Cat drinks a lot – what is behind it and what can i do??

Cat drinks water

Your cat drinks a lot? If you notice that your pet is drinking more water for no apparent reason, this can be very disturbing at first. Many cat owners* are very worried when the behavior of their pet suddenly changes: An increased need for rest, a decrease in the urge to clean or even a change in eating and drinking behavior can often be a symptom of an illness. But also less bad causes can be behind it. We give you a comprehensive overview of possible causes and inform you about what you can do to make sure your cat is healthy.

How much water does a cat normally drink?

To clarify when your cat is drinking too much, it is important to know how high the water intake should ideally be for cats. Cats are naturally able to cope with little liquid. The reason for this is the high concentration of urine in cats, which ensures that less fluid is excreted during urination. So phases with little water can be bridged better than by other animals. But what is a concrete guideline to know how much a cat should drink per day??

As a rule, a healthy cat should drink between 50 and 60 milliliters per kilogram of body weight per day. That is, depending on weight, around 250 milliliters.

If you feed your cat with moist food, the water requirement is often covered by the eaten food alone. For dry food, the additional amount of drinking required is usually approx. 100 to 150 milliliters per day. However, you should not take the drunk water bowl too seriously when estimating the amount of water drunk: If your pet is not an indoor-only cat, you will probably rarely see it at the water bowl, as it will absorb liquid in surrounding puddles or streams. But also the temperature and how active your cat is determine how much water it needs. In addition, you should know that pregnant and nursing cats have a significantly increased water requirement.

So it depends on many factors, what is the ideal fluid intake for your cat. Therefore, in most cases, it may not be immediately obvious if your cat is drinking too much. If you are unsure or notice other symptoms in addition to increased thirst, always seek professional help at your veterinarian’s office if in doubt.

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Cat drinks a lot - what is behind it and what can i do??

This is what you can do to check if your cat drinks a lot

One way that can eliminate a lot of worry is to measure the amount of drinking directly: pour water that you have measured with a measuring cup into the bowl and determine how much water remains. It is important that you use more water than your cat normally needs, especially in the beginning. Here’s how you can make sure there is some left over. If you subtract the milliliters left over from the milliliters poured into the bowl in the morning, you will know how much your cat has drunk during the day. But be careful: during this time, your cat should not have other sources of water available to it.

Unproblematic causes for increased thirst of your cat

Fortunately, increased thirst in your cat does not necessarily indicate a serious illness. However, you should always be alert and see if your cat is drinking more than usual over a longer period of time.

Dry food causes greater thirst

As already mentioned, the food plays a central role when it comes to the fluid intake of your cat. Have you recently switched from wet food to dry food when feeding your dog? Because, as the name suggests, it contains less water: usually only 10%, while wet food contains approx. Contains 70% water. To compensate for the lack of liquid when eating the food, your cat will therefore consume more water. Note that a balanced and healthy diet consists of dry and wet food. If you decide to visit the doctor, remember to take the packaging of the food with you. This gives doctors additional information about your pet’s diet.

Ingredients of food

Regardless of the type of food (dry food or wet food), the general ingredients of the pet food play a major role. There are many manufacturers who add a lot of sugar or salt to their products. Salt in particular causes the mammalian body to become dehydrated and we feel more thirsty. So take a closer look at the ingredient list before buying cat snacks. Also cats with free passage are fed gladly times by neighbors. That’s why you should know what your neighbors feed the animal with.

A lot of movement

Has your house cat been outside all day or chasing itself around the apartment? If this is the case, do not be surprised if he then also needs more liquid. Cats do not sweat like us humans – their sweat glands are only located on individual parts of the body such as z.B. Toe and sole pads and on the lips – but more physical exertion can cause increased thirst.

Warm weather or dry air

A cat drinks a lot when it is very warm in summer. Because this allows the animal to regulate its temperature balance. But even when cats’ velvet paws are exposed to dry air – such as from a heater – it can cause your cat to drink more water.

Symptoms of a disease accompanied by increased thirst

Besides the unproblematic reasons that your cat drinks a lot, it can also be a symptom of various diseases. Here’s where it’s important to keep a close eye on your cat to rule out a number of other symptoms. These are among others:

  • outdoor cat does not want to go outside
  • Cat drinks a lot and urinates a lot
  • Cat hardly moves and is sluggish
  • Cat ignores toys
  • Cat drinks a lot and eats little
  • Cat’s coat becomes shaggy and looks dull
  • Cat behaves unusually aggressive
  • Cat drinks a lot and vomits or has diarrhea

If you notice such behavior, please visit a veterinary practice or call a mobile veterinarian as soon as possible. Which diseases can be behind it, depends on the exact symptoms and can only be judged by an expert person.

Disturbed fluid regulation

Many cat owners first notice that their pets urinate a lot, but do not seem to drink more than usual. However, one is always related to the other. This is called polydipsia and polyuria, i.e. excessive fluid intake and increased urination. Various diseases can be the cause. A professional examination should be arranged as soon as possible.

Thirst as a symptom of kidney disease

Especially in old age many cats suffer from kidney failure. The result is an increased need for water. This disease is a non-curable disorder. But if it is detected in time, it can be slowed down by special medication. Symptoms do not appear until more than two-thirds of the kidney is no longer functional. A symptom that indicates kidney disease is that the cat tries to vomit after a lot of drinking.

Thirst due to hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a very common cause of polyuria and polydipsia. At the same time it is the most common endocrinological disease in cats.

Thirst as a symptom of diabetes mellitus

Especially older cats and neutered males are statistically more likely to have diabetes. If your pet belongs to one of these groups and drinks more than normal, you should contact a veterinarian. Even if your cat shows few symptoms at the beginning, the blood sugar level rises continuously as the disease progresses. To counteract this, the cat needs insulin.

Important signs that may indicate diabetes:

  • Cat drinks and urinates a lot
  • The cat’s coat looks shaggy and dull
  • The cat seems tired and suffers from increased appetite
  • The cat loses noticeable weight
  • Shows an altered gait pattern

Thirst due to poisoning

If you suspect poisoning, you should act immediately. Ask yourself if your pet might have eaten something that is poisonous or that it cannot tolerate. Or have you heard of poison bait being scattered in your area? Fast action is required here! If your cat drinks its water bowl shortly, it may want to flush out a substance it has in its body. Veterinarians can immediately initiate life-saving measures and flush out your cat’s body if poisoning is suspected.

If none of the symptoms described above apply to your pet, there are sometimes other reasons that can, in rare cases, cause your cat to drink an unusual amount of water. In addition to liver disease, dehydrating medications such as z.B. Cortisone or diuretics can be triggers, or a low blood potassium level. Stress or pain can also be a cause in rare cases.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much fluid a cat needs in a day depends on many factors. Basically, 50 to 60 milliliters per kilogram of weight can be used as a guideline. Here’s how to get a rough figure of 250 milliliters per day. If you feed your cat with wet food, it is not uncommon if this amount of water is already absorbed through food.

If your cat drinks too much, it’s important to be alert. If you notice any other symptoms, such as a change in your pet’s demeanor, or sudden listlessness, you should see a veterinarian or vet.

Read from a measuring cup how much water you give your cat in the morning in the bowl. Be sure to use more water than your cat usually drinks, so there’s still some left at the end of the day. In the evening, use a measuring cup to see how much your cat has left over. The difference is what your cat drank. Important: Make sure that your cat has no other source of water available that day.

This cannot be answered in a generalized way, as many factors can trigger an increased need for fluids. For example, dry food or increased amounts of twitch or salt in food and treats can be a trigger. But physical exertion or warm air can also cause greater thirst. If in doubt, always seek professional help.

You have questions?

Contact us today and make an appointment directly. We advise you in detail and treat your animal professionally.

Send us your non-binding contact request now

We treat your data with the utmost care and confidentiality. We will never sell them or give them to third parties.

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