• Light of Life Veterinary Clinic
    Light of Life Veterinary Clinic
    Tel: 6243 3282
    Blk 740 Bedok Reservoir Road #01-3165 Singapore 470740
    Opening Hours:
    Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat: 12pm-5pm, 8pm-11pm
  • Animal Practice Veterinary Clinic & Surgery
    Animal Practice Veterinary Clinic & Surgery
    Tel: 6288 3929 (24 Hours)
    1015 Upper Serangoon Road #01-00 Singapore 534753
    Opening Hours:
    Daily 9am-12pm, 2pm-5pm, 6pm- 8pm (Closed on Public Holidays)
  • The Animal Clinic
    The Animal Clinic
    Tel: 6776 3450 / 6777 0273
    Block 109 Clementi Street 11 #01-31 Singapore 120109
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Fri: 9.30am-12noon, 2pm-5pm, 6pm-8.30pm
    Sat: 9.30am-1pm, 2pm-5pm, 6pm-8.30pm
    Sun: 12noon to 4:30pm
  • Toa Payoh Vets
    The Animal Clinic
    Tel: 6254 3326
    Emergency: 9668 6469
    Block 1002, Toa Payoh Lorong 8 #01-1477 Singapore 319074
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Fri: 9am - 8pm
    Sat, Sun, Public Holidays: 9am-5pm
  • Singapore Pet Cremation
    Singapore Pet Cremation
    Tel: 9665 1038
    Opening Hours:
    24 hours

Q&A - Amber Vet Clinic

  • My cat is almost 9 years old. She is dehydrated despite regular refills of her water bowls, and occasional wet food mixed with her kibbles. Should I switch her diet to raw or dehydrated food, where I can increase and control the water content of her meals? My fear is that too much canned food would lead to unhealthy weight gain, if I feed too much of it, hence the thought of switching.

    To address the first part of your question - we will first need to ascertain if your cat is dehydrated, and if she is actually drinking adequate amounts of water.

    The common ways in which we visually assess if a cat is dehydrated or not is based on the following:

    • tacky/sticky gums
    • skin tent (skin does not spring back down quickly when gently pinched up)

    You may want to take your cat to a vet to have this assessed, if you are not sure on how to do so.

    The average daily water intake should be about 40-60ml/kg/day. This is equivalent to at least 160ml per day for a normal-sized 4kg cat. This includes the water that is in the wet food or any raw or home-prepared diets. If your cat's daily water intake is less than that, we can work on modifying her diet and water intake. There may be a medical problem if your cat is dehydrated despite having normal water intake or drinking more water than normal (increased thirst). The most common reasons cats have increased thirst is due to kidney disease and diabetes. Given your cat's senior's age, I would strongly recommend a visit to a vet to have her checked up. Blood tests and urine tests may be recommended by the vet to check on your cat's internal health condition.

    If your cat is dehydrated because she is drinking less than the recommended water intake, we can work on different ways with which you can try to increase her water intake. Here are some suggestions on how you can increase her water intake:

    • Drinking Fountain
      • Cats like drinking from running water, so having a drinking fountain may encourage her to drink more.
    • Spiking her water with milk or broth
      • You may add 1 tablespoon of lactose-free pet milk into the water, or the broth from canned or wet food in a sachet to tempt her to drink from her water bowl.
    • Mixing wet food with kibble, or feeding more wet food and less kibble
      • There is a common perception that wet food is more unhealthy than dry food, but this is actually not the case. In fact, dry food tends to have more carbohydrates, and will be more likely to contribute to unhealthy weight gain compared with wet food.
      • The key to good nutrition is not in the texture of the food, but in the quality and nutritional balance of the diet. Do select a reputable brand for both your dry and wet foods.
    • Feeding dehydrated raw diets
      • As dehydrated raw diets need to be reconstituted with water, you are able to control your cat's daily water intake better with it. If you are intending to switch your cat over to a raw diet, please do so gradually. Some cats may refuse to eat if their foods are switched over suddenly, while others may develop soft stools or vomiting because they cannot adapt so quickly to the diet change.

    (Written by Dr Gwenda Lowe, Veterinary Surgeon, Amber Vet)

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December 2018 - June 2019

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