• August 7th, 2023
    Written by: Kimberly

    Cats famously have an issue with water, specifically with drinking enough water. Often it must be fresh and running or easily accessible, or your cat will simply not drink enough water throughout the day. This is one of the primary benefits of feeding your kitty wet food, allowing more moisture and essential nutrients into their diet.

    This tendency unfortunately means that many cats are prone to dehydration, a condition which occurs when there is a deficiency or imbalance in the water and electrolytes of the body. Watching your cat for the signs of dehydration and finding ways to treat it can be a constant effort.

    What Causes My Cat to be Dehydrated?

    Dehydration is a condition that occurs when a creature’s water intake is less than the amount required for them to survive. This can happen due to a rapid loss of fluid, or a lack of available drinking water for an extended period of time. Some of the other causes of dehydration include:

    • Increased Physical Activity – If your cat has been roughhousing or playing for an extended time, it is always good to provide opportunities for them to drink water. They may not even realize how dehydrated they are, they may just be tired and want to take a nap.
    • Diarrhea or Vomiting – When your cat vomits, they expel necessary nutrients and fluids that their body hasn’t had a chance to use yet. If your cat isn’t feeling well, that water can be a necessary fluid for their recovery.
    • Overheating in Hot Water – Less obvious than other causes, if your cat has been swimming or has had a recent bath in warm water, the heat of the water may have actually dehydrated them over time. Again, it is always good to provide opportunities for your cat to drink water if you think they may be experiencing dehydration.
    • Illness – If your cat has a fever, diabetes, is suffering from heat stroke or has experienced physical trauma recently, dehydration can often be a result of this illness or experience. When your cat isn’t feeling well, it’s important to keep an eye on their water intake as this is going to be essential for them to feel better.

    Access to drinking water is always going to be an important resource for your cat. Even though their health can be affected by any amount of water loss, most cats will not go out of their way to drink fluids until they are significantly dehydrated.

    How Do I Know If My Cat Is Dehydrated?

    In addition to providing sources of water to drink, it’s also important to watch for the signs of cat dehydration. While some of their symptoms may be similar to what we humans experience when we haven’t had enough water, many of the signs can be easily missed if your cat’s health is not being monitored. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms if your cat’s water intake has dropped:

    • Decrease in Activity Levels
    • Sunken Eyes
    • Excess Panting
    • Dry Mouth
    • Raised Heart Rate
    • Change in Eating Habits
    • Poor Skin Elasticity

    It is always important to know how much water your cat needs. When your feline friend consumes more food, they will need that water to dispose of the waste. Cat dehydration is often only a symptom of another condition, however, so noticing when your cat is dehydrated is often a clue that something else is going on with their health.

    Keep an Eye on Your Cat’s Health

    Once you have come to the conclusion that your cat is experiencing dehydration, it is important to take them to a veterinarian so they can be examined for the cause of the symptoms. Keeping your cat happy and healthy is often directly tied to how much we know about them and their needs.