World Rabies Day: September 28
According to the CDC, World Rabies Day is recognized on…
It’s summertime which means the weather is hot, and you’re probably focusing on drinking as much water as you can to help keep yourself fueled through the heat. Did you know this is an important step for your cats too? It makes sense, but it can be overlooked how important frequent and regular water breaks are for both outdoor and indoor cats – especially during the summer months.
Dehydration can be dangerous! Keep reading to learn how you can tell if your cat is dehydrated, when you should worry about potential health dangers, and how to encourage your cat to drink more water.
The following symptoms can signal potential dehydration in all cats:
You can also check for dehydration by gently pinching the skin6 around your cat’s shoulders. If your cat is well-hydrated, the skin will immediately collapse back into place. But if the skin goes down slowly or not at all, it’s time to talk to your vet and get some help with your cat’s possible dehydration.
It is important to watch and check older cats and nursing mothers frequently as they tend to become dehydrated more easily.
Dehydration can sometimes signal an underlying health condition. Even if dehydration is the only health concern going on, leaving it untreated can cause more serious complications down the road. In extreme cases, severe dehydration can even lead to death.
Sometimes, dehydration can be caused by issues such as a gastrointestinal virus or parasites7. These conditions can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which in turn cause dehydration. Regular dehydration, severe dehydration (gauged by the skin check), or dehydration along with other symptoms (seizures, unusual lethargy, vomiting, etc.) all call for a visit to the vet.
According to VetWest Animal Hospitals, most cats need to drink approximately two ounces of water per pound each day8. Speak with your vet to get an accurate number of how much water your cat should be drinking each day. Every cat’s individual needs will vary depending on climate, diet, size, and other lifestyle factors.
Hydration is important. But keep in mind that too much water can be dangerous, too. If your cat is drinking an excessive amount of water, conditions like polydipsia (excessive thirst9), diabetes, or kidney disease could be to blame. Keep an eye on how much your cat is drinking and speak to your vet directly with any concerns you may have.
Cats aren’t naturally inclined to drink water. They’re carnivores, and in the wild, they would get the majority of their water intake from the food they’d eat. So it’s up to you to encourage your cat to drink up. Here are a few ideas to help:
These are all good methods to encourage your cat to drink more water and avoid dehydration during the hot summer months and throughout the year.
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