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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2736
Experience:  12 years experience as small animal vet, 21 years experience in the animal care field
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My cat is 17 years old. He stares at his water dish within ...

Customer Question

My cat is 17 years old. He stares at his water dish within 1 mm of the top of the water but seems like he doesn't know how to drink. What should we do?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Vet help replied 11 years ago.
I'd recommend taking your cat to your vet for a good physical examination and possibly some blood work. As a geriatric cat, he is in the age range where we start to see a lot of things going wrong. Some things to consider:
1. Kidney disease- very prevalent in cats his age. In the later stages of kidney failure, cats have the desire to drink but because of nausea and sometimes sores in the mouth (from build up of toxins) are reluctant to do so. They will often hover over the water bowl but not drink.
2. Dental disease- imagine not brushing your teeth for 17 years! A painful mouth may cause this problem.
Cats his age are also prone to hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, cancer, or other organ dysfunction.
All cats over the age of 10 yrs should have blood work done to detect potential problems early. I urge you to get him to the vet as soon as possible so that the underlying illness can be found and to address the dehydration which is likely present.

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