Is Your Kitty Dying for a Drink?
You can find the original article posted by Tracie Hotchner of Radio Pet Lady Network here.
Is Your Kitty Dying for a Drink?
It’s summer. It’s hot. We all get thirsty, so drinking plenty of fluids is on our mind. We think of drinking as something good, something to encourage, something we should do for our health. We grab for the bottle of water or sports drink. We remind our loved ones, “Don’t forget to hydrate!” We make sure the dogs’ water bowls are filled and refilled. We’re glad to see the pooches slurping and splashing water over the rim of the bowl after a walk or a run.
Being Thirsty is Unnatural for a Cat
But our kitty cats? Drinking is a very different story for them. Cats do not require more water in hot weather because a hot climate is natural for them, it’s in their ancestry. Deserts are where cats originally “came from” and very little about them has changed since then. Cats are still basically the same unchanged “desert animals” they have been for thousands of years. If you’re feeding a cat according to his true nature, he should not be thirsty.
Food with “Built-In” Fluids
Cats don’t need to add additional water to their bodies because they are naturally intended to derive their fluids from their prey — whether rodent, bird or insect. The body fluids of their prey are the right amount for cats’ hydration needs. Back in the desert where they originated, that was the only way to obtain fluids, and their diet remains the most natural, organic way for cats to remain hydrated today. In modern terms, that means a nice quality canned cat food is the healthiest, most appropriate way to feed your pussycat. I happen to love Weruva pouched and canned foods because they not only use human-edible protein and the right balance of fluid, but they add pumpkin broth to some recipes which makes it even “juicier!”
Are You Dehydrating Your Cat from the Inside Out?
You are causing unnatural thirst in your cat if you are feeding dry food — which I call “kitty crack” because it is designed to get cats “hooked” on the scientifically created flavors even though a diet of highly processed carbohydrates is not appropriate to their nature. Encouraging a cat to go against its nature and munch on a dry food can contribute not only to your cat getting fat, but it will drive a cat to seek additional fluids. A bowl of dry food does the opposite of supplying the cat’s need for fluids — instead, it drives a kitty to obtain water from an outside source, even though drinking doesn’t come naturally.
Wrong Tongue Design for the Job
If you question whether drinking fluids is irrelevant to healthy cats, you only have to look at their tongues, which were clearly not intended to lick up fluids! Cats are not like dogs, which have long flexible tongues that curl up at the edge to shovel the water into their mouths (although they still spill a good bit on the way in!) A cat has a straight tongue with no curvature to it. For a cat to be able to take in any liquid, he needs to stick his tongue repeatedly into the water bowl, sort of like jabbing a knife blade into liquid and coming away with a few drops.
Being Thirsty is a Sign of Medical Problems
“Being thirsty” is actually a sign of a possible health problem for a cat. Increased thirst in kitties can be a symptom of a variety of serious problems: a warning sign of failing kidneys, liver disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and urinary tract problems. In fact, it is commonly suggested (in my book The Cat Bible and elsewhere) that if your cat is thirsty it’s a sign you need to take him to the veterinarian to be checked out.
That’s why I say “If your cat is dying for a drink…” maybe the problem is about what you’re feeding.
Try a Little Experiment
Some cats drink out of a long habit from being “lifers” on kitty crack; other cats drink for amusement or out of boredom. If you have a cat always at a water bowl or licking at the water faucet and you’re feeding dry food, try a little experiment. Switch to canned food and then monitor how much and how often your cat drinks. Within a couple of weeks the cat’s water intake should be way down. It means his body is self-regulating to a more natural state. Whatever you do, do not go back to feeding kitty crack! Stock up on some Weruva — or their BFF (Best Feline Friend) which is more economical — and you’ll be supplying all the fluids that kitty needs.