Is My Cat Dehydrated?


As you recognize, it’s essential to remain on prime of monitoring your cat’s well being. As a accountable cat guardian, you take note of your cat’s happiness, dietary wants, litter field habits, habits adjustments, and veterinary care.

One concern in cat healthcare that some cat dad and mom might miss is dehydration. This may turn into a really critical concern with harmful well being problems if left untreated. It might even put your cat’s life in danger. In the event you monitor your cat’s water consumption although, dehydration might be simpler to detect and handle.

Enough water consumption is vital for cats. Identical to us, cats want water for the physique to correctly operate. Hydration is essential to temperature regulation, muscle and tissue well being, organ operate, digestion, absorption of vitamins, and elimination of waste.

What’s Dehydration?

Dehydration happens when cats are dropping extra fluids than they’re taking in. Dehydration causes a lack of electrolytes corresponding to calcium, sodium, and potassium. Any cat can turn into dehydrated however the ones most susceptible are kittens, older cats, and people with well being points.

Dehydration may be the results of situations corresponding to:

  • Sickness
  • Getting overheated
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Metabolic problems (corresponding to kidney illness or diabetes)
  • Lack of entry to water


Signs of Dehydration in Cats

Recognizing the indicators indicating a cat dehydrated is vital to early remedy. Listed here are some widespread indicators to look at for:

Dry gums and mouth. In a wholesome, hydrated cat, the gums are pink, moist, and the mouth is moist. A dehydrated cat has pale, dry, cheesy gums. The saliva might be thick and seem rope-like.

Sunken eyes. A dehydrated cat might have eyes which can be sunken in or uninteresting in look.

Lack of pores and skin elasticity. A well-hydrated cat can have pores and skin that when gently lifted, will rapidly return to regular place when launched.

Lethargy. A dehydrated cat typically turns into torpid and reveals little curiosity in interacting with something or anybody of their setting. This may be a straightforward one to overlook as a result of cats are recognized for sleeping fairly a bit. A dehydrated cat will seem listless so it’s vital to concentrate to the distinction between your cat’s typical sleeping sample and lethargy. Extra extreme dehydration can result in collapse.

Lowered urine output. Dehydration typically leads to much less urination so your cat might go to the litter field much less typically than traditional.

Lack of urge for food. You might even see your cat has little or no real interest in meals.

Panting. If dehydration is because of overheating, a cat might start panting. A cat may pant when confused, in ache, or due to one other well being concern. Panting shouldn’t be regular in cats and is a sign that one thing is improper.

In the event you discover any of the above indicators or suspect dehydration in your cat, it’s essential to get veterinary care instantly. If left untreated, dehydration can result in critical well being situations.

Easy methods to Verify for Dehydration

Verify your cat’s gums. Carry the lip and have a look at your cat’s mouth. When correctly hydrated, the gums must be moist, slippery, and pink. If they’re dry or cheesy, your cat is prone to be dehydrated. You’ll be able to take a look at for capillary refill time by gently urgent the gums together with your finger. In a well-hydrated cat, a small white patch seems however then instantly disappears and the gum shade springs again to pink. In a dehydrated cat, the gums stay white or take longer to return to a pink shade after being pressed. Gradual capillary refill time is a sign of dehydration.

Pores and skin turgor take a look at. You are able to do a pores and skin pinch take a look at by gently lifting the pores and skin on the again of a cat’s neck, between the shoulder blades, after which releasing it. In a hydrated cat, the pores and skin snaps again inside a few seconds. If the cat is dehydrated, the pores and skin will take extra time to return to regular place or might stay in a tent place. This methodology shouldn’t be as dependable in older cats although whose pores and skin might now not be as elastic attributable to age or power well being points.


Therapy for Dehydration

Let’s begin with what NOT to do. Don’t power your cat to drink water or use a syringe or dropper to power water or moist meals into your cat because of the very excessive danger of getting fluid into the lungs. Don’t give milk to your cat as a alternative for water. Cats are lactose illiberal and ingesting milk might lead to diarrhea and vomiting, which might make dehydration worse.

Search veterinary care. In the event you suspect your cat is dehydrated or your cat shows any of the above signs, it’s important to have your veterinarian look at the cat. Your veterinarian will probably do blood and urine assessments to determine the severity of the dehydration and determine attainable underlying trigger(s). Along with every other remedies primarily based on the underlying trigger, the veterinarian might start your cat on intravenous fluid remedy to rapidly get your cat again to regular hydration ranges. Fluid remedy include an electrolyte answer to revive steadiness. Delicate dehydration could also be handled with subcutaneous fluids (fluids given slightly below the pores and skin).

Supply recent water. Be certain that your cat has entry to recent, clear water. Don’t use faucet water. Supply spring or filtered water. Many cats don’t just like the style of faucet water.

Wash the bowl out on daily basis and refill with recent water to forestall the build-up of biofilm.

Don’t place the water bowl too near the meals bowl. Many cats don’t need their water supply close to the place they eat their prey. Slide the water bowl a bit of farther away from the meals bowl; it may be in the identical room, however simply not proper subsequent to the meals. Don’t use a double feeder bowl with water on one facet and meals on the opposite as a result of meals can spill over into the water and trigger contamination or disagreeable style, in addition to discouraging a cat from ingesting.

black cat drinking water

Strive totally different water bowls. Your cat might not like ingesting from a bowl that’s a specific form or depth. Supply just a few differing types to see in case your cat has a choice. In the event you presently have a deep bowl, strive a shallower saucer in case your cat doesn’t like having their whiskers squished. Some cats like ingesting from cups and so they choose to dip their paws in after which lick the liquid from them. Be artistic and provide varied choices to pinpoint any likes or dislikes.

Don’t use plastic bowls. Many cats have a destructive response to plastic within the type of feline zits. Don’t use plastic for meals or water. Plastic tends to retain odors and any scratches within the bowl also can harbor micro organism. Keep on with glass, chrome steel, or ceramic.

Elevating the water bowl might assist. For older cats who might have arthritis, it could be extra snug to drink (and eat) from an elevated bowl. You could find these bowls at your native pet provide retailer and on-line.

Present water in a number of areas. That is particularly vital in multicat households or in case your cat has any mobility points. Don’t find bowls in noisy areas or the place there’s plenty of family site visitors.

Many cats don’t wish to the presence of meals close to their water supply so present further water in a number of areas of the house, away from the feeding station.

Don’t put water bowls close to litter bins. Cats don’t have a tendency to love water sources close to elimination areas.

Take note of any mobility points in your cat which may make it troublesome to entry to the water bowl. Present water in areas the place your cat frequents so that they don’t have too far to stroll when thirsty.

Swap to moist meals. In the event you feed moist meals to your cat, it has a better moisture content material (about 70-80%), however when you feed solely dry meals (about 10% moisture), they may not be getting an enough quantity to remain correctly hydrated. A transition to moist meals helps improve hydration and the cat doesn’t must drink as a lot from the water bowl. In case you have questions on what you feed your cat, seek the advice of together with your veterinarian. Typically, in case your cat is vulnerable to dehydration, your veterinarian will advocate a transition to moist meals. In case your cat stays on dry meals, then all of the water necessities must come from the water bowl.


In case your cat is already on moist meals and is dehydrated, your veterinarian might advocate mixing further water into the meals.

In case your cat received’t eat moist meals, strive mixing a bit of in with the dry meals and you’ll hopefully do a gradual transition as your cat adjusts. If all else fails, strive including water to the dry meals. Add a bit of at a time to make the adjustment simpler since you don’t need your cat to finish up rejecting the meals utterly.

Moreover having a better moisture content material, one other advantage of feeding moist meals is that it’s greater in protein and decrease in carbohydrates.

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Strive a pet water fountain. Your cat might choose ingesting from a fountain as a result of the flowing water tastes brisker. In the event you do determine to make use of a water fountain on your cat, comply with the cleansing directions rigorously as a result of fountains do require common upkeep to maintain them clear, together with the filter.

Add a bit of taste. A little bit low-sodium or sodium-free rooster broth or tuna water (from tuna packed in water) added into the water can typically entice a cat to drink a bit of extra. In the event you determine to do that, provide a bowl of plain water as nicely so your cat has the selection.

In heat climate, put the rooster broth or tuna water into ice dice trays, freeze, after which drop a dice into the water bowl as a refreshing deal with. This can be a strategy to entice your cat to drink as they play with the transferring ice dice within the bowl.

At all times examine together with your veterinarian first although earlier than placing any additive into your cat’s water.

Don’t Neglect Out of doors Cats

In the event you enable your cat outdoor, or your cat is solely outdoor, present recent water sources. In heat climate, find water in shaded areas and replenish bowls with recent water usually. Add ice cubes to the bowl to chill the water, if wanted. Be certain that out of doors cats have entry to shady areas to relaxation to keep away from turning into overheated. In very popular climate, don’t let your cat indoor/out of doors cat exterior in the course of the day when it’s at its hottest.

In chilly climate, present water sources that don’t freeze for out of doors cats.

Photograph: Pille Kirsi on Pexels

Monitor Your Cat’s Water Consumption

Be constant in how a lot you fill the water bowls every day to get a greater thought of how a lot is being consumed. You could even use a bowl with measuring traces that will help you preserve observe.

Take note of your cat’s hydration as a result of it’s very important to good well being. Be taught to acknowledge early indicators of dehydration so if it does occur, you’ll be able to intervene rapidly to extend the possibilities of a speedy restoration. Even when your cat eats moist meals, all the time provide recent, clear water in a number of areas and monitor your cat for any adjustments in habits, urge for food, or look. Search veterinary care instantly if have any considerations about your cat’s well being or hydration stage. Your veterinarian can information you on how a lot water your cat must be ingesting primarily based on age, well being, exercise, and dietary program.

Your attentiveness will assist guarantee your cat stays pleased and hydrated.


Want Extra Info?

In case you have considerations or questions on whether or not your cat is dehydrated, or any facet of your cat’s well being, seek the advice of your veterinarian. This text shouldn’t be supposed to diagnose neither is it a alternative on your cat’s particular person veterinary care.

For info on cat habits and coaching, take a look at the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. Pam’s books can be found at e book shops all over the place in addition to on-line. On your comfort, we’ve included Amazon affiliate hyperlinks right here on our web site.




The put up Is My Cat Dehydrated? first appeared on Downside Fixing & Recommendation by Pam Johnson-Bennett.


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