How to Give Water to a Dehydrated Cat

Prevent and treat dehydration by giving your cat more water.
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Water makes up 80 percent of your kitty's body and is necessary for all her biological processes, making it crucial to treat dehydration as quickly as possible. Dehydration's a concern if your kitty is losing more fluids than she's taking in due to illness, fever, vomiting, diarrhea or other cause.

Step 1

Determine how dehydrated your kitty is by pinching the skin along her back. If her skin is slow to return to its normal position or if it remains in a ridge, it means she's dehydrated. A dry mouth is another sign. If sunken eyeballs, elevated heat rate or severe lethargy occur, seek emergency treatment for your cat.

Step 2

Offer your kitty plenty of clean water and make sure multiple bowls are available around your home. If your cat is having difficulty drinking or moving around, talk to your veterinarian right away.

Step 3

Increase your cat's overall water intake by switching to canned food and offering her ice cubes to lick until her dehydration levels improve. Sometimes, dehydrated cats refuse water, but you can trick them into getting fluids in other ways.

Step 4

Use a syringe to administer clean, room temperature water to your kitty if she's not actively drinking from her water bowls. Allow her to lick or drink the water from the syringe, or administer the fluid into the pouch between her teeth and cheek.

Step 5

Fill a syringe with electrolyte solution and give it to your kitty if she's refusing to drink water or is moderately dehydrated. Place the syringe into the pouch in your kitty's mouth, and then slowly dispense the solution to ensure your cat does not choke. WebMD Pets recommends giving at a rate of 2 to 4 milliliters per pound of body weight each hour.

Step 6

Supplement drinking water with subcutaneous saline in the form of Lactated Ringers Solution. The most common means of administering this solution is with a needle and syringe. Follow the instructions given by your veterinarian.

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.

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