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Water And Your Cats’ Health

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by Alexander Thompson
Apr 05, 2022
7 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Why Your Cats Should Drink Sufficient Water?
  • Why Your Cats Do Not Drink Water?
  • What Happens When Your Cats Are Dehydrated?
  • How Much Water Do Your Cats Need Daily?
  • What Are the Signs of Dehydration in Cats?
  • What Should You Do If Your Cats Have Become Dehydrated?
  • How Do You Help Your Cats Drink More Water?
  • What Causes Your Cats to Avoid Drinking Water?
  • Why Do Your Cats Need the Fountain?
  • In Conclusion
We all know cats tend to hate water but, due to the use of dry kibble, dehydration in cats can quickly lead to more serious situations. To avoid subsequent implications to your feline’s health, you can make a few positive changes for overall prevention. Let’s explore these easy to follow improvements.

Why Your Cats Should Drink Sufficient Water?

Just as any other type of mammal, drinking adequate amounts of water plays an important role in the lives of your cats. Here are just a few of the benefits that come with supplying enough water to your cat.

Body Temperature Regulation

As the metabolism of a cat goes to work, it begins to generate a lot of heat throughout their body. As such, the body temperature can rise quickly in animals that are not properly hydrated. When cats are given enough water, their body temperature will not rise fast, as the water absorbs heat.

Improved Digestion & Gut Health

As the intestines go to work digesting food, they begin secreting digestive enzymes. During this process, the intestines require water to complete digestion successfully.

Nourished Kidneys

Kidneys are an important organ to any creature, working hard to flush toxic waste away from the body. Water is the main carrier of these excretions, which requires adequate water levels to complete.

Why Your Cats Do Not Drink Water?

Sometimes, we run across a situation where our pets don’t want to drink water. While it is frustrating, it happens to everyone for a few reasons. Typically, there are two issues that lead to cats refusing to drink water, including congenital and acquired nature.

Congenital

Cats who have relatives with desert area origins may develop something known as “desert stomach.” Over time, these types of cats gradually adapt to environments deficient in water. Although there have been countless generations since life in the desert, cats of relation still tend to retain the habit of refusing water.

Acquired Nature

When you have a hypersensitive cat, water bowls may lead to issues drinking water. For example, if the opening of the water bowl is too narrow, and causes the whiskers to brush against the container, the cat will avoid drinking out of it.
cat plays with water

What Happens When Your Cats Are Dehydrated?

The lack of water can cause a serious issue, such as urethral stones. Ultimately, these stones can block the opening of the urethra, preventing urine from being properly excreted. Over time, urine will flow back into the kidneys, which leads to a whole slew of issues. As the kidneys are incapable of removing toxins, electrolytes will get out of balance, body fluids will drop, and the cat may face renal failure. Death can occur if treatment is not sought immediately.

How Much Water Do Your Cats Need Daily?

On average, cats require 60ml/kg of water each and every day. To break it down, if your cat weighs 4kg, they require 240ml of water daily, to keep bodily functions operating properly. Your cats diet should be taken into consideration, especially if they eat wet food over dry, and vice versa.

What Are the Signs of Dehydration in Cats?

With cats, it may be difficult to detect dehydration. By the time pet parents recognize the signs of dehydration in their feline, it’s usually after the situation has reached serious levels. Here are a few of the signs of dehydration in cats.
ill cat

Decreased Urine Output

A healthy cat typically uses the litter box to pee anywhere between 2 to 3 times each day. As your cats consumes less and less water, there will be a decreased amount of urine. In fact, the situation of a dehydrated cat will cause them to use more water, and prevent it from flowing out of the body properly. If you begin to notice that your cat urinating less than normal, you may need to look further into the situation.

Dry Mouth

Cats may suddenly develop bad breath, especially as their saliva becomes more sticky than normal. Should you notice your feline is having difficulty chewing their food, you might need to take a trip to the vet to rule out dry mouth and, ultimately, dehydration.

Sunken Eyes

Medically speaking, this occurrence is known as invagination, and involves a cats eyes sinking into their socket. While there are several causes of invagination in cats, including congenital diseases, trauma, and various diseases, dehydration is a big contributor.

Decreased Skin Elasticity

You can check your cat’s skin elasticity in a quick and painless manner. Simply lift the skin found on the back of your cat’s neck, and quickly let go. In normal kitties, this skin will return to the original position immediately. In dehydrated felines, though, the skin will be rather slow to return to its original place.

What Should You Do If Your Cats Have Become Dehydrated?

Regardless of your level of care, some cases of dehydration in cats can’t always be prevented. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take should your kitty become dehydrated, aside from encouraging drinking. Firstly, ensure you have spoken to your cat’s veterinarian before you continue. A trip to the vet can rule out various causes, as they evaluate the physical condition of your four-legged-friend.
While you should never force water down your cat’s throat, your urge to put fluids back into their body is a good one. However, you should never utilize a syringe to fill their mouth with water, either, as it can send water down the wrong way. You don’t want to cause your cat’s lungs to fill with water, or cause any other diseases and issues. A trained vet will know what to do, so always make sure you book an appointment.

How Do You Help Your Cats Drink More Water?

Here list several measures to help your cats drink more water.
cat drinks flowing water

Wet Food

Dry kibble tends to pull resources from your cat’s body. By utilizing wet cat food, you can add extra moisture to their diet overall. While this cannot replace the act of drinking water entirely, it is an additional step in the journey of avoiding dehydration. You may also consider adding broth or water to your cat’s dry food, and see if it helps.

Ice Cubes in Their Food

Adding moisture may entice your cat to enjoy their dry kibble. Adding ice to their food may also encourage them to drink more, as they lick the cubes. Some cats even prefer cold water over warm or room temp, which may be a likely culprit in their dehydration woes.

Increase Access to Water

Keeping a water bowl in the same place can mean the difference between dehydration, and successfully enticing your cat to drink. However, it’s important to avoid placing water bowls in the same place, rather than placing them around your home.

Clean the Water Bowl Frequently

Cats are picky animals, which is one reason maintaining clean food and water bowls is rather important. Simply toss them into the dishwasher once a week, and your cat’s water bowl is sure to remain clean and fresh. You may also practice replacing the water in the bowl one or two times each day.

Utilize Multiple Water Bowl Locations

If your feline is a picky eater, chances are they’re also a picky drinker. They may have a particular preference for their water container, and might enjoy access to multiple bowls. Simply place a few around your home, keep them clean, and refresh the contents at least once a day. If this doesn’t help, look into the overall depth of the water bowl itself. Some kitties like deep water bowls, while others prefer shallow options.

Invest in a Pet Water Fountain

Pet water fountains have made a world of difference for pet parents alike. Many animals like running water sources, making it difficult to enjoy stagnant water bowls at home. This is a natural instinct cats have earned over generations, in order to avoid parasites and diseases that come with poorly running water sources in the wild. Whether you or your cat prefer running water or trickling fountains, look into purchasing an auto water dispenser.

Infuse Water with Flavors

One final suggestion to keep your cat hydrated and healthy, is to infuse their meals with moisture and delicious flavors they enjoy. Many cats will run for a bit of chicken or salmon broth added to their water. A simple tablespoon or two added to their water may just entice them enough to drink more fluids, and avoid dehydration altogether.

What Causes Your Cats to Avoid Drinking Water?

Our cat’s ancestors originated from desert regions, such as Egypt. These cats developed a strong particular resistance to drought, which kept them alive in harsh conditions. Ultimately, the main way for cats to get any water was through the act of hunting prey. The second way for them to get water was to discover water sources through exploration. A few thousand years later, and our cats still have similar instincts. The timing surround hydration may be of particular interest to them, depending on the feline.
  1. Cats pay attention to overall cleanliness, which may lead them to refuse drinking dirty water, from unclean water bowls.
  2. Sick kitties may develop urinary system diseases, infectious diseases, cat distemper, and more. Ultimately, this inhibits their ability to drink and eat.
  3. Your four-legged-friend may be secretly drinking out of the toilet bowl. Or, they have ingested enough water to meet their needs, through canned food, fish tanks, and more.

Why Do Your Cats Need the Fountain?

Provide Clean Water Sources

Did you know most pet water dispensers provide a filter function? Tap water is often fraught with contaminants and elements that are dangerous to not only your health, but the health of your cats, too. This feature enables pet parents to provide a clean drinking source for their cat, free from impurities and heavy metals.

Flowing Water May Be More Enticing

Because the ancestors of our cats were drawn to running water, due to its inherent safety, modern day cats prefer running over still water. Typically, water with a decent flow is free from impurities, from sources such as a stream, spring, or even a river. Still water, on the other hand, typically smells poorly and is dirty (especially puddles).
cat drinks running water

Avoid Narrow Containers That Touch Your Cats’ Sensitive Whiskers

Take care when choosing the next water bowl for your cat. Containers featuring a narrow opening are more likely to cause issues, as they cause your cat’s whiskers to brush along the rim. Whiskers are very sensitive, and provide insight into your feline’s surroundings.

Maintain Easy Water Accessibility

It can be hard to maintain a proper level of drinking water for your pets. This can make it difficult for cats to remain hydrated, which makes a water fountain the perfect solution. By utilizing a pet water fountain, instead, you can ensure your kitty has full access to fresh running water on demand.

In Conclusion

It’s easy to see how a cat’s personal preference and drinking habits can easily lead to dehydration. And, once it takes place, it can be hard to correct. In order to avoid the situation altogether, pet parents should seek the aid of a water fountain made specifically to meet the needs of their cat. Ultimately, this will make sure your cat can drink fresh water, and stay on top of their hydration regardless of whether you are at work, on vacation, or at home.
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