Water blues!

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Water is essential for everyone and cats are no exception. Don’t let your cat be dehydrated in these summer months. Here’s how to take care of water needs of your cat.
Importance of water…
A healthy cat should be sufficiently hydrated. Water replaces fluid lost through urine, faeces and
Sudhersena
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.
How much is enough?
The amount of water your cat should drink depends on factors like the size of your cat, health condition, weather, food, etc. Senior cats, nursing cats, and cats suffering from kidney problem, cancer, diabetes, hyperthyroidism are particularly at risk of dehydration. Cats having fever, vomiting or diarrhoea are also prone to dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the fluid level is less than normal.  During summer, your cat will drink more water to replace fluids lost due to heat. Cats being fed dry food should drink adequate amounts of water. You should encourage your cat to eat wet food as it helps in keeping your cat well hydrated.
Check 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.
Summer care…
Here’s how to ensure your kitty is safe in summer and is drinking enough water.
Always keep a fresh bowl of water everyday.
Clean the water bowl daily to prevent bacteria from forming.
Keep several water bowls around the house so that your cat can have easy access.
If you notice your cat is drinking water more or less than normal, take her to the veterinarian immediately.
Also remember to keep your kitty indoor 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, pet parent of nine cats and three dogs. She is associated with a number of animal welfare campaigns and programmes.)

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