Cat Dehydration: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Dehydration in cats occurs when the cat’s body loses too much fluid. It’s not simply water loss that happens when this happens. It also causes a loss of important minerals including chloride, sodium, and potassium in their tissues.

Water is necessary for your cat’s survival. It aids in the maintenance of good health and the replacement of fluids lost through urine and feces. Your cat’s circulation, digesting, and waste elimination all require water. If your cat’s dehydration is not treated, it might progress to other serious medical problems.

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What Causes Cat Dehydration?

Dehydration in cats is most commonly caused by a lack of water intake or excessive water loss. Cats can also lose moisture through their paws, but this does not normally result in significant water loss. Dehydration can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Heatstroke
  • Hot weather or overheating
  • Trauma
  • Vomiting

Ensure that your cat has access to fresh water in a clean bowl at all times to help them stay hydrated.

What Is My Cat’s Water Requirement?

Your cat need roughly 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight on a daily basis. If you have a 10-pound cat, for example, they should drink 7 to 9 ounces of water every day.

If your cat eats a lot of wet food, you’ll find that it doesn’t drink nearly as much water. This is due to the fact that the cat drinks water while eating. Water accounts for up to 80% of the weight of wet food.

Cats that eat mostly dry food, on the other hand, will drink less water from their meal. They need to drink from their water dish to stay hydrated.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cat Dehydration?

As part of your cat’s everyday diet, make sure they are getting enough water. Dehydration can occur if the cat does not obtain enough water.

The following are some indicators of dehydration in cats:

  • Loss of energy
  • Panting
  • Refusal to eat
  • Sunken eyes
  • Tacky and dry gums

Skin tenting is a useful test for determining whether or not your cat is dehydrated. To do so, carefully pull up a little section of your cat’s skin under their shoulders, then let go.

If your cat is properly hydrated, the skin will rapidly snap back into place. If the skin slowly slides back down, your cat may be dehydrated. It could be an indication of severe dehydration if your cat’s skin remains up in a tent position and does not go back down. In such instances, you should immediately seek medical attention for your cat.

When My Cat Is Dehydrated, What Should I Do?

In cats, dehydration is frequently a symptom of a significant underlying medical issue. If you feel your cat is dehydrated, seek immediate assistance from your veterinarian.

In the meanwhile, you might attempt the following home remedies to help your cat rehydrate:

  • Add a small amount of chicken broth or tuna juice to their water.
  • Instead of dry food, try giving them wet food.
  • Place some ice cubes in their water bowl.

You need to learn about your cat’s eating and drinking habits. Some cats prefer to drink from a water dish, while others prefer to drink from a cat fountain. You should try to get them to consume alcohol. You should never, ever, ever force them to do something they don’t want to do.

Is Dehydration Affecting Your Cat?

Dehydration is more common in older cats and cats who have been diagnosed with another condition.

If your cat has cancer, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or a renal condition, for example, speaking with your veterinarian about how to keep your cat’s hydration levels healthy and optimal is a good idea.

What Is the Treatment for Dehydration?

Giving the cat fluids beneath the skin is a fast technique that your veterinarian can undertake. In severe circumstances, your veterinarian may recommend admitting your cat to the hospital and administering fluids via a syringe inserted straight into the cat’s vein. In most cases, this approach can rehydrate your cat in a matter of hours or days.

Your veterinarian will also determine the cause of your cat’s dehydration and assist you in rehydrating them.

How Can I Prevent Dehydration In My Cat?

There are a few ways that you can help prevent dehydration in your cat. Some options include:

  • Clean out and provide fresh water in water bowls every day.
  • Provide multiple clean water sources around your house for the cat to drink from.
  • Try giving your cat an electrolyte supplement or meat-flavored water from a trusted pet food store.
  • Use a cat water fountain with fresh water to encourage them to drink.

It’s critical to get your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible if they appear dehydrated or refuse to drink. Dehydration in cats can cause a number of serious medical issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible.