Why Does My Cat Drink a Lot of Water?

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Why Does My Cat Drink a Lot of Water?
A healthy cat drinks very little water. ("Punky drinking" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: I eated a cookie (Russell Bernice) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

One of the characteristics our house cats inherited from their desert wildcat ancestors is a weak thirst drive. Under normal conditions, healthy cats drink little water. But high temperatures, exercise, stress and new food that's saltier than the old can make cats thirstier than usual. Illness, too, can cause excessive drinking, or polydipsia.

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Why Does My Cat Drink a Lot of Water?
A healthy cat drinks very little water. ("Punky drinking" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: I eated a cookie (Russell Bernice) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Normal Water Consumption

Healthy cats on wet food diets get most of the moisture they need with their food and drink just 1 or 59.1ml of water a day. A cat who eats 113gr of dry food a day will drink about 1-1/4 cups of water daily.

Causes of Polydipsia

Untreated hyperthyroidism, diabetes and kidney disease can all cause excessive drinking (polydipsia) in cats. Fever and infection, too, can make cats thirstier than usual.

Identification

You can determine how much your cat is drinking by measuring the amount of water you put in the bowl. Measure again before you refill the bowl to find out how much your cat drank.

Features of Dehydration

Cats with medical problems can become dehydrated, even if they're drinking a lot. A dehydrated cat's gums will feel tacky, not moist. When lifted, the cat's skin will fall back into place slowly, rather than snapping back immediately.

Prevention/Solution

The water consumption of hyperthyroid and diabetic cats should return to normal after they begin treatment.

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