85% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of three suffer some form of dental disease, so chances are your pet could use a dental exam. Even if your pet doesn’t have stained teeth, bacteria can still be present below the gum line, so it’s important to have your pet’s oral cavity examined by a professional. In fact, if your pet has bad breath, they have a form of dental disease.
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There is no set answer to this question. Like all living creatures water is essential to maintain vital bodily functions in cats. Cats can suffer from dehydration resulting in kidney problems if they do not drink enough water. An adequate intake of water is necessary to flush out toxins from the kidneys. Cats can also suffer from health problems if they drink too much water, and may develop a condition called polydipsia. In general cats usually consume about a cup of water a day. This will increase if they live on a diet of dried food. If your cat significantly increases the amount of water it drinks you should consult a vet for further investigations especially if the cat has also lost weight recently. Cats can develop diabetes and kidney problems; both of these conditions can be dangerous if left untreated but they can be controlled with medication.
Water consumption is linked to diet. In the wild the cat would eat prey containing 70% water content. Dried cat food contains only 10% water whilst tinned or pouched food contains around 80% water. It is therefore obvious that a cat fed on a diet of dried food will need to consume more water than one fed on tinned food. To check the levels of hydration pinch a small amount of skin on the back of your cat’s neck. If it springs back easily your cat is adequately hydrated. This is similar to testing your own hydration level by squeezing the skin on the back of your hand.
It is commonly thought that cats hate water but this is not true. They do not like to be immersed in water but most are fascinated by running water and they would prefer to drink running water rather than drink from a bowl. Many cats like to play with water, splashing it with their paws. It is thought they prefer running water as this most closely simulates how they would drink in the wild from running streams, which they would perceive as being safer than stagnant water.
Cats have very sensitive paw pads which they use to test the temperature of running water. Provide your cat with fresh water several times a day if you can. Also try to locate the water away from the food source as research shows that cats prefer to drink water away from their food source. It is a good idea to invest in a drinking fountain such as the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain. A pet fountain is very useful for owners who are out of the house for long periods. Pet fountains are available in a variety of sizes and can hold up to 5 litres of constantly running water which is typically kept clean and fresh by a charcoal filter.
Cats hate to share a water bowl with another animal but any number of cats are happy to share one drinking fountain. A pet fountain is of course not for cats, it is equally beneficial for dogs, who also benefit from the experience and the improvement over the quality of water left in a normal bowl.
You can purchase both the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain and the Drinkwell mini Fountain by visiting our web site at http://www.petcontrol.co.uk and selecting the Drinkwell Fountain category.
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