My cat is drinking more water than usual. Should I be worried?
Cats can be private about their day-to-day habits – grooming, using the litter box, drinking – so if you’re noticing your cat is spending more time at the water bowl (or faucet, or your water glass), it’s likely a significant change.
Cats are susceptible to several health problems that exhibit as increased thirst. Unfortunately, kidney failure and diabetes (mellitus) are fairly common in middle-aged to senior cats. Typically, the increase in water consumption is accompanied by weight loss and more urine output, so if you notice any or all of these, your cat should be seen by a veterinarian for an exam, blood work, and urinalysis.
Early detection is best – kidney failure is more successfully managed in the early stages, and untreated diabetic cats can develop a potentially fatal complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. Less consistently, increased thirst can be associated with hyperthyroidism, urinary tract problems, and even cancer. One day of drinking extra water doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong, but multiple thirsty days is a good reason to see your veterinarian.