Cats who are going through kidney disease have enough on their plates without having to go through dehydration, too. If you're not sure how to check your cat's hydration level or don't know why you should bother checking it, then read this simple guide to find the answers you're looking for.
Why You Should Check
Every cat's kidneys are responsible for filtering through the blood supply and removing toxic components that can be dangerous to their health. The way that they do this is by utilizing the water that they drink. Cats get thirsty with kidney disease because as the kidneys become less efficient, they use more water. This can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration adds to problems that cats already have with kidney disease, like worsening or causing lethargy and a lack of appetite.
How to Do It
If you want to check your cat's hydration level to ensure that they're not dehydrated, then rest easy knowing that the process is easy and quite painless for your cat.
To check them for dehydration, simply firmly grasp the skin between the base of the back of your cat's neck and the top of their shoulder blades. Gently pull the skin up and hold it like that for a few seconds. Then, release your grip all at once so that the skin is just dropped out of your hand.
If your cat is well hydrated, the skin should immediately snap back into place just like it was before you pulled on it. However, if they're dehydrated, the skin will stay elevated or will slowly sink back into position.
What to Do If They're Dehydrated
If you've already been taught how to give your cat fluid boluses, then that's a good place to start. Giving your cat IV fluids subcutaneously can help them to boost their hydration levels back up quickly.
If you haven't been told how to do this, then it's time to head to your vet's office. Your cat's condition will only worsen if they're allowed to stay dehydrated. Your vet can give them subcutaneous fluids or use an IV in a vein directly to rehydrate your cat as quickly as possible. It may be a good idea to ask about giving your cat subcutaneous fluids yourself to help prevent this from happening again.
Cats with kidney disease need special attention and care, and this is just one facet of that. If you have questions about your cat's condition or don't know what to do, get in touch with a vet right away.
For more information, contact a veterinarian.