Sometimes in looking at our sweet, lazy house cats we can forget that they are skilled predators under all that fluff. Before we embraced them as constant companions they were used for their prowess at ridding food stores of rodents that would otherwise decimate and contaminate the surplus. But while today’s domesticated felines may catch and consume the occasional bird or mouse, the majority of their diet and nutritional needs are in our hands. What foods offer the best nutrition for cats and how do you choose/supplement thier diet to ensure the best for your pet? Read More »
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Two recent studies have highlighted the role that stress and boredom plays in pet behavior and health. Although carried out on research colonies of cats and rabbits, both contain important lessons for pet owners. Steps as simple as establishing a routine substantially reduced the pain associated with serious illnesses.
Novelty vs. Routine
Experience has taught me that stress plays a major role in the health of all captive creatures, be they insects or elephants. While novelty and new experiences may be positives, established routines also have their uses. Read More »
It’s no secret that your pets need fresh clean drinking water every day for optimum health. It’s also no secret that cats and some dogs are very finicky about, well, pretty much everything! With the warmer weather approaching I want to talk about your pet’s drinking habits.
Water is an essential ingredient to life. All animals need it to help flush out toxins and to keep organs hydrated. Cats especially need to take in an adequate amount of water to prevent kidney problems, most notably kidney stones and kidney failure.
The amount of water that your pet needs to drink daily depends on his or her weight, activity level, and diet. Dogs are generally pretty good about regulating their water intake. As long as fresh, clean water is provided they will usually drink the amount their body requires. Keep in mind that with the warmer temperatures around the corner, your dog should also be drinking more to stay fully hydrated.
Cats get most of their water intake from their food. In the wild this is not much of an issue since raw meat contains up to 70% water. Dry food, on the other hand, only contains about 10% moisture. Some cats will supplement their food with extra drinking water and others are a little pickier.
If you are having trouble getting your cat interested in water there are a few things you can try. Change the type of pet bowl or the location of the bowl. Some cats prefer ceramic (lead-free glazed, of course) over metal bowls and vice versa. Other cats may be picky about the location of their water dish. Be sure it is far from the litter box and out of direct sunlight. You might also try a pet fountain. Clean, fresh, running water might be more interesting for your cat, while others will appreciate the water being filtered (thus tastier) and kept cooler. Finally, consider adding a wet food to your cat’s diet, or add water to your cats’ dry food. Wet cat foods usually contain around 80% water. Just be sure to adjust your portions of dry food to ensure you aren’t over feeding your cat.
Any sudden change in behavior can be cause for concern. Contact your vet if your pets’ drinking habits change suddenly; if they starting drinking an excessive amount of water, or stop drinking it altogether it could be a sign of a serious illness.