sufficient water, it may lead to severe health issue such as Feline Urological Syndrome. You can make it drink more water by doing the following
- Sprinkle some water on the canned food of your cat. Thiswill make her intake more water, without being aware of it
- Sometimes, your cat may not like the smell of a plastic bowl. Use glass or stainless steel water bowls
- Refresh the bowl daily and provide filtered water instead of tap water
- Discipline your kitten to drink more water
If you notice any increase or decrease in your cat’s normal water intake, particularly during your cat’s stage of pregnancy,you should be alerted because that may be an initial sign of some feline disease that may include tapeworm infection, bladder infection (urinary cystitis), hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Your best option will be to consult a vet.
Facts about Feline Water Consumption
- Cats get fascinated by running water which increases their urge for drinking more water. There are automatic water fountains available in the market that may play the role of fun-n-play and also as a stimulant for drinking more water. One such product comes under the name “Catit Fresh and Clear’ that may cost $ 60 to $70.
- If your cat is averse to the taste of hard water with concentrated mineral salts, distilled water or filtered water may allure her to drink.
- During the warmer months of the year, bacteria can form quickly. Therefore, rinse the bowl of your cat with clean water, a couple of times a day.
- Irrespective of the immediate water requirement of your cat, keep the water bowl to the brim with clean and fresh water every day.
Strategies for Preventing Feline Dehydration
- Give Sufficient Wet Food: Give enough canned food as it contains more moisture.If she does not like it make the dry food soupy by adding water or broth
- Add Ice cubes to Food:The cube takes the flavorof the food, andthe cat licks the cube, getting more water
- Serve small and frequent meals because eating leads to thirst that urges the cat to drink
- Put water bowls at different places inside the house so that your cat does not have to search for it when she feels like drinking.
- Keep the water bowl away from the litter box
- Ensure regular re-filling of all water bowls
- Run the faucet a few minutes for several minutes a day to give her a running water experience
- Flavor the water with a tuna juice or chicken broth
- Use cat fountains, say ‘Drink well Lotus’because cats find it interesting to drink while playing joyfully with the fountain
- Experiment with different kinds of bowls such as ceramic, stainless steel, plastic or glass
If you don’t want to see you cat dehydrated, ensure drinking more water, resulting inmore peeing with a healthy kidney to see a happier, healthier, haughty, hardy and hairy cat.