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Hydration for cats

Dr Josie Gollan

Unlike their canine counterparts, our feline friends are notoriously poor drinkers. This is likely due to their evolutionary path from desert type environments whereby they obtained most of their water through consumption of entire prey animals… including the stomach contents.

 

If we fast forward to present day, lots of our cats subside on a predominately dry food diet significantly devoid of water. Coupled with their poor drinking instincts, this leaves many of our feline furballs at risk of chronic inadequate hydration.

 

As we know for ourselves, adequate hydration is critical for overall health and longevity in our pets. If this is not maintained, we can begin to see a myriad of issues in multiple body systems!

 

To explore the importance of hydration a little more, let’s take a deep dive into the feline urinary tract… a place where inadequate water intake can quickly see disease take hold!

 

Feline lower urinary tract disease is one of the more common medical complaints we deal with in practice. It is a complex condition where the bladder can become inflamed, and urination is difficult and painful. In severe cases, the bladder of male cats can become blocked – this is a life-threatening situation and considered a medical emergency. Any person who has experienced this with their furry family member will tell you how distressing and scary it is!

 

Whilst there a handful of possible causes, a common one is the build-up of crystals or stones in cats’ bladders. One of the main ways we can help prevent this from happening is by keeping our companions’ urine diluted, which means ensuring they are WELL HYDRATED. However, the age-old adage ‘you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink’ also rings true for cats, making achieving adequate hydration more difficult for owners (and vets) than you’d think. So how can we up the hydration for our feline friends you ask? Well, like most things, if we circle back to NATURE (and the first paragraph), we find the answer… through their food!

 

Increasing the water content in cats’ food is the simplest and often most effective way to achieve and maintain good hydration status.

 

Whilst technically you can just add water to their dry food, this usually results in a hunger strike as cats are largely textural animals and the presentation of soggy biscuits is unlikely to hold much appeal… can you blame them? Instead, I recommend introducing ‘wet’ food products into their diets to up the water intake. However, as we know, not all pet foods are created equal, with many wet foods containing gelling agents, binders or salt which can all be counterproductive in increasing hydration.

 Feline Natural Cat Milk

Luckily, the team at Feline Natural have our precious kitty cats covered. Their core diet canned wet food is a grain-free, wholefood goodness offering with none of the aforementioned nasties. Most importantly, it is topped up with fresh New Zealand water making it a one-way ticket to adequate hydration! For those that prefer the no-mess convenience of a single-serve meal, the new core diet pouches from Feline Natural are for you.. With three different flavour combinations, they are sure to satisfy even the most fastidious feline…who knew staying hydrated could taste so good?

 

Now I know I have said the best way to improve feline hydration is through their food BUT the magicians at Feline Natural have one more trick up their sleeve…. Cat Milk!

 

This magical lactose free liquid supplement is irresistible to our furry friends and a sure-fire way to increase their hydration status.

 

It is also packed with Omega 3s, calcium and taurine for some added nutritional prowess. Feed it straight from the bottle or spike their water bowls… I am yet to see a cat that doesn’t lap it up. Combined with the Feline Natural core diet cans or pouches and your cat will be in hydration heaven – helping them live their happiest and healthiest life!

 

Written by Dr Josie Gollan.