Older cats need regular check ups and constant medical attention and it is known that at least two thirds of cats in the US are eight years old or even older. Although it is not unusual for an older cat to drink more water, in some cases causes of excessive thirst in cats could indicate a serious problem.
There are a number of causes of excessive thirst in cats, just as in humans, but more so as they age. The more common diseases that affect humans such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer can also affect older felines, rather than the younger ones, and cause excessive thirst in cats.
The diabetes that affects cats is types 1 and 2, as in humans. Insufficient production of insulin or lack of insulin is type 1 and when body cells are unable to use the present quantity of insulin this results in type 2. Diabetes can affect a cat of any age but as it ages it can become more prone to the disease. The symptoms of this disease are vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of weight, poor fur condition, breathing problems, weakness and dehydration. Obviously, dehydration is one of the causes of excessive thirst in cats and if your cat displays any of these symptoms, a visit to the vet is essential.
An accumulation of fat cells in a cat’s liver that the body fails to use can result in fatty liver disease which is also known as hepatic lipidosis. Although a liver biopsy can determine whether your cat is suffering from this illness, its cause usually remains unknown. The symptoms are sudden loss of appetite, weight loss and excessive thirst. Other symptoms include vomiting, listlessness and a swollen abdomen. It is vital to consult a vet and embark upon a course of treatment if your cat displays any of these symptoms.
Chronic renal failure is responsible for the deaths of most older cats. This illness gradually damages the kidneys and affects their normal function. There is little difference in chronic renal failure and acute renal failure. Chronic renal failure can be treated in a number of ways with appetite stimulants, subcutaneous fluids and medication. Excessive thirst is a symptom of this, along with weight loss, loss of appetite, difficulty in urinating, vomiting and poor coat condition. If any of these symptoms are displayed by your cat, a course of treatment by your vet should be started immediately.
Diseases such as hyperthyroidism, polyuria and polydipsia can be one of the causes of excessive thirst in cats, as well as feline hypertension. Sudden changes in your cat’s behaviour should be monitored for any of the above symptoms. Being able to respond to the cause of your cat’s excessive thirst means treating the source of the problem and the speed of your response will determine the speed of your cat’s recovery.