Seeing your cat dying is something most painful you can imagine, but, unfortunately, you’ll need to come to peace with this fact.
If you have spent many wonderful years in the company of your feline friend, you should consider yourself lucky. Many cats don’t get to live to their senior years.
When your cat reaches an advanced age, or when she’s struggling with an incurable condition, you will notice certain symptoms in her. One of them might be seeking more water to drink.
Why is my dying cat drinking lots of water? There are a couple of reasons for this, so, let’s check them all out.
1. Environmental Factors
The first thing you should consider are your cat’s habits and your living space.
Of course, it’s not typical for cats of any age to seek more water, since they’re not really interested in drinking any water.
If your dying cat is seeking for more water, this might be due to environmental factors, such as summertime, or your house being very warm.
You should pay attention to the temperature in your home, and make it more comfortable for your cat to peacefully spend her last days – if you identify that this might be the cause of the increased water consumption in your pet.
2. Chronic Kidney Disease
You might have had some trouble getting your cat drinking water at all during her early years, and now she seems like she can’t get enough of it.
One of the conditions that might be causing this is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). According to Cornell Feline Health Center, this condition signifies the persistent loss of kidney function over time in felines.
Cats with kidney problems become unable to concentrate their urine appropriately, so they drink more water to compensate for this.
Together with drinking a lot of water, you might also notice your cat is losing weight and is very lethargic.
CKD in cats can lead to additional problems, such as elevated blood pressure, which can affect the other essential systems of a cat’s body, including her brain and heart.
This condition is a leading cause of death in more than half of cats over 15 years old, as explained by Heaven At Home Pet Hospice.
3. Diabetes Mellitus
Another health condition that your cat might be struggling with is Diabetes Mellitus.
This is a disease of a cat’s pancreas, and signifies a condition where a cat’s pancreas isn’t able to regulate her blood sugar.
A cat with diabetes has an elevated concentration of blood glucose, and her body is unable to use glucose as an energy source, according to the VCA Animal Hospitals.
In addition to increased water consumption, a cat with diabetes will also urinate more, which might result in her urinating anywhere, including on your clothes.
When diabetes is detected on time, a young cat might live with it normally, provided that she gets prescribed with a well-balanced diet, and appropriate medications.
Unfortunately, if an older cat suffers from severe or uncontrolled diabetes, this can lead to additional health complications and a fatal outcome.
Hyperthyroidism is also a potential cause for your dying cat to drink lots of water.
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois University suggests that 95% of cats with hyperthyroidism are 10 years old or older.
This disease develops when there is an overproduction of the thyroid hormone in a cat’s body, which can cause life-threatening symptoms.
Most common clinical signs of hyperthyroidism are increased thirst, weight loss, and rapid heart rate.
This is another feline health condition that has no concrete cure. Veterinarians here do their best to control the disease and still provide a cat with quality life.
Regrettably, if hyperthyroidism is untreated, or discovered in a cat’s senior years, it might lead to uncontrolled weight loss, severe heart disease, and, consequently – death.
5. Liver Disease
Increased thirst could also be a sign your dying cat is struggling with liver disease. Some other symptoms that might appear are vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal swelling.
According to the cat gum color chart, yellow gums might also point to liver problems in cats.
The liver is an essential organ in a cat’s body, since it metabolizes fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and also stores minerals and glycogen.
Another crucial function of a cat’s liver is the production of bile acids necessary for digestion.
There are a couple of complications that might arise with liver disease, especially with older cats, as suggested by MSD Veterinary Manual.
One of them is a neurologic syndrome called Hepatic encephalopathy, which can be recognized by severe symptoms such as seizures, head pressing, poor coordination, and even blindness.
While cats that are treated in the early stages of liver problems have a good recovery rate, if this disease is left untreated or diagnosed too late, it can lead to death.
What Are Other Signs Your Cat Is Dying?
Besides increased water consumption, you might notice your sick cat is dying due to some other symptoms.
This is the hardest part of being a cat’s parent, but it’s also the most crucial moment where you shouldn’t leave your dying cat alone, but rather do your best to find courage to be there for her.
Some of the most common signs you’ll recognize your cat’s life has come to an ending are the following:
• Hiding behavior: Most cats will seek solitude and avoid their human companions, which is probably exact the opposite you’re used to see in your furry friend
• Decreased activity levels: Your cat will probably just want to sleep and will show zero interest in any kind of activity
• Behavioral changes: This won’t be the same for all cats, so, some might become more vocal, for instance, while others will become aggressive as a consequence of their pain and disorientation
• Bad-looking coat: Your cat won’t be able to groom herself as she used to, leading to her coat to look dull
• Bad odor: Many cats will also develop a bad body odor right before their death, due to health issues they’re struggling with
In this situation, you should provide comfort to your pet and be there for her. Consulting your veterinarian on the best course of action is also advisable.
What can we conclude on the issues: A dying cat drinking lots of water?
There are a couple of medical reasons for this symptom, such as kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease, or hypothyroidism.
These health problems might be treated and cats can even lead their normal life, but only when detected and diagnosed on time.
Unfortunately, an older cat with one of these health problems might die soon, and drinking lots of water could be one of the symptoms her ending is near.
These are the hardest moments, but you should be brave and follow your veterinarian’s advice. Sometimes euthanasia might be the only option, but also the way of providing your furry companion to leave in a dignified way.
Remember that prolonging a cat’s life doesn’t mean having more quality time with her, if she’s struggling with severe health problems.
This just means more pain and distress for her. In situations like this, the only way to liberate your cat from pain means letting her go.