Cats aren’t fond of water, and it’s not just swimming that bothers them. Some cats will go above and beyond to not drink water. However, that’s a problem that can lead to dehydration, and you must know how to deal with it.
Cats are known for their independent nature. However, sometimes, their subtle behaviors can make it challenging for pet owners to detect potential health issues.
Dehydration is a common concern among felines and can lead to serious health complications if left unaddressed. Thus comes the need to take a peek at your cat’s water bowl every once in a while. More specifically, it’s important to monitor your cat’s water intake.
Recognizing the signs of dehydration and taking proactive measures are crucial for maintaining your cat's well-being. In this article, we will explore a few effective ways to deal with dehydration in cats.
#1 Start by Monitoring Water Intake
One of the primary indicators of a cat's hydration level is its water intake.
Unlike dogs, cats may not readily show their interest in water. In fact, according to Dr. Fiona Lee, DVM, who received her veterinary degree from Colorado State University, most cats hate water. This makes it essential for pet owners to be vigilant when it comes to their cats’ water consumption.
According to WebMD, daily, a cat needs at least 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per five pounds of their body weight. To ensure this amount of water intake, learn how to get a cat to drink more water. You can’t straight up change their drinking habit, but you can at least keep their water bowls filled. That way, your cat has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Also, consider investing in a cat water fountain, as some cats are more attracted to moving water.
#2 Wet Food and Hydration
Incorporating wet food into your cat's diet is an effective strategy to boost its hydration. Canned cat food contains a significant amount of moisture, providing an additional source of water for your feline friend. This is particularly beneficial for cats that are reluctant to drink from a water bowl.
If your cat is accustomed to a dry kibble diet, consider gradually introducing a wet food diet. Mix a small amount of wet food with the dry kibble, gradually increasing the ratio over time.
Be mindful of how much wet food you’re giving your cat. According to The Spruce Pets, a lean five-pound cat needs about 170 calories per day. On the other hand, a lean 10-pound cat needs about 280 calories daily.
#3 Hydration Support Supplements
In cases where a cat may require additional hydration support, specialized supplements can be a valuable solution. These supplements come in various forms, such as powders or liquids, and are designed to be added to your cat's food or water.
Electrolyte supplements, in particular, can help restore balance in your cat's body fluids. They contain essential minerals like potassium and sodium, which are vital for maintaining proper hydration levels. Consult your vet before introducing any supplements to your cat's diet to ensure they are safe and suitable for your cat's specific health needs.
#4 Regular Veterinary Check-ups
Routine veterinary check-ups are crucial for monitoring your cat's overall health, including hydration levels. Regular visits to the vet allow professionals to assess your cat's weight, check for signs of dehydration, and address any underlying health issues.
During veterinary examinations, your cat's hydration status can be evaluated through various means, including skin elasticity and gum moisture. Dehydrated cats may exhibit decreased skin elasticity, meaning that their skin may not spring back to normal if gently pulled. Dry or sticky gums can also be indicative of dehydration.
According to USA Today, an adult cat needs to see the vet at least once a year. Senior cats should visit at least every six months.
In conclusion, dehydration in cats is a serious health concern that requires prompt attention. By sticking to the tips above, you can effectively address and prevent dehydration in your feline companion. Prioritizing hydration is a key aspect of responsible pet ownership, ensuring that your cat leads a happy, healthy, and well-hydrated life.