Help, My Cat Is Not Drinking Water!
Eating and drinking are two of the most important energy sustaining routines we need to accomplish to keep our bodies healthy and motivated to move. This of course translates to about any living being in some form or another, including cats!
Water is especially important since it makes up a good portion of all living matter and even our planet itself. This can be one of the most alarming things for you to find out your pet is not getting enough of in their daily routine. These signs, tips, and facts are designed to help you determine your cat's needs in hydration.
What Hydration Does
Hydration in cats, much like humans, fuels the body to do some of its most essential functions. Water helps make essential nutrients, expel bacteria from the body, and even regulates temperature for most animals. This can be especially important in cats, who don’t sweat as readily as humans and have a much harder time keeping cool in the sun.
This becomes crucial for outdoor cats during the warmer times of the year where it’s harder to find natural water sources like puddles around the house.
Without hydration, your cat runs a greater risk of health symptoms, such as heat stroke. On top of that, other unwanted health risks can occur such as stroke, heart attack, and increased mental distress. Your cat may also be more prone to wander if their hydration needs are not met at your home. To combat this, use the help of the hydration check below to make sure your cats are getting the ample amount of water that they need in their daily lives.
How to Check For Hydration Issues
Some of the easiest ways to tell if your cat is dehydrated is by using the skin test. When an animal is well hydrated, their skin will be tighter and more resilient than when dehydrated. To get a good base idea of this, try pinching your skin, it shouldn’t be flabby or easy to pull on without force. If your skin feels loose and rises easily, then your skin is showing issues of dehydration. This method will also work on cats and if you find your kitties’ skin to be extremely loose, try giving them more water throughout the day and continue to monitor their skins status.
Another way to check is to watch their food intake. A cat with hydration issues will eat less in order to reduce water usage in the body caused by food processing. Another big side effect that may tip you off is a spike in lethargy that can occur when a pet is not taking in enough nutrients to sustain their playful lifestyle. This can be easier to determine in younger cats that still play quite a bit, but an older cat can be a little bit harder to determine.
If the cat you are working with is an older cat, be sure to check for a dry nose and dry mouth. Cats without hydration issues will have the normal wet nose that most healthy cats do. If either of these are dry, this is a sure sign of something wrong with their hydration intake.
Another thing you may look out for is if your cat seems depressed and not being its normal energetic self. If your cat is usually a social creature that enjoys being with you but has been spending the last few nights sitting all alone or not moving much, this may be the case.
Coaxing Your Cat To Drink
If you have an especially picky feline who doesn't like to do what you want, getting them to the intake water may be a challenge. To combat this, there are quite a few methods you can use to get your cat to drink more naturally. The first of which is by monitoring what sources your cat likes to drink out of best. This can be done by watching them in their daily habits especially if they’re an outdoor cat and seeing if they prefer to drink through natural sources like puddles or streams.
Also, watch to see if your pet goes for what looks to be dirty water to clean water.
Next, look at where you have placed your cat's water in relation to their food. Cats have a natural instinct not to drink near their food. This is because in the wild, prey have a tendency to take their water source.
In order to avoid this, most cats tend to drink differently than where they eat. If the water bowl is close to their food source then these natural instincts may be playing a part in why your cat isn't hydrating themselves as much as they need to. To fix this, simply move the water bowl a good distance away from where your cats normally have their meals. Also, make sure that the water source stays cleaned regularly and no bits of food have made their way into the bowl.
If your cat is still being really fishy after these last two suggestions, then one of the best ways to get your cat to drink is by getting a water fountain.
Fountains are more relatable to a cat, as they look and act like streams they would normally drink out of. This can cause a cat to feel more comfortable and in turn, take in more water, as it makes them believe it may be free from contaminants unlike their water bowl.
Another option is to fed your cat(s) wet food daily. Wet food is full of water and cats love it, so they'll usually eat it all up! If your cat needs a lot more water in their life, you can also water the wet food down a little. Cats love the gravy taste of wet food, which means they'll also love gravy flavored water!
Check With The Vet
As always, if any symptoms persist after trying these methods, be sure to check with your vet. Certain diseases can cause your cat to be less inclined to take in food and water with some only identifiable by a trained vet that can test your cat to determine the cause and provide treatment.
Most cats however will easily work with you if you use the above methods to find out why they're not drinking water. Cats are still animals even though they have been bred into our society and sometimes their more wild nature comes through. Always be on the lookout for any signs of distress caused by malnutrition and dehydration.
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