Newsday Tuesday – Your Cat’s Drinking Habits

Yesterday we discussed kidney disease. Today I’d like to focus on dehydration, which can be a problem for cats who have the disease or not. As you’ve probably read before, cats in the wilds get moisture from the prey they eat. Pet cats are often fed a dry diet and some may not drink enough water to compensate for the lack of moisture in their food.

Of course there are instances where cats are lost and can’t find a water supply, their water isn’t changed often enough and they don’t care to drink it when it tastes stale, dust has accumulated in the water bowl, or a kibble or two has found the way into the water bowl and contaminated it. As you know, cats can be picky about their food and drink.

What you should know is that dehydration in cats (or any being) can lead to organ failure. So it is important to make sure your cat always has a fresh supply of water and that he is drinking it. How? Provide several bowls inside the house (and if the cat goes out) outside, too. If your cat isn’t much of a water drinker, try enticing him with fresh water from the tap. Yes, turn on the tub or sink tap when he’s around and invite him to lap from the tap. Don’t leave it running—that wastes water. Just run it as long as the cat is interested.

Bring in a cat water fountain. Lily LOVES her fountain and Sophie has grown to enjoy it too. It’s a fascination for the cats and it circulates the water so it’s fresher.

Here’s a great article on dehydration in cats. It gives details on how to tell if your cat is dehydrated and offers additional tips for preventing dehydration.

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