4 Things You Should Know About Hydration for Cats
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require meat in their diet. Cats naturally get hydration from raw meat sources, which works well for cats who are out in the wild, catching prey daily. For house-dwelling cats on a dry kibble diet, there is a need to supplement with water to make sure they are getting the hydration they need.
Cats surprisingly do not need as much water throughout a day as we might think. Due to the lineage of cats dating back to desert animals ( www.nature.com/news/2007/070625/full/070625-10.html), they have adapted over time to require little water to survive. Their low levels of thirst does not necessarily mean that they don’t need any water, though.
Without proper amounts of hydration, organs will not function correctly and the digestive system will not absorb all of the minerals and nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Cats who are consuming raw meat will need less supplemental water than cats who are being fed dry kibble. Research (www.preventivevet.com/cats/how-much-water-cats-need-tips-for-preventing-dehydration.) states that cats need approximately 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per day per five pounds of body weight.
Signs of dehydration to be aware of include: low energy, decreased appetite, sunken eyes, dry and pale gums, dry skin, thick saliva, and panting.
Some ways to keep your cat hydrated are:
- Keeping a water bowl available with fresh water. Cats love fresh, clean water, so be sure to empty the bowl completely and make sure there is no built-up slime or left over food particles floating around.
- Find different ways to offer water to your cat. Cat owners may be familiar with the curiosity that our feline friends have. Finding different ways to present water to them (e.g., running a faucet, a glass of water on a table, moving the bowl to a new location/using a new bowl) can help keep them mentally stimulated and interested in hydrating.
- Incorporate raw meats into your pet’s diet. Momentum Carnivore Nutrition’s line of freeze-dried, raw foods and treats are a perfect option for incorporating raw food into your cat’s diet. Add a little fresh water or diluted broth to the food to further increase the amount of water being consumed.
- Occasionally offer low-fat, low-sodium broth to your cat’s water bowl. Keep your cat interested with a different taste every now and then. They may feel inclined to drink more of a tasty liquid than plain water.
If you are concerned about your cat not getting enough hydration throughout the day, or if you notice any signs of dehydration, speak with your veterinarian!