Cats And Dehydration: Know What To Look For

Posted on: 3 June 2015


Your cat is likely the king or queen of your home. If you're like most cat owners, you love to give your cat as much attention as possible and you might think that you would know if they are sick. But sometimes a cat can have a serious disease that you may not spot, unless you know how to check to see if they are dehydrated. This guide explains why a cat might be dehydrated and how you can check to see if they are.

Why a Cat Can Become Dehydrated

There are multiple reasons why a cat becomes dehydrated. For example, if your feline friend spends time outdoors during the summer, they can become overheated if they are not drinking enough water to compensate for the heat. Other reasons your cat might become dehydrated include:

  • internal infection
  • kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • overactive thyroid

If your vet has told you that your cat has any one or more of these diseases, keep a close eye on them to ensure that they have enough fluid intake at all times. If you're worried that they are not drinking enough, check with your vet to see if they would like for you to bring them in for an examination.

How to Check if Your Cat is Dehydrated

A dehydrated cat gives certain signals that you should watch for. If your cat doesn't have diabetes or kidney disease that you currently know of, these ailments could be developing, or your cat could have an internal infection if you notice any of these dehydration symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • sunken eyes
  • panting
  • doesn't want to play
  • is not drinking or eating

Cats that eat wet food won't drink as much on a normal basis as cats who only eats dry food. The wet food has water in it, but the cat should still be drinking a little regular water at some point throughout the day.

A quick check of the cat's skin elasticity can help determine if he or she is dehydrated. Simply take hold of the skin on their back between the shoulder blades and pull it up slightly from their body, and then let go. In a normally hydrated cat, the skin will immediately go back into place. In a dehydrated cat, the skin will hang out for a second or two before easing back into place.

Keep an eye on your cat to ensure that they are not becoming dehydrated, especially during times when certain foods may give them diarrhea, or if you know that they have certain diseases. Make an appointment at a clinic like Denville Animal Hospital so they can properly diagnose whether he or she is truly dehydrated, and determine the cause by running some blood tests.