Increasing Water Intake
Most cats who eat near-exclusively or exclusively dry foods are dehydrated because it’s not a cat’s natural instinct to drink sufficient water. Cats gained all their liquid requirements from their natural prey in the wild. In the home, if there is not sufficient water consumed your cat can get bladder crystals, urinary infections or blockages. If you want to convince your kitty to drink more, place a large bowl of water in a different room from the food. Cats’ instinct is to drink from ‘pools’ that are non-contaminated by food and thus far away from food sources. The moment I added a larger bowl in the house every cat I’ve lived with far preferred this to the water-bowl beside their food.
Pedialyte – Re-hydration for sick kittens and cats
Here is the recipe for the solution we fed the Rascals when they stopped eating due to calicivirus – given to us by a veteran cat rescuer. Pedialyte formula (from World Health Organization)… no preservatives so short life-span. You must make a fresh batch daily when you are using it and keep it in the fridge.
* 1 cup water (boiled then cooled)
* 2 tsp sugar
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp baking soda
Combine all ingredients and warm slightly.
This Pedialyte formula gives needed electrolytes & some sugar for energy. NOTE: Make new after 24 hours
In cases where the kitty is not eating, we have blended this with canned A/D medical food (available at the vet’s office) into a slurry which is a milkshake form. You can then syringe feed it to them orally. This will give the kitty electrolytes and nutrition and stop them from heading into anorexia. Anorexia in cats is like a mental switch and is more common than many expect, and once a cat stops eating, it’s a challenge to get them back doing it.
This does not replace vet care – but augments it. If the kitty is dehydrated, then subcutaneous fluids are needed and can be easily administered by the vet.
Omega 3 for Pets – Helps with any skin condition
Omega 3 is available in oil form and is easy to use to help dryness, itch, discomfort, scratches etc. Not all omega 3’s are equal – for example I have a very good human dose Omega 3 oil but it’s grain based. Some cats are sensitive to grain-based products and grains are not best for their digestive tracts. Instead choose the traditional salmon, sardine, anchovy or cod liver oils which offers omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and also contains relatively high levels of vitamins A and D. Fish is one of the most natural (ancestral) diets for cats so it’s the most easily digested with little side effects.
Here’s a good guide of how to work out the dosage. This is not my own – but it was clipped from an article months ago for my own use so I can’t remember enough origin info to give deserved credit:
“Fish oil is a great source of Omega 3’s (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid), which helps moisturize and decrease inflammation in the skin. This can be purchased at a veterinary clinic or drug store. Ask your veterinarian for your pet’s dose. I typically dose 20 mg /lb of body weight ONCE daily of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). If you dose correctly for EPA in most fish oil products, the docosahexanaenoic (DHA) dose will be correct. For instance a 40 lb dog would get 800 mg EPA per day. (On the bottle of your Fish Oil it should list how many mg of EPA are in each capsule and dose accordingly.) It takes up to six weeks to see the benefits of fish oil on your pet.”
Damaged or Over-dry Paw Pads
There are many reasons why a cat can end up with over-dry paw pads. Externally you can treat it with natural lotions or balms which are edible because cats often lick their paws and will ingest anything on them. For short term use we used bag balm and then a lanolin/olive oil salve. Only a few human-edible oils are safe for cats (olive, fish, coconut) – some are harmful. You need to apply only a very little. If your cat will not stand to have it applied, consider putting a thin layer on a tile in front of the cat’s food bowl. It’s a little messy, but it’s quick and easy application. Internally you can treat with carefully measured doses of vitamin E or with Omega 3’s as above. Larger doses do not solve the problem faster and may cause liver or kidney damage from overdosing.