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Ask Cher Your Own Question
Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21301
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My diabetic cat is eating, peeing and pooping okay. but he

Customer Question

Customer: my diabetic cat is eating, peeing and pooping okay. but he will not drilnk -- just sits at the water bowl and stares at it. I do give him insulin and can keep him within normal range by feeding him with syringe food which he takes very well. but i feel that i'm "
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: "waterboarding" him if i give him water with syringe
JA: How old is Quot?
Customer: Max -- 10 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Quot?
Customer: names is Max -- sorry i hit enter accidenatally
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello, and welcome.

I'm sorry Max is having a problem and doesn't seem to want to drink.

Is he fed wet food or dry?

Have you checked that he's peeing normal amounts and not just 'dribbling' a few drops, here and there, in the box?

Does he seem to be straining to pee and do you see any blood in his urine?

When did he first start sitting at the water bowl and staring at it?

Thanks for all your additional information and after you reply, please allow me a little time to compose and send your detailed answer.

Warmest wishes,

Cher

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i feed him blended wet food throuigh a syringe because he doesn't eat enough on his own even though he eats dry and licks at the wet food just fine -- just doesn't eat enough. he is peeing normal amount and does not strain. his poop is healthy consistency. uses litter box exclusively. no blood in his urine. he is severely diabetic and has been staring at the water a couple of weeks now. i give him water thrugh the syringe but feel bad because it seems like its "waterboarding" him becuase he dislikes it so. I also hydrate him with 100 cc a day. i have heard to give give him the liquid from a tuna can -- but I fear that the tuna may have too much salt for him. yes, he's on the decline in his diabetes -- I know that -- but still would like an idea on how to get water into him comforetably.
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, and thanks for your very helpful reply.

If you are adding any water to the wet blended food and you are keeping him hydrated with 100cc a day (sub-Q?), he probably doesn't need to drink much water on his own.

I asked all those questions about urination, because a cat that has a urethral blockage and can't pee, will sit or lay at the water bowl wanting to drink, but unable, because his bladder is full and he can't void on his own. In male cats, this is a medical emergency, as they must be catheterized in order to drain their bladder so it doesn't burst.

If he is peeing normally, it sounds like he's getting enough water through your feeding and hydration methods. He may be sitting at his water bowl and not drinking for various reasons. Something may have accidentally dropped into his bowl and he smells it and is afraid to drink. If the bowl is made of plastic, it may be retaining the odor of your dishwashing liquid after you wash it. Plastic is not a good material for food/water bowls, because they develop minute cracks that can harbor bacteria, without your knowledge. Try glass or ceramic bowls and wash them with hot water and a drop of dishwashing liquid (plain, without 'crystals' or bleach), rinse well in cool water and air dry.

I understand how you feel re: the tuna water and it's amount of salt, but you can purchase low-sodium tuna in water and offer the water drained from the can for him. You can also offer him 'Cat Sure' which is like 'Ensure' for humans who are not eating well, on their own, but check the sugar content in it, before purchasing.

Giving him water via syringe is not 'waterboarding' and if you give small amounts, several times a day, this should be fine; however, as I mentioned, he may not need extra water if he's getting 100cc's a day, subcutaneously. However, I would put a call in to your vet to report Max's non-drinking and ask if he needs to be seen, if necessary, to test his levels and blood glucose, through blood and urine testing.

If he is lapping the 'gravy' from his canned food, there should not be a problem with his tongue or the inside of his mouth, but I would check for any foreign objects stuck between teeth, under tongue, in the roof of the mouth, between cheek and gum, etc., and for any sores in his mouth or on his tongue, which may indicate stomatitis.

http://www.vetstreet.com/care/feline-stomatitis

For now, I would not force him to drink water. If he feels he needs it, he will drink; he also may be drinking when you're asleep or not watching. Cats are typically 'secret' drinkers, anyway. For the health of his mouth, he should be getting moisture into it, but this is most likely being accomplished by the syringe feeding of the wet food. Add water to that food, if you're not, already.

You're doing a great job at keeping him fed, so he can have his insulin in addition to keeping him hydrated with the sub-Q fluids!

I hope all will be well with Max and please let me know how he's coming along. Thanks!

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, and I will be glad to continue.

Warmest regards,
Cher

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Cher -- I haven't had time to review the information in full -- lots going on. I'd like to pursue the conversation tomorrow after noon California time -- is that ok? thanks so much -- Maria for Max
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Maria and thanks for your reply.

I understand completely! I, too, have lots going on and tomorrow after noon, California time, will not be good for me, unfortunately. I have two family birthday celebrations this weekend: tomorrow and Saturday; however, I shouldn't be home too late tomorrow night, and I'm on the East coast, so that gives us a some leeway.

I can reply when I get home, tomorrow night, to see if you're available; is that alright?

Warmest wishes,

Cher

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Cher -- great ... don't rush on my account -- enjoy your family -- and if we don't connect -- then Monday? unless you work Saturdays ... just let me know. Thanks so much -- Maria
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Maria, and you're most welcome.

I should be able to continue our conversation tonight. I'll reply when I get home and if you're available, that will be great.

Warmest regards,

Cher

Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Maria.

I just returned home and can continue our conversation now, if it's convenient for you.

Please let me know. I will be available online for the next 1½ hours.

Thanks,

Cher

Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Maria.

It should be about 3:30PM your time and I'm available to continue our conversation about Max. I will be online until approximately 9:30PM your time, taking the occasional breaks, here and there.

Please reply back and let me know what further questions you have; if today is not good, let's set up a mutually convenient future time for us both.

Warmest regards,

Cher

Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Cher
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, Maria.

Just checking in to see if you had the time to read my answer in full, and if you found it helpful. Please let me know here and/or rate my answer positively.

I'm still available, even after rating, to discuss this further with you, at your convenience.

I hope all is going well with Max!

Warmest wishes,

Cher