Cat Fluid Intake Recommendations

Cat fluid intake is extremely important, because a dehydrated cat is an unhealthy cat. Cats need proteins, fats, fibers and various vitamins, but water and liquids are equally important. The fluid intake recommendations may vary according to the size of the cat, and there are also other factors contributing to the amount of fluids a cat needs. However, it is essential to know how much water your cat needs and to give him water.

Cats and Fluids

A cat's body is made up of approximately 60 percent water. Before cats became domesticated, they used to get some of their fluids from their prey, which contained liquids. Water is essential in the body of felines, as it will support the normal function of the cells and tissues. The fluids help in each and every function of the cat's body, including:

  • Digestion of food
  • Keeping a constant body temperature
  • Lubrication of cells and tissues
  • The elimination of waste materials

Cat Fluid Intake Recommendations

Cats can get their liquids from food (which can be high in moisture), but they should also drink additional water. A cat on a wet diet may not need to drink additional water, as the food contains plenty, but a cat that eats kibble food needs extra water. The wet food should contain between 65 and 78 percent moisture to provide the fluids the cat needs.

The fluid intake of a cat on a dry diet is approximately 60 percent of the cat's weight. Consequently, a cat weighing 20 pounds will require approximately half a liter of water per day. The cat can also get oxidation water, which is a result of the catabolization of proteins, fats and carbohydrates and are also present in the dry food, which can account for 50 to 100 ml of water per day, depending on the food the cat gets.

You should be aware of the fact that during warmer days, the cat will require more water, as the water can easily evaporate through the skin and saliva, which is used on the fur to keep the pet cool. During these days, you may even double the cat's water intake. If you fail to give your cat the amount of fluids he needs per day, he may be susceptible to numerous diseases. Urinary tract diseases are common in cats that don't drink enough water. Dehydration can lead also to lethargy, dry skin, hair loss and if the dehydration is severe, it may be fatal.

Cat Diseases and Fluids

Cats that are affected by certain diseases will require a temporary or permanent increase in their fluid intake. These diseases include:

  • Urinary tract infections, as the water will flush out the infectious agents
  • Cats that have a kidney problem
  • Cats with liver damage
  • Cats that are on a weight loss diet

The vet will indicate the right amount of water needed in your cat's diet.