A healthy cat should be sufficiently hydrated. Water replaces fluid lost through urine, faeces and respiration and is essential to maintain appropriate health. It is interesting to know that 80 percent of a cat’s body weight is made up of water. The amount of water your cat should drink depends on factors like the size of your cat, health condition, weather, food, etc.
Dehydration & its causes…
Dehydration occurs when the fluid levels are less than normal. During summer, your cat will drink more water to replace fluids lost due to heat. Senior cats, nursing cats, and cats suffering from kidney problem, cancer, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism are especially at risk for dehydration. Cats having fever, vomiting or diarrhoea are also prone to dehydration.
You can know if your cat is dehydrated by lifting the skin on the back of your cat’s neck or between the shoulder blades. For a well- hydrated cat, the skin should be extremely elastic and should immediately bounce back. If the cat is dehydrated, the skin will take a longer time to return to normal. If you suspect that your cat is dehydrated, immediately take her to your veterinarian.
Tips to follow…
- Always keep a fresh bowl of water everyday.
- Clean the water bowl daily to prevent from bacteria forming.
- Keep several water bowls around the house so that your cat can have easy access.
- Cats being fed dry food should drink adequate amounts of water.
- If you notice your cat is drinking water more or less than normal, take her to the veterinarian immediately.
- Keep your kitty indoors during hot days.
- If you are feeding outdoor cats, provide them some shade.
(Sudhersena is volunteer at the Blue Cross since 1998 and an avid animal lover, owns nine cats and three dogs. She is associated with a number of animal welfare campaigns and programmes.)
E-mail your cat’s adorable pictures and stories at: firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to: Dogs & Pups, 406, Sant Nagar, East of Kailash, New Delhi-110065.