Cat's kidneys are insanely efficient, but you may be contributing to their kidney failure.
Cats are pretty much not from this world.
Just ask Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
They are our adorable little fur babies... but they are actually very efficient hunters and survivors.
This lead us to a post that mentioned the efficiency of a cat's kidneys.
"Cats’ kidneys are so efficient that cats can survive on a diet consisting only of meat, with no additional water, and can even rehydrate by drinking seawater," source.
Pretty impressive, right?
Yes, that may be true, but that is for survival and for cats that are consistantly hunting for their meals. Our house cats don't need to hunt to eat anymore however.
Surprisingly, the leading cause of death for cats over five years is kidney failure.
"This is because a cat evolved to eat a diet of whole prey items (mice, insects etc) which actually are over 70-80% water. When you feed them dry kibble instead, which is less than 10% water, studies show they don't drink enough water to make up the difference.
They just don't have as much of a thirst drive, plus they are picky about water. Did you know many cats prefer flowing water? They will drink significantly more from a faucet or a fountain than a bowl. if forced to drink from a stale bowl of water - which, if you think about it from a wild cat's perspective, would essentially be a puddle of water - not very inviting - they actually prefer if it is not next to the food bowl.
Hence, these cats are constantly experiencing a mild level of dehydration, which forces the kidneys to work harder, which may be why they decline faster," this reddit user added.
That being said, here are some things to help your kitty stay hydrated.
- Introduce wet food into their diet - at least for one meal a day.
- Try running fountains instead of bowls - flowing water has been shown to be more appealing to many cats.
- Change your water bowl daily - at least twice a day. We all have cats that are picky, and sometimes they may have dipped their litter covered paws into the water, or other particles that we may not see. Nobody wants to drink water that's been sitting out all day.
- Regular vet visits - regular vet visits can help you identify any water related issues such as kidney failure, liver issues, or urinary crystals.
Of course, each kitty is different and they all have their own unique personality. Learn your cat's tendencies and keep an eye on them. :)
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