Did You Know That Cats Can Become Dehydrated in Miami, FL? Here’s How to Protect Them

Most people are concerned about their dog becoming dehydrated while they are out playing in the sun, but they don’t think about their cat having this medical issue. Cats can also get dehydrated when they get too hot or don’t have access to enough water. This is one of the things that many cat owners have a blind spot for, and it can lead to medical emergencies for cats in your home if you miss the early warning signs.

Cat dehydration can happen for a variety of medical reasons as well related to kidney health and other systemic conditions. Being sure that you know what cat dehydration looks like and how you can prevent it can ensure that you and your pet avoid a trip to the emergency vet clinic.

cat dehydration in miami, fl

What Causes Cats to Become Dehydrated?

Cats can become dehydrated for many reasons. One of the most common is that they do not have access to enough clean drinking water. Cats need a lot of water every day, and they are often picky about drinking from shared water bowls or drinking dirty water. Make sure that your pet has easy access to water at all times and that the water is kept clean and fresh.

Cats can also get dehydrated if they are locked in a small space that gets hot such as a car or a small room. This is not as common a problem for cats as it is for dogs, but it can be an issue when owners do not realize that their cat has slipped into a room in the home that does not have good air circulation.

There are also medical conditions that can cause dehydration, such as kidney failure, diabetes, vomiting and diarrhea, heatstroke, or trauma. If there is a health issue or a systemic problem that is causing your pet to be dehydrated, you will need to take them to the vet right away to be looked at and to get treatment. A cat’s kidneys can be damaged quite badly by dehydration, even if your cat is only dehydrated for a short amount of time.

How Much Water Does a Cat Need to Drink Each Day?

Many cat owners wonder how much water their cat needs to drink on a daily basis. This is a good question to ask, as having a solid baseline can help you to be sure that your cat is healthy and well-hydrated. Most cats will need to drink about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per pound of body weight. This means that a 10-pound cat will need to drink between 7 to 9 ounces of water on a daily basis.

You can track water consumption by getting a water bowl that has the ounces marked on it. You can also see how much water is contained in your cat’s water bowl and get a good estimate of their drinking behavior by eyeballing how full the container is throughout the day.

How Do I Know if My Cat is Dehydrated?

Many pet owners are not aware of what the symptoms of dehydration are in cats. You should be familiar with the symptoms associated with this condition so that you can be sure that your pet gets medical care when they need it. This kind of health condition is usually an emergency or at least an issue that requires prompt care for your pet’s overall well-being.

The common symptoms of cat dehydration are:

  • Lethargy
  • Panting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sunken eyes
  • Gums that are dry and tacky
  • Dry hair coat

You can test your cat’s hydration by taking a small pinch of their skin between your fingers and lifting it up. If your cat is well hydrated, the tissue will slip back into place right away. If your cat is dehydrated, the skin will stay tented, or it will snap back into place very slowly. This is a good way to check on your cat’s health without having to decide if you think their behavior is off in some way.

Can I Resolve Cat Dehydration at Home?

In some cases, when your cat’s dehydration is related to an accident where they were locked in a spare bedroom for a time without water or when there is no risk of heatstroke, you might be able to help your cat rehydrate without taking them to the vet. 

You should be careful about trying to attend to this condition on your own, however. Cat dehydration is often difficult to resolve without intravenous fluids, and many cats will not eat or drink once they have become dehydrated. Make sure that you don’t wait too long to take your cat to the vet if it looks like their symptoms are not improving with your home treatment efforts.

Cat Dehydration Can be Very Serious

Cat dehydration can become a medical emergency very rapidly, and it can also indicate that there are underlying conditions that are causing your cat to be dehydrated. You should not hesitate to take your cat to the vet if they are not drinking enough and if you can tell that they are becoming dehydrated. If you think that your cat has heatstroke, you need to be sure that you take them to the vet right away to be cared for. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Cat dehydration can happen for many reasons, and cat owners need to be familiar with this health condition so that they recognize the signs and symptoms related to it. Cats that have become dehydrated might not be willing to eat or drink, and they could suffer from kidney damage as well. Be sure that you pay attention to your pet’s normal daily intake of water as well to be sure that you notice changes in their water intake as soon as they happen.

If your cat is showing signs of dehydration give Country Club Animal Hospital a call at (305) 663-3300 today!