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Cats need proper hydration

Cats need proper hydration

23rd Jul 2022

July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month. The need for sufficient water is something cats share with humans, dogs, cows, and even reptiles.

The human body is 60% water, and dogs and cats are 80% water. Therefore, constant access to fresh, filtered water is vital for everyone for proper mobility and strength. Even though an average cat can go a couple of days without fluids, once they become dehydrated, things can quickly turn fatal. Therefore, it's vital to know how much liquid your cat needs daily, the symptoms of dehydration, and when to seek medical care.

Early signs of dehydration in cats include loss of appetite, weakness, poor appetite, dry and sticky gums, loss of skin elasticity, and eventually, hollow eye sockets.

The most common causes of dehydration in cats are diseases that create increased water loss, such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. If your feline has an underlying medical condition, be especially mindful of his water intake.

If you can't decide if your pet has become dehydrated, check his water consumption. The scientific formula is 4 ounces of water per 5 pounds of cat. So, for example, if your cat weighs 10 pounds, you would need to ensure he is getting no less (and no more) than 1 cup of water per day. Also, notice if your kitty is repeatedly going to his water dish, if his increased thirst is accompanied by painful urination, or if he has diarrhea. If any of these symptoms appear, you will need to make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

National Pet Hydration Awareness Month also highlights a condition known as "water intoxication," which occurs when an animal ingests too much water. Though not unheard of, it is not as common in house cats as dogs, who often spend time playing outdoors near pools or garden hoses. Symptoms of water intoxication include excessive salivation, seizures, vomiting, and bloating, all warranting a quick visit to the vet.

July is the perfect month to emphasize hydration, especially with the recorded-high temperatures throughout the United States. National Pet Hydration Awareness Month reminds all of us to drink more water and to be extra cautious of our cats during hot weather.

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