Find out what causes dehydration in cats, how much water a cat requires, and how to treat cat dehydration.
Cat dehydration occurs when there is too much body fluids loss on a feline's body. When this happens, it's not a mere loss of water. It is additionally a loss of vital minerals in their body like salt, potassium, and chloride.
Water is essential to your cat's wellness. It helps maintain health and replenish the fluids that they lose when their pee and defecate. Water is also needed for your cat's circulation, food digestion, as well as waste elimination. If dehydration is left untreated in your cat, it can lead to other clinically severe problems like kidney disease and liver disease.
What Causes Dehydration in Cats?
Dehydration in cats is generally triggered by your cat not drinking sufficient water and/or excessive water loss. Cats can likewise lose fluids by sweating in their paws, but this does not typically cause severe dehydration. Dehydration could be caused by the following:
- Overheating or hot weather
To help your cat hydrated, make sure that it has access to water as well as a clean water bowl throughout the day, every day.
How Much Water Does A Cat Require?
An average cat requires about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of fresh water per 5 pounds of body weight daily. For example, if you own a 10-pound cat, it must be drinking between 7-9 ounces daily.
For cats that eat wet foods frequently, you might notice that it does not consume as much water. That's because the cat is drinking water when they eat. Wet foods for cats are made up of 80% water.
On the other hand, cats that primarily eat dry food won't have enough water intake from their food. They need to be hydrated through water intake from water bowls.
What Are the General Manifestations of Dehydration in Cats?
It's essential to observe your cat and make sure that they are sufficiently hydrated as a part of their daily diet plan. If your cat is not getting adequate hydration, it might be in danger of mild dehydration or even severe dehydration.
Signs of dehydration in felines include the following:
- Dry, tacky gums
- Energy loss or lethargy
- Refusal to eat
- Sunken eyes
A good 'test' to help you know if your cat is dehydrated is called 'skin tenting.' To do this, carefully pinch a small portion of skin around the cat's shoulders, pull up, and let go.
If your cat is well-hydrated, the skin will be back in place in no time. If the skin drops down slowly, this likely suggests that your cat is experiencing mild dehydration. If your cat's skin stays like a "camping tent" and does go back down, it can be a sign of extreme dehydration. The exemption to this rule is for overweight cats because their skin can go back to a normal position even if they are dehydrated. Additionally, if you observe that your feline's eyes are sunken and have a parched mouth, they are both likewise clear indications of dehydration. You must have a vet visit as soon as possible.
Are Specific Cats Prone to Dehydration?
Typically, older cats or those with other diseases more susceptible to dehydration.
For example, suppose your feline suffers from chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis, or diabetes. In that case, it is helpful to talk with your vet about the proper hydration levels for your feline.
How Is Dehydration Resolved?
If dehydration is not dealt with rapidly and appropriately, a feline can endure extreme damages to its kidneys, leading to its body's immunity collapsing.
In these situations, an official clinical diagnosis of dehydration calls for blood tests and urine analysis. This analysis will aid in identifying the degree of severity of the dehydration. In extreme cases, your veterinarian may hospitalize your feline and give them liquids with a needle that goes straight to the cat's vein. This procedure can generally rehydrate your kitty within a couple of hours or days.
Your veterinarian will undoubtedly detect the underlying cause for your cat's dehydration and help nurse them back to health.
How Can I Stop Dehydration In My Feline?
There are different ways to help protect against dehydration in your pet cat. A couple of options include:
- Use of a cat water fountain with fresh water to encourage them to drink.
- Try providing your feline meat-flavored water or an electrolyte supplement from a trusted pet store.
- Provide numerous clean water access around your house for the feline to drink from.
- Clean water bowls and provide fresh water daily.
If your cat seems hesitant to drink or appears to be dehydrated, it's essential to get them to the vet immediately. Dehydration in felines can cause various other severe clinical problems that should be addressed as soon as possible.
Take Care When Offering Water To A Dehydrated Cat
A dehydrated cat needs to consume water promptly to recover; however, it is essential to provide water gradually. If a feline consumes a lot of water all at once, it could vomit and lose more fluid, or lead to irritability of its digestion tract. For that reason, when using water to rehydrate a feline, one must make sure that water is offered at a slow and gradual rate.
What Should I Do if My Feline Is Dehydrated?
Dehydration in felines is usually an indication of a significant underlying clinical condition. If you think that your cat suffers from fluid loss, call your veterinarian immediately.
These are natural home remedies to try and rehydrate your cat:
- Add tuna or chicken broth to their water.
- Provide wet cat food instead of dry food.
- Put few pieces of ice in their water bowl.
Ice For Dehydrated Cats
As pointed out, cats should take in water in tiny doses to avoid vomiting and irritation of their tummy. Therefore, an excellent natural remedy for dehydrated cats is giving them ice scraps. This permits the feline to consume refreshing water at a controlled rate.
All you need to do is take some ice, scuff it with a spoon or knife, and give the scrapings. Never give your cat the whole ice.
In addition to making them drink water, it is also necessary to replenish their electrolytes to restore balance in their bodies. To do this, you can use liquids or oral serums in some vet clinics or pet shops.
You can use simple home remedies for dehydrated cats as a palliative measure. Nonetheless, you ought to not rely on these home remedies and make a conscious initiative for a vet visit as soon as possible.
Homemade Rehydration Serum
To replenish electrolytes, you can make an excellent homemade product for oral intake using these five simple and low-cost ingredients
- 1 liter of room temperature of mineral water
- 1 tsp of salt (use potassium salt if the veterinarian has examined their potassium levels).
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 3 tbsps. of honey
To prepare this serum:
- Start by boiling a liter of water.
- Turn off the heat and d add in the other ingredients.
- Let it cool down to room temperature.
This homemade serum can last 24 hours and should be kept in the refrigerator in a clean water bottle or container with a cover to avoid contamination.
Take care to give this serum in small dosages. If your cat refuses to drink it naturally via its drinker, you can try to provide the product with a syringe or a dropper. If neither of these methods works, consult your vet immediately.
Bear in mind, the home remedies suggested in this article do not replace professional veterinary help. Consequently, if your cat shows any changes in its diet or habits, do not think twice to consult your vet swiftly.