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Feline Health: Tips to Help Improve Hydration | Health

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Feline Health: Tips to Help Improve Hydration
Health, Pets
Feline Health: Tips to Help Improve Hydration

(Welcome to our pet column, courtesy of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla. We post a new article each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Pet parents may be surprised to learn that water accounts for 60 to 75 percent of a cat’s body weight. Cats tend to be water avoiders but, because water is so critical to their body composition, it is important to make sure that they stay properly hydrated. Water helps regulate a cat’s body temperature and plays an important role in helping them to digest food and eliminate waste.

When cats are not properly hydrated, they can have problems eliminating waste, which may lead to urinary tract issues or infections. Urinary tract conditions are one of the most common reasons cats visit the vet. Such conditions occur when crystals form in the urine. This can lead to frequent and painful urination, urination outside the litter box and bloody urine. If left untreated, the condition can be life threatening. One way pet parents can help promote urinary tract health and hydration, in general, is by choosing a food that helps cats stay hydrated.

“Diet plays an important role in supporting overall feline health,” said Dr. Al Townshend, staff veterinarian at Wellness Natural Pet Food. “To help encourage a healthy urinary tract, feed a high-quality canned cat food, since a high water content from natural meat sources and cranberries will help maintain a healthy urine pH and help prevent bacterial-related infection.”

Here are some of Dr. Townshend’s tips to encourage healthy hydration for your feline friend:

• Feeding canned, or wet, food is a great way to increase water consumption. Canned food is available in a variety of textures and flavors so there is something for every cat, even picky eaters or those that have allergies. If feeding both canned food and dry food, pay particular attention to feeding guidelines to help prevent overfeeding.

• Choose a diet with moderately low levels of magnesium to discourage crystal formation in the urine.

• Provide fresh, clean water at all times to prevent dehydration. Install recirculating water fountains, or provide access to multiple water bowls in different locations throughout the house.

• Multiple clean litter boxes should be placed in out-of-the-way places, making it easy for cats to relieve themselves without interruption.

• It is especially important to monitor water intake in a warm climate.

In addition to the tips above, pet parents should regularly monitor their cat’s water and food intake since changes in consumption can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying issue. Preventative health checkups with a veterinary professional are also essential. For more information, visit www.wellnesspetfood.com.


(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pet-Connection-Programs-inc-Marilla-NY/114420508616511?ref=ts. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)


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