Tree House Cats are Hydrated and Happy, Thanks to Merrick Gives Back
by shannon gonzalez
Summer heat in Chicago can be brutal. With temperatures regularly reaching the 90’s and the sun beating down more often than not, staying hydrated is important for Chicagoans enjoying the season. And Chicago kitties are no different!
At Tree House, we ensure our resident cats stay hydrated by providing fresh, clean water daily and feeding them a nutrient-rich diet that has the vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and antioxidants they need to stay healthy.
Merrick, who sponsors the feeding program for our residents and working cats, takes our kittys’ hydration levels seriously, too. In fact, Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Morsels, a favorite of the hungry cats on our adoption floor, is 81% moisture. So in addition to satisfying their cravings, it’s also keeping them nice and moist. For cats who aren’t big on drinking water, providing a wet-food diet helps to ensure they’re still getting the fluids they require for blood circulation, digestion, and waste removal.
Aside from providing fresh water and wet food daily, here a few other tips to keeping your furry family member hydrated and happy all summer long:
- Use various types of water bowls. You may find that your cat prefers one bowl over another or enjoys drinking from a fountain instead.
- Add a little flavor. Adding a bit of tuna water or low sodium broth to their water may entice your feline friend.
- Experiment with the location of your cat’s water. Because cats may not seek out water until they are already dehydrated, placing multiple water bowls throughout your house will make it more convenient for them to regularly take a sip.
- Try using playtime to encourage your kitty to drink their water. Some cats enjoy pawing their water out of glass or batting an ice cube around to lick at while they play. (Yes, this may result in a bit of a watery mess on your kitchen floor. A small price to pay for a hydrated kitty.)
So how do you know if your feline friend is getting enough moisture? You could stare at them any time they approach their water bowl to see exactly how much intake they’re getting. But they’ll probably react like Azrael, and you probably have other things to do. Additionally, most cats that eat wet food do not drink as often because their water needs are being met by their diet. So, instead of trying to track their exact water intake, keep an eye out for the following signs of dehydration in your cat:
- Decreased skin elasticity – Try the “skin tenting” test. Lightly pinch the skin around your cat’s shoulders. When you let go, it should quickly snap back into place. If the skin “tent” falls back down slowly, this could be a sign that your cat is dehydrated.
- Tacky gums – Lightly tap the gums. If they feel tacky instead of moist, this could be a sign of dehydration.
- Elevated heart rate
If your cat is experiencing any of the above symptoms or suddenly begins drinking an excessive amount of water, consult your veterinarian promptly to determine the underlying cause. Additionally, any concerns about your cat’s water intake, drinking habits, or diet should be discussed with your vet.
We hope you find these tips and tricks helpful in keeping your furry family member hydrated, healthy, and happy.
Stay cool, folks!