Cats and dehydration: symptoms and solutions

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Cats and dehydration: symptoms and solutions

Hydration is important for the health of the cat at home: here is how to recognise the lack of water and which solutions to apply.

The cat is not a particularly water-loving animal, even if it loves milk, which is why its hydration is always complicated. A good owner plays tricks by providing wet food in tandem with the classic kibble, or encourages the presence of more appealing drinks. Although Fufi can live well without drinking too much water, it is important to monitor his hydration conditions to prevent his body from suffering from them. The first to suffer from this condition are always the kidneys, followed by the energetic condition, digestion and urinary tract. But if your dehydration situation is worrying, it is essential to pick up the symptoms to resolve it quickly.


Water is a fundamental element for the well-being of the body: its absence due to lack of hydration, or illness, can affect the general state of health. Intercepting the symptoms is fundamental, among the most common the cat shows a constant tiredness, a condition of abatement followed by gums and dry mouth, sunken eyes, lack of appetite and wheezing. Even the classic pinch on the scruff of the scruff can help, if the skin returns to normal quickly the cat is well hydrated. If it takes more than two or three seconds, a condition of dehydration is likely: intervene in good time and ask the vet for help.


The position of the bowl is crucial, for example if placed next to the litter tray or food tray, the cat will tend to reject it. The bowl should always contain clean water and be large enough to prevent the whiskers from touching the edges. It might be a good solution to place a homemade cat fountain in the kitchen or allow him to drink from the tap when he asks for it.

Damp food

As mentioned above, adding water to the food, particularly if it is moist, may help the cat’s hydration. In particular, meat or fish broth, which can increase the taste and enjoyment of the meal, therefore the quality of urination. Making the food appetizing and attractive is important, so that the cat is encouraged to eat and therefore also hydrate through feeding.

Targeted hydration

If Fufi is particularly dehydrated it is good to reintegrate what he has lost, but gradually so as not to achieve the opposite effect. Providing him with a bowl filled with water is not helpful, because he could drink it all in one breath and then reject it immediately afterwards. Better small targeted doses offered in more time, maybe some crushed ice that he can consume slowly while quenching his thirst.


Your vet may suggest taking special physiological solutions rich in electrolytes, to be administered on medical advice in small doses with a syringe without needle. And in the most serious cases, the doctor may subject Fufi to hydration by means of an IV, keeping the cat in the clinic to monitor the situation.


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