Excessive thirst or increased water consumption is to be expected when a cat is outside in hot weather. However, it can be a sign of a serious illness in an indoor cat who has access to plenty of clean water.
One illness characterized by increased water consumption is feline diabetes. It happens because sugar builds up in the bloodstream and spills over into the urine, causing frequent urination. In turn, frequent urination leads to excessive thirst. Besides increased drinking and urination, diabetic cats tend to eat more but still lose weight. Diabetes tends to occur in middle-aged and older cats.
Another potential cause of increased water consumption in cats is hyperthyroidism. This condition is caused by too much thyroid-stimulating hormone, which basically causes the thyroid gland to work too fast. As with diabetes, cats with hyperthyroidism will not only drink more but eat more without gaining weight. Another symptom is hair loss. Like diabetes, cats who develop this condition tend to be middle-aged or older.
Kidney, or renal, failure in cats is another potential cause of increased water consumption. Surprisingly, however, it may or may not occur in cats with this condition. Other symptoms include frequent urination, loss of appetite, lethargy and progressive weight loss.
See Your Vet
Any change in a cat's eating or drinking habits is usually a sign of illness. As the illnesses associated with increased water consumption can be serious, you should see your veterinarian immediately if you notice this symptom in your cat. The sooner the cause is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis for your kitty.
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