My cat is always thirsty is a concern many cat owners have particularly when they know they have given their pet plenty of water to drink with their food yet they still see them drinking from a dripping tap ( picture below ) or in my case from the swimming pool! Although a cat being thirsty all the time can be a sign of it having a kidney infection, there are a few other illnesses that it could be too. On the other hand, there may not be anything wrong at all, as some cats are prone to drinking more than others. Having said that, we really need to look into other signs that go along with the extra thirst, and what other illnesses it could be a sign of. Also, we will discuss other signs to look for regarding a kidney infection, and also what you should do if you think your cat has a feline kidney infection, so read on to learn more.
Initial steps to take to determine why my cat is always thirsty
The medical term Polyuria refers to excessive urinating in cats, while Polydipsia refers to the excessive drinking aspect. These two conditions usually go hand in hand due to the more water they drink the more they have to urinate. First of all, you have to establish that your cat is drinking excessively compared to his normal drinking habits, once you know that your cat is drinking much more than he usually does, then this may be the time for concern. In addition, there is usually an underlying condition, which is why you should consider making an appointment with your vet, so he can rule out other conditions, including a kidney infection.
Visit to vet, tests carried out and treatment prescribed
With that said, some of the main things the veterinarian will do is to measure water intake and urinal output, then most likely perform other tests, once this has been confirmed. Tests like a complete blood count (CBC), a urinalysis, and an X-ray to either rule out, or confirm any problems with the renal, adrenal or reproductive system may be conducted at the initial exam. Keep in mind that, the chances of a kidney infection are more likely in older cats. Therefore, in many cases excessive drinking may simply be that the pet owner may need to change out their diet to get it back under control for them. Unfortunately, just about every cat owner will experience some kind of kidney infection, or disease at some point, if their cat lives long enough, as cats do seem to be prone to kidney disease, more so than other animals.
Keep in mind that, Pyelonephritis is the most common form of kidney disease, and is usually caused by a bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI). Pyelonephritis is very hard to detect, and diagnose and just as hard to treat. More over, treating this with antibiotics is usually the best way to go, but it can take a very long time to cure this infection, and there is no guarantee that it will clear up completely even with the antibiotics being given. Having said that, if it does not clear up completely for them, the cat may well be treated for many years off, and on with antibiotics for the rest of their life. Furthermore, with Pyelonephritis it can also lead to acute as well as chronic kidney disease for the cat too.
Diagnosis of Feline Kidney Disease or other diseases
When a cat is drinking excessively, there is no way of telling exactly what it is at that present time, as it could be any number of things. Moreover, It could be a congenital abnormality, or anything related to renal failure, diabetes, or a decrease in steroid production by the adrenal glands. Keep in mind, that kidney disease could be linked to a congenital defect, or tumor, an increase in steroid production, or even a hormonal disorder. Therefore, without proper diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian, there is no real way to tell, but there are other symptoms you can keep an eye out for, as well as the excessive thirst and urination.
Watch out for symptoms your cat may show
If, your cat has Polydipsia (always thirsty), then be sure to give as much information to the vet as possible, as what you may consider to be trivial, might actually have a significant impact on how the doctor treats the symptoms at hand. With that being said, other symptoms the cat may show, but that you should not wait until these show up, include licking lips, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, bad breath, lethargy, stomach irritation, mouth ulcers, and a dull scraggy looking coat. Therefore, we can’t emphasize enough on how important it is to get your cat into the vet for a thorough check up at any of these signs mentioned, especially if accompanied by excessive thirst and urination.
Moreover, if a cat develops kidney disease, then they generally develop high blood pressure too. Of additional concern, high blood pressure in cats can often lead to blindness, which is why it is so important for regular checkups at the vet. Moreover, detecting kidney problems early, and checking their blood pressure can result in avoiding blindness in cats. In addition, an early sign to watch for in cats, is their urine becoming thinner, almost like water. However, it is always best to make a vet appointment whenever you notice any unusual changes in your cat’s behavior, as this can help to catch any infections early, and may help reduce the need to keep them on antibiotics long term in certain cases.
Finally, if you still ask yourself the question why my cat is always thirsty, it could be something or nothing. However, it is always best to err on the side of caution. In many cases it may turn out to be nothing to worry about, but there is usually always an underlying cause, when this takes place with cats especially. Furthermore, always be sure to keep an eye especially on older cats, as they are more prone to getting kidney infections than their younger brothers and sisters would be. Therefore, being vigilant, and keeping regular checkups, along with regular visits to your vet will help to keep your cat in the best of health, so that you both can enjoy the benefits of one another’s company for many years to come.