cat drinking water

Did you know? Your feline friend has an interesting origin. Cats were originally desert animals and, thanks to evolution, have retained their ability to meet their hydration needs through their food.

However, sometimes cats don’t get enough water through food alone, and dehydration can come into play. It’s our mission to give you the resources you need to keep your pet healthy, so read on to learn about dehydration in cats, what causes it, symptoms to watch for and how to prevent it with advice from veterinarian and expert animal nutritionist, Dr. Patton.

Reasons for Dehydration in Cats

Cats can hydrate somewhat from water-rich food sources, but dry food like kibble might not be the only reason your cat is dehydrated. Other reasons for parched purrers include:

  • Environment: The hotter and drier it is outside, the thirstier your cat will be. Consider both the outside environment and the inside conditions of your home.
  • Activity: Cats that are more active will require more water. Dr. Patton says this is particularly an issue in kittens, who love to frolic and play.
  • Autonomy: Though many cats are given the run of their homes, some cats are limited in their movement during certain parts of the day. Perhaps you shut the door while they sleep with you in bed. While that’s a prime opportunity for cuddling, it also prevents your cat from getting to their water dish at night.

Other things that can cause dehydration in cats include diarrhea, vomiting, trauma, and diabetes

Symptoms and Signs of Dehydration in Cats

According to Dr. Patton, the best way to tell whether your cat is dehydrated is to pinch their skin into a fold and see what happens. If it stays pinched, they are likely dehydrated as decreased skin elasticity is a common sign of dehydration. If their skin quickly becomes smooth again, they are likely just fine.

According to some of the other cat dehydration symptoms include:

  • Lethargy or loss of energy
  • Dry, tacky gums
  • Sunken eyes
  • Refusal to eat
  • Panting

If you notice any of these other symptoms in your cat, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your vet for professional diagnosis and treatment.

How to Rehydrate and Keep Your Cat Hydrated

There are two easy ways to keep your pet cat hydrated and happy.

  1. Provide fresh water: Keep fresh water in an easily accessible spot for them at all times. Keep a water dish on the floor and refill daily and as needed.
  2. Choose hydrating food: Opt for hydrating food that helps them meet water needs while taking in essential nutrients.

Natural Diet for Cats

“Vital Essentials’ products are as close to the cat’s natural diet as is made by anybody. Nature knows what it’s doing … I tend to think well of an approach to the cat’s diet that duplicates their natural raw diet.”

– Dr. Patton

Dinner Patties: Our Dinner Patties feed cats’ natural cravings through abundant protein and no fillers or artificial ingredients. All you need to do is crumble the patties into your cat’s bowl and add water. You can’t force a cat to drink water so mixing that hydration into our dinner patties is a delicious way to ensure your cat is getting the water and nutrients they need while maximizing flavor. Speaking of flavor … which variety will be your kitty’s fave?

Frozen Food: Vital Cat® frozen food is made at the peak of freshness to retain moisture, so it’s a great choice to keep your cat hydrated. Check out some of our popular frozen pet food below!

While you’re picking a flavor of dinner patties or grain-free frozen food, make sure to browse the rest of our cat food, treats and snacks, and toppers. All our products are made to retain active nutritional elements your cat needs.

Have more questions about your cat’s health? Bookmark our blog for feeding tips, info on dental health, and more.