My Cat is Drinking A Lot of Water, Should I be Concerned?
As a cat owner, you are probably very well-versed in your pet’s behavior and regular routine. Of course, this also means you’re quick to recognize any changes in your cat’s behavior that may indicate a problem, too. If you notice your cat drinking a lot of water, much more water than he used to, this may be a cause for concern. Many causes of increased thirst will also cause increased urination.
5 Reasons Why Your Cat is Drinking A Lot of Water
In the article below, we’ll walk you through some of the most common causes of increased thirst in cats. Some of these causes are more serious than others, and only your vet can tell you for sure which problem may be causing your cat’s increased thirst. Read on to find out more.
Some common reasons why your cat is drinking a lot of water include, but aren’t limited to:
Recent Change to Dry Food
Cats who eat wet food will take in most of the moisture they need through their diet. If your cat has historically been given wet food, you may notice an increase in the amount of water he or she drinks if switched to a diet that consists solely of dry food. This is one cause of increased thirst that does not necessarily result in increased urination.
Your cat will likely continue to drink more water long-term once on a dry food diet but will typically not be as severe as the initial time of diet change. However, if the problem persists past a few weeks, you should take your cat to the vet to rule out other causes. Bloodwork and urine testing will likely be recommended.
Another potential cause that could trigger your cat drinking a lot of water is hot weather. Some cats may naturally drink more water when it’s hot outside, just like humans usually do. This is normal, as long as the increased thirst is not associated with heatstroke.
Watch your cat for signs of heatstroke including:
- Panting/abnormal breathing
- Red or pale gums
- Inability to rouse, weakness, or collapse
- Abnormal mentation
- Unsteady gait
- Tremors or seizures
If the only sign your cat is exhibiting is increased thirst but is not exhibiting any of the above signs, heat stroke is a less likely cause. However, we recommend calling a veterinarian if you are concerned or unsure.
Kidney disease is one of the most common and more serious diseases we see in cats. This disease is manageable but not curable – therefore early detection is necessary to instill therapies to help slow progression. Biannual to yearly blood work (depending on the age of your cat) is recommended to help detect early kidney damage.
Some signs of kidney disease in cats include:
- Decreased appetite
- Increased urination
- Muscle or weight loss
- In severe cases, pale gums (anemia)
If your cat is drinking a lot of water and there urinating more frequently, they may be experiencing early signs of kidney disease. Your vet will likely recommend bloodwork, urine testing, and blood pressure if there is concern for compromised kidneys.
Hyperthyroidism is a serious disease that can affect cats more commonly than you might realize. This disease can even affect the heart. A clue that your cat may have hyperthyroidism is that it is suddenly acting like a kitten again despite he or she being an older cat.
Hyperthyroidism in cats may also cause other symptoms, including:
- Increased appetite
- Significant and quick weight loss
- Unkempt hair coat and thickened nails
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Increased thirst
- Hyperactivity and vocalizing
Diagnosis is made based on bloodwork. There are different forms of treatment available – including permanent options.
Diabetes Mellitus is another more serious cause of increased thirst and urination in cats. This disease consists of an inability to regulate blood sugar. Most cats diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus are overweight.
A way to try and prevent onset of diabetes is to keep your cat at an ideal weight. Cats who have diabetes will need to be given insulin injections and have their urine and blood sugar levels monitored closely. Unlike dogs, some cats may be able to go into remission from the disease if managed appropriately.
Diabetes can have very serious consequences if gone untreated or unmanaged.
Call VEG if You’re Concerned About Your Cat Drinking A Lot of Water
There are many causes of your cat drinking a lot of water, some more serious than others. If you’re concerned about your cat drinking more water and it does not resolve on its own after a few days, a visit to your vet is recommended. Your vet will likely recommend blood work and urine testing in most cases of increased thirst. Treatment is variable depending on the underlying cause.
Overall, you should be concerned that your cat is drinking a lot of water if the reason is because of an underlying health condition.
VEG has locations all over the country, with emergency vets who are available 24/7 to help you and your pet. Our team knows that the potential causes for why your cat is drinking a lot of water can vary in severity, and we also know how important is to make sure you know the reason why they’re doing this. When you come to VEG, you can be rest assured that your cat will get the proper care they need.
Dr. Morgan Salazar DVM, VEG Encinitas
Ross University (pre-clinical);
University of Florida (Clinical year);
Rotating internship with Veterinary Specialty Hospital – North County (San Diego)
VEG is a network of Emergency Veterinarians located across the country. We are dedicated to helping people and their pets when they need it most. If your pet is ever in an emergency situation, use the link below to find our nearest location so we can get your pet the help they need.