Pedialyte for cats is sometimes discussed as a treatment for cats with dehydration. Sometimes, cats who have severe illnesses lose their desire to drink water. This can make them severely dehydrated. Pedialyte is more than water because it also provides electrolytes, which can help your cat recover from dehydration.
Dehydration in cats
There are not always clear signs of dehydration until it becomes a serious problem. According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, diabetes or kidney illnesses can contribute to dehydration. With diabetes, high levels of glucose cause the cat to excrete more water in the urine. So, even though your cat may be drinking more, more water is being lost, and the frequency and amount of urine increases.
VCA Hospitals says it can be difficult to tell if a cat is dehydrated. To test for cat dehydration, gently grasp your cat's neck skin near her shoulder blades. Pull it up and away from her body and then release it. The sign of a healthy amount of hydration is skin that goes back to its original position quickly and easily.
If your cat's skin "tents up" and stays in the pulled position rather than going back to normal, this indicates dehydration, and it needs immediate attention. Take a look for signs of dehydration if your cat has an illness that causes vomiting, diarrhea, or some other reduction in fluid levels. Other symptoms include dry mouth and lethargy.
What is Pedialyte?
The makers of Pedialyte describe it as "the go-to drink for dehydration." The reason for this is that when our bodies (or cats' bodies) are dehydrated, the balance of electrolytes is thrown out of whack. Cedars-Sinai says that electrolytes are essential minerals, such as sodium, calcium, and potassium, that the body needs for many key biological functions.
Pedialyte says that the drink's ingredients, which include sugar and sodium, help to replenish the body's electrolyte levels when they are depleted. Plain water does not contain these ingredients. One other reason that Pedialyte is discussed as a treatment for dehydration is that it tastes good, so people (and cats) may be more likely to drink it than plain water.
Pedialyte for cats
VetInfo says that Pedialyte for cats with dehydration is a suitable drink. If your cat is refusing to keep down any liquids, you should get your vet involved. If you can get him to drink Pedialyte, it can help to give him a few drops every 10 minutes.
If your cat is not interested in the flavor of the Pedialyte, you can enhance his interest by adding juice from a can of tuna or clam juice. You might also try to freeze the Pedialyte into an ice cube, which your cat might enjoy licking. Gatorade for cats is also an option, as the makers of Gatorade say their drinks contain electrolytes without the sugar.
Cat dehydration prevention
If your cat has a disease, such as a kidney illness that could result in dehydration, you can place a few drops of Pedialyte in your cat's water bowl for her to drink on a regular basis. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine says that cats with liver or kidney problems often lose their appetite but usually have increased thirst. Cats with a kidney condition may drink more but will also urinate more, so dehydration is a concern.
If you use Pedialyte for cats with dehydration, keep an eye on your cat to ensure that the taste is OK, and she doesn't start refusing the water. Some flavors of Pedialyte might be appealing to your cat, but if not, there are unflavored options. This home treatment is best for mild dehydration. If your cat is severely dehydrated, get your cat's vet involved right away.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Feline Diabetes
- VCA Hospitals: Recognizing the Signs of Illness in Cats
- Pedialyte: What is Pedialyte?
- Cedars-Sinai: What are Electrolytes?
- Gatorade: G Zero
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Chronic Kidney Disease
- VetInfo: Cat Dehydration Treatment with Pedialyte