Dehydration means that a cat has either used or lost more fluids than her body needs to perform basic metabolic functions, without replacing them through drinking. Dehydration also leads to electrolyte loss. This decrease in fluids and electrolytes negatively affects circulation, digestion, and toxin removal from the body. If dehydration is severe enough, it can result in organ failure and death. What are the signs of dehydration in cats?
Dehydration in cats appears from a variety of different causes. The most common causes are diarrhea, vomiting, long exposure at high temperatures, renal diseases or fever. Signs of dehydration in cats are: decreased skin elasticity, gums look dry and pale, sunken eyes, lethargy or depression.
Learn how to check if your cat is dehydrated by watching the video below:
If your cat has any of these signs you should go immediately with her at the vet. The vet is the only one who will treat the cause and nurse your cat back to health. The veterinarian can check the level of dehydration by checking the cat’s blood protein level and packed cell volume. When both of these tests return with elevated numbers, they often indicate that dehydration is present.
All cats are potentially at risk for dehydration, but some are at a higher risk than others. The cats with the higher risk for dehydration include kittens, older cats, diabetic cats and mother cats nursing a litter of kittens.
There are a few things that can be done to prevent dehydration from occurring when the dehydration is not illness related. Here are a few good tips:
- Offer lots of fresh water to your cat
- Buy your cat a water fountain
- Give your cat canned food
- Put multiple bowls of water around the house
- Wash the cat’s bowl often to prevent bacteria growth
- Change the water often