Is it Possible for My Cat to be Dehydrated in Tulsa, OK?
Cats are notoriously poor communicators. Many of them don’t let their owners know that something is making them feel sick until they are quite ill. This is one of the reasons that some people can think that their cat might have never been dehydrated before.
It is entirely possible for cats to be dehydrated just like any other animal. In fact, when cats get dehydrated, it can cause serious health risks since it can shut down their kidneys or damage their liver. Cats are one of the animals that should never get dehydrated due to the risk to their organs if they are not getting enough water each day.
Why is My Cat Dehydrated?
Cats can become dehydrated due to various problems or environmental situations. While young animals are less prone to this problem, a cat of any age can become dehydrated due to these problems. The common reasons for cat dehydration are as follows:
- Hot weather
- Environmental changes
If your cat has gotten a new companion in the house, or if they do not like the taste of the water at your new home, these items can also cause stress that can lead to your cat becoming dehydrated. Cats are often not fans of big changes like moving to a new place or getting a new pet, and you should be careful to watch your cat carefully each time their environment changes in some significant way.
If you are not sure if your cat has a fever, you might be worried about taking their temperature on your own. If you think that you cannot take your cat’s temperature with a thermometer, you can feel the pads of their feet and touch their nose. If their pads and their nose feel hot and dry, they likely have a fever.
Another good way to test your cat’s hydration is to pinch the skin between their shoulder blades gently and lift it up. If the skin does not snap back down fairly quickly, your cat is dehydrated. Also, be on the lookout for signs of general ill health like lethargy, lack of interest in food, or hiding. Cats often hide when they don’t feel well, so you might be wise to block off rooms where they might be able to escape into an out-of-reach space. You want to be able to take your cat to the veterinarian right away if they get sicker, and you cannot do this if you cannot find them.
How Much Water Does My Cat Need to Drink?
Adult cats need to drink about 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight. So for a 10-pound cat, this is 7-9 ounces of water each day. If you are feeding wet cat food, your cat might need an ounce or so less water each day due to the water content in the food they are consuming. If your cat has their own drinking solution like a water bowl or dispenser, it is usually easier to check on their daily intake of water.
Cats often will not share water happily with other animals in the home either, so make sure that you consider getting your cat its own drinking bowl or a cat water fountain. This will ensure that your cat can get access to clean water whenever they wish, and it will encourage them to be happy about drinking. If your cat does not like the taste of the water at your new home, a cat fountain will also filter the water and help with strange tastes and smells that your cat does not like.
What Can I Do if My Cat is Dehydrated?
If your cat is not showing symptoms of serious illness but seems to be dehydrated, you do have some options that you can try to get them back on track on your own. This does not replace taking them to the veterinarian for IV fluids, but if you have just noticed your cat has stopped drinking, these tips might help get them back to drinking as usual before they get sick.
- Add some chicken broth or tuna juice to their water
- Take away the dry food and feed a few meals of wet food
- Use a cat water fountain for drinking
- Put some ice cubes into the water bowl
There are some other ways that your cat might be more motivated to drink. If the location of the water bowl is causing them to be in the middle of too much activity, they might not feel safe drinking. You can relocate the water bowl to someplace more cat friendly if this is the case. You can also make sure that you change the water in the bowl frequently to prevent issues with food or other contaminants discouraging your cat from drinking.
Cats Need to be Hydrated to be Healthy
When your cat is dehydrated, you should be concerned. Cats who are dehydrated for more than a few days can be at risk for organ damage such as kidney failure. Making sure that you figure out why your cat is not drinking right away is important, and if you cannot get your cat to drink, taking them to the vet is your best option. You will want to be sure that you do not act too casually about your cat being unwilling to drink so that you can protect their health.
There are various diseases that can impact cats that also show up as a lack of appetite and a lack of interest in water. Making sure that your cat gets attention to these issues promptly can be key to successful treatment or management of the issue. Caring for your cat includes paying attention to their water intake each day so that you can attend to issues with dehydration right away.
Give Animal Emergency Center a call at 918-665-0508 if you are concerned about your cat being dehydrated.