We talk a lot about the importance of hydration for our cats – but what could it mean if you see your cat drinking lots of water?
First, it’s important to have a baseline of your cat’s regular water intake. Cats evolved as desert animals – which is why they are designed to get the majority of the hydration they need from their food. This is why a cat that eats a moisture rich diet is rarely seen drinking lots of water.
Cats that eat an all dry food diet will drink more – but often live in a state of mild dehydration. Regardless, if you notice your cat drinking more water than usual, it could be a red flag.
There are a number of things that can increase thirst in cats. Some are very simple – like a change in the weather, their activity levels, even a change in their diet. Other issues are not so benign – and unfortunately quite common.
Diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism or urinary tract infections will cause increased thirst. And because cats instinctively hide pain, we have to rely on subtle clues to determine if an issue is brewing. This is why it’s so important to pay attention to your cat’s normal water intake. If you notice your cat lapping water like a dog, or even that the water bowl level is lower than usual, it’s time for a wellness exam.
Paying attention to other subtle clues are also helpful. Being familiar with your cat’s normal appetite, their energy level, and their litter box deposits is important. Not only will this make it easier to notice slight changes, you can also share this helpful health history with your veterinarian at your cat’s annual exams. Catching these little clues early can make a big difference.
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