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Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Dry Cats

Thursday, November 14, 2019
                      Cats are adapted to desert environments. In the desert their fluids come from their foods so they have evolved with a poor drive to drink and inferior drinking techniques and equipment.

  • Fresh prey contains 60-70% water and hunting cats do not naturally drink water.
  • You may have noticed that your cat often misses the surface of the water in the bowl at first pass. As predators, cats' eyes are designed to focus at a distance of at least 25cm so it's difficult for them to focus on the water surface. Many cats gauge the surface by looking at the far side of the bowl. Many prefer to lap from a tap or off the shower floor.
  • Cats are very inefficient at lapping fluids of low viscosity, such as water, because unlike other animals that create suction in their mouths, they must rely on their tongues to pull a column of water into their mouths. They only take in 3/100 of a teaspoon with each lap.
  • To top it all off cats are afraid of attack from predators and would prefer not to have to crouch at the waterhole to take in their fluids.
What can we do to prevent chronic dehydration and the dangers of kidney disease and bladder stones, especially in older cats? Feeding a high proportion of wet food - meat, cans or pouches - is the easiest solution. Providing fresh water in a private, quiet place every day and responding to their preference for moving water or water on large surfaces will also help. Avoid a solely dry diet at all costs.

Dangers of a dry food only diet

Thursday, August 30, 2018
                                                                                                                            
Feeding dry food only to your cat, especially your male cat, is dangerous. Feeding it ad lib is particularly harmful.
Dry food is convenient and the premium diets are well-balanced with all nutrients - except water. The cat's urine becomes super-concentrated, predisposing male cats to blockage of the urethra.
If the male cat is also overweight and not very active the risk of blockage increases.
Cats on an ad lib dry food diet tend to become overweight. Dry food is like space food. A lot of calories are packed into a very small package. A tablespoon of dry food is equal to a can of wet food. Cats grazing on dry food all day and not moving around much are bound to pack on the kilos.
All cats have a poor drive to drink. In the wild most of their fluids come from their food. They avoid water sources as that is where they are most vulnerable to predators. A cat on a dry food only diet drinks more than a cat on a wet diet, but not enough to remain properly hydrated.This puts pressure on the kidneys. When they are young they can compensate to a degree but as they age it may accelerate kidney failure.


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