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Discussion Starter #1
I should preface with the info that I am a former Special Ed teacher and a mother of teenage boys. I've spent the last 20 years of my life tricking children into doing what is good for them.

Enter the cats.

After reading all of the concerns regarding wet v. dry, canned v. fresh, I finally settled on a split that could work for both me and the hubby - and of course the cats. I've been blessed with a pair that will eat anything (even the dog food if it's not taken away) so a typical dry for them is one feeding of canned and one of dry (wellness core). After reading so much about fluids and cats I was quite worried about the dry feeding so I started adding water to the canned and lo and behold but our cats like cat food soup. This is the same concept that has had me hiding vegetables in my kids food since, well forever (no honey there are not peas and tofu in your meatloaf :wink

Any of the canned foods mixed almost 50/50 with water and they will go to town. As a matter of fact if my son puts out just some canned that was in the fridge they turn up their noses a bit - they don't like cold, but add some hot tap water and they are pleased.

So the question is - is it possible to encourage a house cat to drink too much? They do pee a lot, certainly much more than any of the cats we had when I was young who ate kibble and mice, is there a formula some where for appropriate urine output? I'd hate to find that I'm doing something bad for them in an effort to 'trick' them into doing something good....
Many Thanks
 

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Thanks for the feedback FF251 - Yea, the dry is not the best I know - but I'm not always there to do the feeding so it is a convenience food evil - sort of like when the hubby feeds the human kids Mickey D's for dinner when mom isn't home.

The thing is, I know that with my two girls I can pretty much put out a cereal bowl with a couple tablespoons of cat food mixed in with about 3/4 cup of water and they will consume the whole thing (1 each). Is there a too much point and does anyone know the 'ideal'?
 

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Honestly, I've never heard of anyone having problems with overhydrating when it came to their cat, but ya never know. Anyway, I'd think you'd be fine. I think the only real danger of overhydration is flushing out vitamins, and you'd have to go waaay overboard for that.*

*that is a total assumption and not backed up with any actual experience. For me, I was on the other end and always worried that they weren't getting enough water.
 

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I know it's pretty hard to give a human water poisoning (you normally only see this when people are doing stupid things like water drinking contests, or exercising a lot while drinking a ton of water and not replacing electrolytes) and I've personally never even heard of it happening to a cat.

I would imagine the fact that they've still got dry in their diet, and the fact that all that water is being fed with food, means you've probably got a good balance of hydration/vitamins going on. I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you weren't feeding dry, then I'd say the extra water may not be necessary, but since they're still being fed dry, it's probably helpful.
 

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Well, drinking too much water (referred to as polydipsia) can be a sign of problems in a cat, such as kidney disease, hyper-T, diabetes, etc. So, if a cat starts to drink much more water than usual, it can be a sign of concern. But, I don't believe you can cause any form of illness by simply offering lots of water to an otherwise healthy cat, which seems to be your question.
 

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Natural prey is about 70% water. Kibble is 10%. Doing the math shows that cats need 1.25 cups of water for every cup of kibble consumed to make up for the water missing from the kibble. So that would be your target minimum number.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Natural prey is about 70% water. Kibble is 10%. Doing the math shows that cats need 1.25 cups of water for every cup of kibble consumed to make up for the water missing from the kibble. So that would be your target minimum number.
Thank you - that is helpful. The kibble isn't an always everyday thing - but I worry about it, especially with some of the new info suggesting that the higher the protein in 'quality' kibble like the core we use actually increases the need for water intake.

Adding water to the canned has made their intake (based on scooping the output) pretty much the same on kibble included days as on canned only days. But I'm going to use your #'s above and track it to be certain we are reaching the min. target.

Thank you to everyone for the perspectives and input. And the encouragement. So much has changed in the 20 years since I last cared for cats and I feel like I started in the negative range on the knowledge front this time around (so many things that I 'knew' to be true were flat out wrong) and I just keep trying to catch up.
N
ETA - the concept that the domestic cat is not to far from it's arid dwelling ancestor had me concerned that too much water was a real possibility - I've cared for herps for so many years that the look at it's origin thought process kicked right in and much of the current literature seems to echo that.
 

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If I read your posts correctly, a typical feeding day consists of only 1 tbs of canned food per cat plus a kibble meal - is that right? If that is, indeed, the case, I would reverse it and feed much more canned food and only 1-2 tbs of kibble per cat daily.

Many years ago, a vet told me that cats should take in 1/2 c. of water daily (this includes water content of their food). If your cats are drinking water in addition to the water in and added to their canned food, they may be flushing water soluble vitamins and electrolytes from their systems. With CRF cats, for instance, who often receive supplemental subQ fluid administrations, it's often important to supplement B vits and potassium which flush out in urine.

In general, though, increasing water intake is a good thing as it keeps the body properly hydrated and helps clear toxins and other potential problems like urinary crystals from the system.

Laurie
 

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I also give "soup", but only to Paizly...she needs the extra moisture for urinary tract issues.
There's a bowl of decent quality kibble left out all day they can snack on, and I figure they can get their vitamins and nutrients from that, and the proper moisture from the 2.5 oz of canned food and water fountain (which Paizly is afraid of... yet ANOTHER reason for "soup").
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If I read your posts correctly, a typical feeding day consists of only 1 tbs of canned food per cat plus a kibble meal - is that right? If that is, indeed, the case, I would reverse it and feed much more canned food and only 1-2 tbs of kibble per cat daily.

Laurie
Hey Laurie - oops, I can see where you might get that impression. The girls get about 3 ounces each of wet food 1-2 x a day mixed with water to make a thick soup. The 1tp mixed with 3/4 cup water is what I give when they have had dry when I'm not around, or there just doesn't seem to be 'enough' fluid waste in the litterboxes on a given day....
 
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