Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cats And Water, Too Little Or Too Much?

"Somebody bring me some water, can't ya  see I'm burning inside"....(Melissa Etheridge)..... I am obsessed with water. I have to be. I have a lovely condition called Medullary Sponge Kidneys which is a rare type of congenital kidney condition  which causes the kidneys to ALWAYS manufacture stones, lots of ' kidneys throughout my lifetime will be the home to as many stones as in a bag of unpopped popcorn or more, (no joke), and popping those babies out when they pass is no easy task. So, I am supposed to drink double what the rest of you normal folk are supposed to (64 oz for you, 128 oz for me, in moderate weather, triple that in hot weather). If you ever need to know the location of all toilets of the establishments that I frequent, just ask me, I am the toilet Queen.Wait! This blog isn't about me, it is about Cats so on to cats. Just how much water does an  adult cat need?

I rarely see Cody drinking water but trust me, when I am mining in his litter box twice a day his hefty deposits assure me he is getting his daily requirement.

Cats need fresh water every day for optimum health.  Just like in humans water is needed to help the kidneys flush out toxins. Dehydration is dangerous in humans and in your cat. There isn't a set "quota" per se as to how much water your cat should drink, (factors such as the cats weight and type of food consumed can affect the requirement). If you feed your cat strictly dry food he needs more water (dry food is made up of about 10% water), canned food is made up of approx. 78% water.

How to tell if your cat is dehydrated:
his eyes may appear to be sunken
he is overly lazy (I know, this is hard to tell in a cat since they spend most of their day lazing around but you know what is normal for your cat)
Loss of appetite
Elevated Heart rate
Decreased skin elasticity-a great test for this is to pull the loose skin at the scruff of your cats' neck. The skin should spring right back if it is properly hydrated, if it doesn't, he may be dehydrated.

My first cat Bobo once suffered from 6 kidney stones (at ONE time, he definitely took after his Mama). I often wondered if this was a result of not drinking enough water or if it was caused by too much protein in his diet?

Certain health conditions in cats may cause dehydration as well and those are:kidney disorders, cancer, thyroid conditions, diabetes to name a few. Nursing cats and senior cats may also suffer from dehydration.
On the other end of the spectrum drinking TOO MUCH water may be cause for concern as well. That can be a sign that your cat is ill. If in doubt as to whether your cat is drinking too little or too much water, call your vet.

Especially with summer right around the corner it is important to be cognizant of your cat's water consumption. Always keep your cat's bowl full of fresh water, I have noticed that  cats LOVE to have an ice cube put in their water, which they consider to be another type of fun "toy" but you smart kitty parents know that it is actually a lure to have them drink more water! If you have a dog, your cat may enjoy drinking it's water directly from the dog's bowl...that is what my Cody does, he wouldn't think of drinking water any other way and our Dakota graciously allows him this luxury. I don't care how he gets it as long as he is drinking it!

***Sources for this and the aspca.

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  1. As always, wonderful post, you're hysterical!! Btw, so very true bout h2o, -as a side, easy way to help their dental/kidney/heart health- add oxyfresh to the water (you can also spray them w/ it, not liking that one)! Love, Ms. Z.

  2. thank you Ms.Z!! "Oxyfresh"????? Isn't that a laundry stain remover?????

  3. I like to feed my cats "sparkling" water! its fizzy like pop, but its safe! and sometimes the cats will burp and it is soooo cute!

  4. Great post! People need to learn the signs of dehydration! (Especially pet sitters but that's another tale.) The ice cube trick is spot on but be ready for water on your floor if you have a cat that likes to play with its water. I have found my cats (10 cats over the years, only 2 geriatrics currently) have preferred metal bowls, or 2nd to that, glass. Running water is also preferred but is not necessarily financially or environmentally viable. My pair have 3 bowls to choose from, including one *in* the bathroom sink.

    Oxyfresh, by the way, is a pretty good product. My cats preferred the bowl with it over the one without. I found it at a local pet fair. It was being marketed as an aid to reducing dental tartar buildup. I did find it easier to remove the plaque on their teeth after a while. The need to refill and refresh the bowls daily, tho, made continuing its use costly.

    Keep up the great blog! I'll be reading from now on!

    Bound Brook, NJ

  5. Anastasia thanks so much for your lovely comments!
    you might have hit on the reason my Cody loves water from his brother's bowl....the dog bowl is metal. I do use ceramic or glass for Cody's water (never plastic)...
    Ok please tell me am I thinking of the same Oxyfresh as you and "Ms.Z"???? I feel so out of the loop! Please let me know if I am thinking of the same product?
    Wow 10 cats!! Please feel free to share your stories, I would love to hear!
    Would also love if you wanted to "follow" my can follow directly through the website from the RSS feed I believe, please let me know if you have any difficulties.
    Thanks so much again and thanks for your comments!! Oh and if you want to laugh read my new posting today! :)

  6. I have a question about my cat. He is 8 years old and in the morning he jumps up on the bathroom counter. He then puts his paws against the mirror and starts to paw the mirror in a digging motion. At other times he does the same thing to the kitchen cabinets. What does this mean? Sometimes he will lick the mirror.

  7. Hi Diane! (actually this is Caren Gittleman but I am not signed into Blogger right now and am answering you through the email I got about a comment being left)
    Thanks for reading and commenting! Up until I read the part about the kitchen cupboard my gut feeling was your cat sees his reflection in the mirror and thinks it is another cat (obviously he doesn't know it is HIM). Maybe the licking is him trying to lick the other cat? lol.
    As for the kitchen cupboards, do you keep his cat food or treats in any of those cupboards or any other type of food? Is the "pawing" like a kneading or scratching? If it is more like kneading he is getting some kind of euphoric pleasure out of "kneading" the mirror and the cupboards!

    Let me know!

  8. Hi Caren. Sorry I didn't see your reply until now. Computer got a nasty virus (Beware Antispyware Soft virus! It's nasty.)

    I don't have a blog but I've used the link to 'subscribe to posts' via 'live bookmark', whatever that means. :)

    I'm pretty sure Ms Z and I are talking the same product. Don't know if you've found it or not but their website is

    I'm sure I'll end up mentioning my cats in my comments. I'm a sucker for telling cat tales. Aren't we all? LOL! To start I'll tell you that my 2 current cats are female and both rescues. Calamity is 15 years old, left on my doorstep at 2-2.5 months. Diesel is, get this, 20 years old! She'll be 21 in October and she came from North Shore Animal League in NY. I've had her since she was 5 months old.


  9. Anastasia Hi! I am signed in as Anonymous because I am not signed on to Blogger but I wanted to answer your comment, it is me! Caren Gittleman.
    Thanks so much for commenting and I am so sorry about the computer virus! Hope it stays away from my computer!
    I didn't look for that stuff you and Ms.Z were talking about but I appreciate the info.
    Wow you have a cat that is going to be 21? Amazing! You are so blessed! You are blessed also to have both of those kitties! When is her birthday in Oct? My birthday is in Oct also!! :) I love the name "Calamity" and what is a girl kitty doing being named Diesel???? I have donated to North Shore before, I am so glad you were able to get a kitty there!
    All the best and thanks for reading, thanks for sharing your info as well!

  10. Hi Caren!
    I don't have an exact date of birth for Diesel; we just did the math from when she 1st went into heat, figuring she was at least 5 months old at the time. As for why she's named Diesel, well.. 1) she is all black like diesel oil, 2) she had a rattling purr like a diesel engine, and 3) she smelled bad. The last was because she was being fed adult food and it upset her kitten tummy. LOL!
    Calamity was originally Calamity Jane and her sister was Belle Starr, named for notorious women of the Old West. In truth, they should have been named Calamity and Disaster for their penchant for mischief. Belle grew to be a tubbo and her name morphed into Bubba, the name she answered to up until her passing last year.

  11. Anastasia Hi,
    Too cute about how Diesel got her name, loved the names of the Wild West kitties, and I am so sorry about Belle aka "Bubba"....I know how hard that is :(
    have a good day and thanks for your comments!