Thankfully, due to improvements in veterinary care and nutrition, our feline friends are living much longer than they used to. With our cats living longer, it is important to know the symptoms of common heath issues and when to see your veterinarian.
You may notice that your cat has less energy or decreased stamina to engage in previously enjoyable activities, such as playing with toys or chasing that red dot. You may notice you are filling your water bowls and fountains more often or you cat suddenly is a finicky eater or wanting to steal the pizza off your plate.
Your cat appears lost or confused in a familiar environment which can result in your cat becoming trapped in corners or behind furniture, vocalizing in the middle of the night, staring at walls or into space, difficulty finding their resources (food, water bowl, perch, or litter box ) and may have memory deficits, for example, forgetting they have been fed and repeatedly requesting more food. Cognitive functions include the mental processes of perception, awareness, learning, and memory, which allow an individual to acquire information about the environment and decide how to act.
Is it normal for a cat to drink lots of water?
Polydipsia is defined as a cat drinking more than 100ml per kg of their bodyweight per day, but any cat that is drinking more than usual should be seen by a vet, as this may indicate that something is amiss. Of course, let the vet know the amount your cat is drinking if you have measured it.
How much water should a cat drink per day?
Your cat needs a daily amount of about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of their body weight. For instance, if you have a 10-pound cat, they should be drinking between 7 to 9 ounces of water daily. If the cat eats wet food often, you may notice that it doesn’t drink as much water.
How much water is too much water for a cat?
All animals are a little different thus it is very important to know what is normal for your cat. However, in general, drinking more than 20 ml per pound per day is evidence of polydipsia, according to DVM360 Magazine.
Why is my older cat drinking so much water?
In the vast majority of cats that are drinking excessively it is because they are genuinely thirsty as their kidneys are making more urine, their bodies are detecting the loss of fluid and stimulate the desire to drink.
Cats drink different amounts of water depending on their diet. Cats fed wet food will get a large proportion of the water they need from their food (just like their wildcat ancestors), whereas cats fed mainly on a dry diet will drink more water. If you are worried that your cat isnt drinking enough.
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Drinking more is a common medical problem in cats, particularly older cats. This factsheet discusses how to tell if your cat is really drinking excessively, the causes common and rare and how the issue may be managed. The medical term for an increased thirst is polydipsia and for an increase in the volume of urine being produced it is polyuria. Vets often refer to the joint syndrome as PU/PD.
In the vast majority of cats that are drinking excessively it is because they are genuinely thirsty as their kidneys are making more urine, their bodies are detecting the loss of fluid and stimulate the desire to drink. The commonest diseases that often show up as a cat drinking excessively are chronic kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism but all these conditions may show in other ways, for example weight loss or changes in appetite and behaviour.
There are many other conditions that also have an increase in thirst and urination as part of their clinical signs: high blood calcium levels (hypercalcaemia) low blood potassium (hypokalaemia) bacterial infection in the kidneys (pyelonephritis) liver failure acromegaly and hyperadrenocorticism (each of which show with signs of diabetes mellitus), acute renal failure (especially in the recovery phase) diabetes insipidus renal glucosuria pyometra (infection in the uterus) hypoadrenocorticism and damage to the pituitary gland Other possibilities that should be obvious but must be considered are certain drugs such as the diuretics often used to treat heart failure and some foods that are designed to promote water intake by being high in salt.
Occasionally excessive thirst is the basic cause, and this is called primary polydipsia .
Do you notice a change in your cats water intake? The most obvious and common change is an increased intake of water called polydipsia. Animals, like people, typically drink for one reason because theyre thirsty. On average, cats and dogs alike drink between 10-30 ml per pound per day. This amount can be impacted by the amount of moisture in the food, and water loss associated with exercise and panting. Remember that canned foods contain as much as 80% moisture.
Vomiting and diarrhea also result in excess water loss that is generally compensated for by normally functioning kidneys. The body senses the problem and the response of excess thirst is an attempt to replenish the loss.
How is the cause of polydipsia determined?Undoubtedly, your veterinarian will run blood and urine tests to evaluate the function of the kidneys and to check for diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and liver disease. What should I do if I think my cat is drinking too much water?Because the mechanism of body fluid control is complicated, polydipsia is often associated with severe metabolic and systemic diseases.
Your cat may be more withdrawn and even start hiding. Our cats are bonded to us and like to be engaged and present where we are. When your cat is suddenly not greeting you at the door, not sleeping with you, and other engaging behaviors that are normal, this may be a sign that something’s wrong.Another common behavior change that can be indicative of an underlying medical issue is a change in social interactions. They used to get along with the cats in the home and now they are hissing every time they are around. They are avoiding contact with the other animals or humans in the home they used to love to sleep and interact with. Cats can also uncharacteristically have episodes of aggression. A cat may begin to growl or hiss when people or other pets in the household approach them, may not be comfortable with being held and may resent being brushed or combed. They may bite or scratch, too, especially when a person touches or moves the painful area or if the cat anticipates you doing it.
Less Activity and Low Energy
You may notice that your cat has less energy or decreased stamina to engage in previously enjoyable activities, such as playing with toys or chasing that red dot. Your cat may just lay on their side and paw at the wand toys verses chasing the toy. Your cat may be reluctant to jump, walk up and down stairs, have difficulty getting up from laying down, exhibit restlessness, and have difficulty finding a comfortable place to rest. You may also notice changes in sleeping patterns—the cat may sleep more or less and may sleep in unusual positions and places. These can be symptoms of chronic pain and other medical issues.
Litter Box Changes
Your cat is missing the box occasionally or not using the box at all. Cats commonly will miss the litter boxes due to the pain associated with going in and out of the litter box, as well as difficulty squatting. Getting into a litterbox and holding the squatting position can be very difficult for a cat with sore hips or knees. Other medical issues such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and kidney disease can cause cats to not use the litter box due to the urgency of needing to go more often and not being able to get to their box as well as the pain associated with going the bathroom with some issues like constipation and IBD.
Changes in Appetite and Water Intake
You may notice you are filling your water bowls and fountains more often or you cat suddenly is a finicky eater or wanting to steal the pizza off your plate. If you notice any changes in your cat‘s eating and drinking habits, be sure to alert your veterinarian. This can be a sign of pain and various other serious medical issues including, kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism.
If you notice that your cat is drinking more than usual, this may indicate that something is amiss. Increased water intake is known as ‘polydipsia’.The most common causes of increased thirst and drinking are:If you are worried about how much your cat is drinking, it can be useful to monitor their water intake for 24 hours. You can measure their water intake over a 24-hour period by filling the cat’s water bowl(s) to the brim, measure the amount of water left over at the end of the 24-hour period and take this away from the volume of water in the full water dish(es) (this may be more difficult to do if you have more than one cat in the household). Polydipsia is defined as a cat drinking more than 100ml per kg of their bodyweight per day, but any cat that is drinking more than usual should be seen by a vet, as this may indicate that something is amiss. Of course, let the vet know the amount your cat is drinking if you have measured it.As there are many reasons why your cat has an increased thirst your vet will usually take a blood and urine sample to work out the underlying cause. Once the cause of polydipsia is determined, then suitable treatment can begin.