If your cat has a drinking problem, he doesn't need counseling -- he needs a vet. Obsessive and excessive water consumption isn't just a personality quirk, but rather a symptom of something wrong with his health. Getting him checked out helps you attend to the cause of his insatiable thirst.
Just like humans, cats can get diabetes -- and in some ways, if affects them just like it does people. One of these ways is frequent urination. Diabetic cats can't process glucose properly, so it gets filtered through the kidneys, making them have to go to the bathroom a lot more often. To even out the excessive potty breaks, a diabetic cat will start drinking more water. Treating the diabetes will help your cat stop going to the bathroom so much, and in turn, stop drinking so much.
Hyperthyroidism is a hormonal imbalance that affects the thyroid, often because of a non-cancerous tumor. It's relatively common, too, especially once your cat is over the hill. While the tumor may not be malignant, the effect it has on your cat can still be fatal -- thyroid disease can elevate your cat's heart rate to unhealthy levels, eventually causing heart failure. Like diabetes, one of the symptoms is excessive urination -- and when your cat urinates more than usual, he needs to drink more than usual, too.
Chronic kidney disease can show up for different reasons. It's something that can develop because of exposure to environmental toxins, or it could be something a cat is born with. Whether your cat develops kidney disease because of these or other reasons, one of the symptoms is frequent urination offset by excessive water consumption. This myriad of possible causes is just another reason why obsessive water consumption is cause for concern and merits a trip to the vet.
Of course, those are just the most common causes of an H2O obsession. Other health problems could be at work inside your furball, like unmet dietary needs, electrolyte disorders, adrenal gland problems and even neurological disorders. Your vet can perform tests like a urinalysis and and an X-ray to determine what is at the root of your cat's drinking problem.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.