Dehydration is a serious condition that can affect your cat. This is a direct result of fluids in the cat’s body not being replaced at a fast enough pace. If left untreated, serious injury or death can occur.
What is Dehydration?
Typically when a cat becomes dehydrated they are losing not only fluids in their body, but electrolytes as well. These electrolytes are minerals, some of which include chloride, sodium, and potassium. When the dehydration becomes severe enough you will need to take your pet into the Vet’s office for intravenous fluids. But there are things you can do at home to avoid this problem.
Ensure your cat has plenty of fluids available to them during the day. If they become ill, make sure you get them proper medical attention, and make the fluids easily accessible to them. This will act as a first line of defense.
Never give your cat Gatorade or sports drinks as they are designed for humans not felines. You may however give them a diluted serving of Pedialyte as it is mild enough. Cat Vomiting and Cat Diarrhea are two of the most common reasons a cat will become dehydrated. Avoid giving them any medication that hasn’t come from a vet. Because of how small they are, medication designed for human consumption can be too strong for them and do additional damage.
Signs and Symptoms
Physically looking at a cat is a hard way to tell if your pet is dehydrated, but there are some signs that can aid you in making a determination. Slightly pinch at the skin on the back of your cat. If it doesn’t have an elastic bounce back, and more of a slow return and doesn’t return to being smooth there is a chance they have become dehydrated. Other warning signs include dry gums, but saliva is thick and more of a glob. If the damage has become too severe the eyes of your cat have begun to sink in and they may be in shock.
At home treatment again is the best way of preventing a serious case. Offer your pet something to drink if they appear to have these signs. If they won’t drink, you can deliver fluids through a bottle or a syringe into the mouth. If your cat doesn’t show improvements in a relatively short period of time contact your Vet and let them know what is going on. They may have other recommendations, or ask that you bring your cat in.
If you are unable to pick up Pedialyte to dilute for your cat to drink, the following solution can safely be created and administered to your cat:
1 quart of clean water (bottled if you have it, otherwise cool tap) 1 tablespoon of honey (sugar may be used, but honey is easier for them to digest) 1 teaspoon salt
Mix and store at room temperature prior to serving. If the mixture is refrigerated, you will need to remove it long enough to warm it up before giving it to your cat. The cool temperature can cause shock. Only deliver three to five tablespoons every couple of hours, with additional water available to help to replenish hydration.