Caring for an Elderly Cat

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Need To Increase Water Consumption?

Cats originally were desert animals that rarely drank water. Their kidneys were designed to be extremely efficient in order to conserve water. Historically they ate a fresh food diet of prey containing 70 percent body fluids. Kibble is a mere 5 percent moisture. A cat on dehydrated food (kibble) lives in a mildly dehydrated state. This leads to health problems such as bladder crystals and constipation

Keep all the bowls clean. Cats are easily turned off by odors on the edge of the bowl.

Keep the food and water bowls away from the litter box area.

Plastic bowls should not be used. Stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowls are fine. Some cats seem to prefer a clear glass shallow bowl from which to drink. (Experiment with different water bowls).

Canned food is an excellent way to encourage water consumption. It is high in water content and most cats love the taste. Add water and mix it up (ie. consistency of applesauce). We have found that most cats enjoy "Cat Food Soup". Adding water will also keep the food from drying out if you are leaving a dish out for a period of time.

The food can be warmed up in the microwave to enhance its smell for the fussy feline. Or warm water can be added to take away the chill if it's been in the fridge.

Provide fresh water every day. Cats seem to be very aware of the temperature and taste of water.

Make sure that the water bowl is filled to the brim at all times. Cats have very sensitive whiskers and do not like putting their face into a bowl. A bigger bowl may be necessary. Some options are: pie plates, glass candle holders, shallow plates (ie. fruit nappies, bread and butter plates, saucers).

Some cats do no like the taste of tap water. You may wish to try various bottled waters.

Some cats will drink more water if a drop or two of tuna or clam juice is provided. If you try this, always make sure a separate bowl of fresh water is available. Tuna juice is the juice from canned tuna. Clam juice can be purchased at most grocery stores.

Some cats enjoy ice cubes made from flavored broth (tuna or salmon juice mixed with water and frozen).

If your cat prefers to drink from a tap, make sure it can always get to the tap (don't lock kitty out of the bathroom if that is where he likes to drink). Water fountains can be purchased for cats that like fresh moving water.

Some cats like more than one water bowl. Try placing a second bowl of water in a different area of your home (ie. next to the toy basket next to a favorite sleeping spot)

"Baby food soup" is a treat most cats like and it's a great way to get them to take extra fluids. Mix 1 tsp meat flavoured baby food with cup water and serve. This mixture can also be warmed slightly to enhance flavour. Baby food is not a balanced diet for cats and should not make up more than 10% of the total daily food intake.

NOTE: Read the labels and do not use babyfood that has onion listed. Onions are toxic to cats.

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All 'Need to Increase Water Consumption' page content kindly supplied by "Jo.ann.b" a truly generous Elderly Cat Mum.

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