Every caring owner always pays attention to deviations in the behavior of the pet. And certainly, if you notice that your favorite fuzzy has started drinking more than usual, you will want to understand the causes of this phenomenon, which is called polydipsia in science. How much should a cat drink and what to do if it is tormented by increased thirst?
Liquid consumption rate
Do not worry ahead of time, because not always increased thirst means the presence of a serious pathology in the cat’s body. Veterinarians do not have water consumption standards. Indicators depend on many factors — age, physiological state, climatic conditions, nutrition, etc.
The amount of moisture required by the body can be calculated approximately: 0.03 ml of liquid per 1 gram of body weight of a cat. And you need to count not only water, but also wet food, milk, broth, etc.
Experts in the field of veterinary medicine say that each cat has its own rate of water consumption. You can determine that it has enough liquid by the behavior of the animal. If the cat is cheerful and active, eats with an appetite and does not lose weight, it means that his health is all right.
The condition of the coat and skin also speaks volumes. The pet’s fur coat is thick and shiny, and the skin is elastic? He doesn’t have polydipsia.
Why does a cat drink a lot
The reasons why a cat consumes an increased amount of liquid can be divided into physiological and pathological.
The first group includes the following factors that are not related to organ pathology:
- Pregnancy and lactation.
- Recovery period after surgery.
- Excessive physical activity.
- Hot weather.
- High content of salt or an insufficient amount of protein in the diet.
- The use of certain foods, such as rice, which acts on animals in much the same way as furosemide.
- Dry food. Manufacturers also do not recommend changing food unnecessarily.
- Dry air in the room.
- Old age. Kittens, as a rule, drink little, but old animals often have polydipsia.
These reasons do not pose a risk to the cat’s health. As soon as her condition is restored or the factors are eliminated, the thirst will also disappear.
Pathological reasons that cause the animal to drink a lot include:
- diabetes mellitus;
- chronic kidney failure;
- viral and inflammatory diseases;
- malignant and benign neoplasms of the liver;
Often, abnormal fluid intake in cats is observed due to stress. A change of residence, the appearance of another pet in the house, a noisy company or a long absence of owners can contribute to the symptom of polydipsia.
Finally, another reason why the animal constantly drinks water is taking certain medications. This phenomenon is not the norm, but one of the side effects that occur if the cat is prescribed the wrong treatment or the dosage is exceeded.
Drugs that cause increased thirst include corticosteroids, diuretics, sedatives, in particular, Xylazine.
Thirsty cat in any case it is impossible to restrict in the water. An animal deprived of the opportunity to drink may die. In a bowl of water should always be enough, you need to change it daily, and in hot weather — 2-3 times a day.
Raw tap or distilled water should not be given to animals, it is much safer for them to be boiled or filtered. Do not allow the animal to drink water from the aquarium, and even more so from the toilet.
What to do if the cat drinks a lot
If the increased thirst is caused by natural causes, then there is no reason to panic. So, the condition of the mother cat returns to normal as soon as she stops feeding her offspring. Just a few days after weaning, the amount of fluid consumed will be normalized.
Thirst caused by eating habits usually disappears after adjusting the diet. Dishes in the cat menu should not be too salty, and dry food, which always makes animals want to drink more than usual, should be alternated with wet canned food.
It is unacceptable to feed your pet food “from your table”. Veterinary practice proves that unbalanced nutrition is most often the cause of many dangerous pathologies.
Perhaps the appearance of excessive thirst was affected by taking any medications used in the treatment process. In this case, the owner of the animal must inform the veterinarian. As a rule, the specialist makes adjustments to therapy, reduces the dosage or changes the drug.
If, after observing the cat, the owner came to the conclusion that its thirst is not caused by natural causes, he should immediately take the animal to a veterinary clinic. Alert should be the fact that thirst is accompanied by other signs: apathy, lethargy, decreased appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting.
The veterinarian will examine the animal, conduct the necessary laboratory tests: urine and blood tests, ultrasound examination of the pancreas (if diabetes is suspected), and check the level of hormones. After determining the cause, the specialist develops a treatment regimen. Therapy is aimed at eliminating the disease that caused increased thirst.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.