How to keep your cat hydrated this summer
Southern California has been hit with a heat wave! When the temperatures rise, it is important to make sure that all of our pets stay cool and well-hydrated. This hot weather brings up a very important topic for cat owners: feline hydration.
Cats generally do not have a strong craving for liquids as do other pets. So when giving your pet something to drink should you give him water? Or would milk be a better choice, possibly providing key nutrients that the cat needs? Here’s what you need to know about hydrating your cat:
How much water do cats need?
Water is the most important liquid for all animals. Since cats do not have a strong thirst drive compared to other mammals, it is critical to provide a source of clean and fresh water in various locations at all times. Bonus: Water will not go bad sitting out all day like milk would. Another option if your cat is less likely to drink from water sources around the house is canned cat food. Canned cat food has a water content of at least 75 percent, so it is a good dietary source of water, and a great way to help hydrate your pet.
Can I give my cat milk?
Some adult cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea and other issues. The same principle applies to milk-based products such as yogurt and cheese. We do not recommend giving your cat milk or milk-based products. However, if you choose to, be sure to supplement with Total-Zymes®. Total-Zymes® contains lactase, the enzyme that helps digest lactose (a primary sugar found in mammalian milk- think “lactose intolerant”). Lactase is required to digest yogurt, milk products and cheese.