Does your cat have a drinking problem?

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02 July 2015
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As the weather hots up, a survey has revealed that us Brits show a surprising lack of awareness when it comes to keeping our cats hydrated - even allowing our cats to drink water from the toilet, bath or shower and even occasionally 'treating' them to cow's milk!

The survey, which was carried out by pet product expert, PetSafe?, to raise awareness about the importance of pet hydration, found that over half (60 per cent) of UK cat owners are unclear about how much water to give their cats to drink.

Most worryingly, the survey revealed that nearly a quarter of cat owners (22 per cent) don't know any signs of dehydration and 40 per cent of cat owners believe that panting is a sign of dehydration - when actually, panting is a sign that a cat is anxious or could have another underlying illness.

The results also showed that one in 10 cats drink toilet and bath water to keep them hydrated. A quarter of cats were regularly given cow's milk to drink by owners (25 per cent), with the mistaken belief that it's 'good for them' when it can actually lead to obesity, or can cause problems such as severe cramps and diarrhoea.?

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David Chamberlain, veterinary consultant for PetSafe?, comments: "The results clearly show that cat owners need to become more savvy when it comes to hydrating their cats and the types of liquids they allow their cats to drink.

"Even losing just 10 per cent of the body's water can have serious consequences for a cat and hotter weather, exercise and periods of illness can all contribute to water loss. Dehydration can potentially result in serious health issues for cats including urinary tract infections and kidney disease. It is vital to ensure that cats have?access to clean, fresh water at all times, and make sure that they are drinking enough to keep them happy and healthy."

He adds: "It isn't advisable to let cats drink from the toilet or bath as they may house harmful bacteria for cats and if they get enough water from reliable sources they shouldn't need to go looking for drinks such as these."