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How much water a cat should drink?



(March 9, 2010)

Cats need fresh drinking water every day to maintain optimum health. A cat’s body is made up of 80 per cent of water. Water is necessary for all their biological processes, including circulation, digestion and waste removal. It also helps cats to flush out toxins from the blood through the kidney.

Cats are prone to dehydration. This occurs when their fluid levels drop to less than normal. The reason behind this reduced water level in the body is either due to reduced water intake or increased fluid loss because of overheating in hot weather, increased activity, or a bout of vomiting or diarrhea. Dehydration could be fatal for cats and so it is always important to continuously give them fresh water which helps to keep their organs and tissues hydrated and healthy.

Here are some factors that govern how much water your cat requires:

•    The size of your cat.
•    Factors such as high heat and exercise increase the need for water intake.
•    Lactation increases the water requirement two to three times above normal.
•    Canned foods contain moisture and so reduce the need for water intake.

Always remember that a little extra water consumption never hurts; however, too little can be catastrophic for the cats.

•    Acute or chronic kidney failure increases the need of water intake. Kidney failure often requires extra fluids given either intravenously or by subcutaneous drip.

In normal conditions, your cat will drink sufficient water on its own. Here are some symptoms to find out if your cat is dehydrated:

•    Sunken eyes
•    Lethargy
•    Loss of appetite
•    Dry mouth
•    Depression
•    Elevated heart rate
•    Decreased skin elasticity
•    Panting

If you find out that your cat is dehydrated, you should follow these tips to encourage it drink more water:

•    Sprinkle a little water on top of your pet's canned food. This is not recommended for dry food as it may cause it to spoil more rapidly.

•    Try using glass or stainless steel water bowls. Sometimes plastic leaves a taste that cats don't like.

•    Always make sure that the water is fresh and clean. Clean your cat's water bowl daily.

•    Use filtered water instead of tap water. The latter can be heavily chlorinated or have too high a concentration of minerals.

These tips will encourage your cat to drink more water. However, if you find out that your cat is dehydrated then you must take it to veterinarian. Dehydrated cats need to be immediately supplemented with fluids.

Submitted by A on March 9, 2010 at 11:46

 

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