Like all animals, cats need a certain amount of water in their diet in order to stay healthy. Unfortunately, some cats don't drink as much water as they should. Here are four things you can do if your cat seems to be dehydrated.
1. Switch to wet food.
If your cat doesn't like to drink water, you can still get more fluids in their diet. Switch your cat from kibble to wet cat food. Wet food has a higher moisture content. It will allow your cat to rehydrate while eating delicious food.
2. Purchase a water fountain.
Some cats don't like drinking from still water, which includes the water in their water bowl. This behavior is an instinct left over from the wild. Stagnant water can harbor harmful bacteria and pathogens while running water tends to be cleaner. You can't give your cat a flowing stream, but you can give them the next best thing. Purchase a feline water fountain for your cat. These fountains continuously recycle water from an internal reservoir. The water will flow gently all day, providing your cat a source of clean, running water without water waste.
3. Take your cat to the vet.
If other methods don't seem to work or you're still concerned your cat isn't getting enough water, take them to the veterinarian for a checkup. The vet can test your cat's hydration level by drawing a blood sample. Some health conditions cause dehydration. Cats with an upset stomach or an internal blockage may refuse to eat or drink water. Your veterinarian can evaluate your cat's overall health and find any underlying cause for their reluctance to drink water.
4. Give your cat intravenous fluids.
Dehydration is a condition that must be taken seriously. Left unchecked, dehydration can damage your cat's kidneys, which can eventually lead to renal failure and death. If other methods fail, your veterinarian may prescribe intravenous fluids for your cat. During this treatment, a sterile saline solution is injected directly into your cat's vein. IV fluids will rehydrate your cat, even if they refuse to drink. If your cat needs fluids on a weekly or biweekly basis, you can take them to the vet's office and allow the vet to perform the procedure. If your cat needs fluids daily, your vet may recommend that you perform the procedure yourself at home. In this case, they will show you how to safely and effectively give your cat fluids.
For more information, contact a veterinary service in your area.