Each cat is a unique individual; therefore, one cat may drink more water than another. This is quite normal, just as it is for some pet parents to drink more water than others. It doesn’t mean there’s an illness, but this could just be the normal amount of water for that individual.
How much do cats drink on average?
Cats usually drink about 10-30 ml per pound each day. So, if your fur baby weighs about 15 pounds, she may drink anywhere from 150 ml to 450 ml each day. This would be her normal average range.
Some cats may not drink as much, and this could be due to their food. If a kitty has wet (canned) food, then she’s getting more moisture from her food. As a result, she may not drink as much. On the other hand, if a cat is mostly eating dry kibble, then she may drink more so that she gets enough moisture to compensate for the lack of water in her food.
In addition, some cats may be drinking more than normal if the weather is hot. On the other hand, they may not drink quite as much when the weather is cold.
Each individual kitty will have her own “normal.” As a pet parent, it’s a good idea to observe your fur baby each day, so you get used to seeing how much she eats and drinks, etc. This way, you’ll know when she seems to be drinking more or less than normal. Checking her drinking habits each day could very well help you catch a medical issue before it becomes serious.
Signs your cat is drinking more
You don’t have to measure the liquid in your feline companion’s water bowl to check how much water she’s drinking. Instead, you can watch for these signs:
- Her bowl needs to be filled more often
- Drinking from strange places (sink taps, toilet, outdoor ponds, etc.)
- She seems to be going to her water bowl more often
Keep in mind that if a cat’s ill, they’re very good at hiding the fact. The reason is because in the wild, any animal that shows weakness can become the target of a predator. For cats, too, if they show weakness, they may even be attacked by cats that are stronger.
If your cat has something wrong, you may notice these signs that could indicate she’s unwell:
- She starts to sleep a lot or in places she normally doesn’t use for sleeping
- Changes in her behavior: she may become more aggressive, or an active cat may become more lethargic
- Changes in her appetite: she may eat more or less than normal
- Signs of sickness such as vomiting, diarrhea, and more
When you notice any of these or other signs, then it’s time to call the vet and take your fur baby in for an exam.
Medial issues that may cause your cat to drink more
There are several health problems that can make your cat drink more than usual. These can include:
- Kidney disease: this is most common in older cats but can also affect younger cats. This issue is caused by kidneys that are no longer functioning as normal. This leads to increased urination and causes the cat to become thirstier than normal. Treatment involves management of the progression of this disease. Treatment may include a kidney-safe diet, antacids, treatment of high blood pressure and other issues.
- Hyperthyroidism: this is caused by the thyroid gland, which begins producing too much thyroid hormone. This condition is most common in cats that are in their middle years or older. Treatment involves giving the cat oral medicines or radioactive iodine treatments.
- UTI (urinary tract infection): is usually caused by a bacterial infection of the bladder and/or other parts of the urinary tract. These are common in cats of all ages, though it does tend females more than male cats. A UTI is usually treated with a round of antibiotics, though a cat may require subcutaneous injections of fluid under the skin if she’s become dehydrated.
- Diabetes mellitus: this is health issue that causes blood sugar levels to become too high. When this happens, sugar is released into the urine. The cause of diabetes is due to the body not having enough insulin, or the body becomes resistant to insulin. This illness can develop in cats that are 5 years old or more, and it happens more often in male cats. Once diagnosed, the treatment is insulin injected under the skin each day, along with ongoing monitoring by the vet.
So, if your fur baby is showing signs of any of these medical conditions, along with drinking more water than normal, then it’s definitely time to call the vet.
Diagnosis & treatment
The vet will give your feline companion a complete physical exam and will ask about symptoms, when you first noticed them, etc. The vet will most likely also ask about your fur baby’s diet and more. After the physical exam, the vet may order some lab work is done, which may include:
- Biochemical screen
- Urine culture
Treatment will depend on the vet’s diagnosis. For instance, kitty’s with diabetes will need to receive insulin treatments every day for the rest of their lives. Diabetes currently has no cure.
If she has kidney disease, this is a disease that’s also not curable and it is progressive (which means it gets worse over time). Treatment is geared at slowing the progression of the disease and keeping your cat as comfortable as possible. She may need a special diet and other treatments.
Vets treat hyperthyroidism with oral medication and/or surgery.
As you can see, there are many issues that may affect your cat’s health that could cause your fur baby to drink more than normal. If you notice she seems thirstier than normal and/or you see other indications she may be ill, it’s best to get her to the vet as soon as possible. The earlier that you find medical issues, the sooner treatment can take place, and in some cases, you might even save your kitty’s life!
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