Dehydration and Excessive Thirst in Cats: How To Help

It is essential to understand the signs and symptoms of dehydration and excessive thirst in cats to provide them with the care they need. By recognizing these signs and taking the appropriate steps to treat the condition, cats can be helped to remain hydrated and healthy.

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is a medical condition wherein the body does not have enough fluids. It can occur when cats do not consume enough water, lose too much water from their bodies, or both. It is important to note that many factors, including illness, heat exposure, and inadequate water consumption, can cause dehydration.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

The signs and symptoms of dehydration in cats can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Generally, some of the most common signs of dehydration include the following:

• Dry mouth and gums

• Loss of skin elasticity

• Decreased urination

• Lethargy or lack of energy

• Loss of appetite

• Vomiting or diarrhea

• Weight loss

• Excessive thirst

It is important to note that cats may also display other signs and symptoms of dehydration, such as confusion or disorientation, which may require medical attention.

Excessive Thirst in Cats

Various factors, including dehydration, kidney disease, diabetes, or other underlying medical conditions, can cause excessive thirst in cats. It is important to note that cats may also experience excessive thirst due to a change in their diet or environment.

Signs and Symptoms of Excessive Thirst in Cats

The most common signs and symptoms of excessive thirst in cats include the following:

• Increased water intake

• Increased urination

• Increased grooming

• Constant licking of the lips or tongue

• Drooling

• Unusual meowing or vocalizations

How To Help Cats With Dehydration and Excessive Thirst

Although dehydration and excessive thirst can be serious medical conditions, there are a few things that pet owners can do to help cats stay hydrated and healthy.

Ensure Adequate Water Intake

One of the most important steps pet owners can take to ensure that their cats stay hydrated is to provide plenty of fresh, clean water. This can be done by providing cats with multiple water bowls throughout the home and refilling them regularly. Additionally, pet owners may consider investing in a pet water fountain, as cats may find these more appealing than traditional water bowls.

Offer a Variety of Wet Foods

In addition to providing cats with access to plenty of fresh water, offering them a variety of wet foods can also help keep them hydrated. Wet foods are typically higher in moisture content than dry foods, which can help cats stay hydrated. Additionally, wet foods can benefit cats who may not be interested in drinking water alone.

Monitor for Signs of Dehydration and Excessive Thirst

Pet owners should also monitor their cats for signs of dehydration and excessive thirst. This can be done by checking their gums for dryness, monitoring their weight, and observing their water consumption. Pet owners should also be on the lookout for changes in their cats’ behavior, such as increased vocalizations or lethargy.

Seek Veterinary Care

If pet owners notice any signs or symptoms of dehydration or excessive thirst in their cats, they should seek veterinary care immediately. A veterinarian can provide a thorough examination to determine the underlying cause of the condition and provide the appropriate treatment plan. In some cases, this may involve administering fluids or medications or performing additional diagnostic tests.


Dehydration and excessive thirst can be serious medical conditions that can have serious consequences if left untreated. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of these conditions and taking the appropriate steps to treat them, cats can be helped to remain hydrated and healthy. Pet owners should provide their cats with plenty of fresh water, offer a variety of wet foods, and monitor for signs of dehydration and excessive thirst. Additionally, pet owners should seek veterinary care immediately if they notice any changes in their cats’ behavior.

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