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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7524
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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She os suddenly drinking lots of water which is very

Customer Question

She os suddenly drinking lots of water which is very unusual.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the cat?
Customer: I don't see anything wrong at this time just noticed excessive thirst.
JA: Problems with drinking can be serious. I'm glad you noticed it. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Cleo is 5 years old and is an abyssinian.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Cleo?
Customer: She is an indoor cat, loves her food. Never had any health issues.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 8 months ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your girl Cleo who has started drinking more than usual. Have you noticed increased urination as well? When did you first notice this?

I will wait to hear from you.

Dr E

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Just the last day or so but yesterday I noticed when cleaning her litter box there was lots of urine clumps in the litter. I've been sick myself with the flu so did not notice before.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She has been sleeping long stretches too but being sick I didn't put it all together until just now when I noticed the empty water bowl. She has been eating a bit of turkey meat so maybe it's just that?
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 8 months ago.

Hi again,

Thanks for that. This sort of symptom is always a worry in cats and in the vet world we call this PU/PD - meaning excessive drinking and urination. There are quite a number of different diseases associated with PU/PD in a cat and i will list some of these for you.

The main Veterinary list of diseases associated with PU/PD are listed below:

  • "Diabetes insipidus: Central (decreased production of vasopressin (ADH)) or nephrogenic (decreased ADH receptors or decreased sensitivity to ADH in the renal tubules) diabetes insipidus causes PU/PD.
  • Hyperadrenocorticism results in excessive amounts of cortisol that can block the effect of ADH on renal tubules.
  • Hypoadrenocorticism causes loss of sodium, the major medullary solute. Hyperkalemia may interfere with ADH function.
  • Escherichia coli infections, as seen with some pyometras, often produce endotoxins believed to interfere with ADH activity.
  • Psychogenic polydipsia increases fluid load promoting diuresis. It may result in renal medullary solute washout. Polydipsia as the primary cause of PU/PD is not as common as polyuria. Psychogenic polydipsia can be induced by stress. Damage to the hypothalamus may overstimulate the thirst center. Certain foods (salty, spicy) encourage excessive intake of fluids.
  • Hepatic failure can produce PU/PD via poorly understood mechanisms. Theories include an increase in glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, or renin. Another theory is that there is decreased ammonia conversion to urea, a major medullary solute.
  • Hypokalemia interferes with renal tubular function and ADH sensitivity. It can be caused by chronic renal disease, excessive use of furosemide, and nutritional deficiency.
  • Hyperthyroidism promotes diuresis by increasing sensitivity to catecholamines, increasing renal medullary blood flow and medullary washout. Hyperthyroidism is uncommon in the dog, but common in the cat.
  • Hypercalcemia associated with malignancy, cholecalciferol toxicity, or hypoadrenocorticism can cause renal damage or interfere with ADH function.
  • The use of diuretics, certain drugs, and intravenous fluid therapy promote diuresis.
  • Pheochromocytomas are catecholamine producing tumors that produce PD/PU by increasing renal medullary blood flow and medullary solute washout.
  • Polycythemia may produce PD/PU by causing a decrease in ADH production."


As you can see there is a large list and you need to work through these with your Vet. It really would be a good idea to get her to the Vet for blood and urine tests to help ascertain the true cause of her PU/PD. Please talk to your Vet about the excessive drinking she has now developed. The increased sleeping could also tie in with a number of the syndromes mentioned above as well, so a full check up and blood test is definitely warranted at some point over the next few days if you can arrange that for Cleo.

Feeding just a dry diet can increase water intake, but if Cleo has always been on some dry food, then it is unlikely that this is the cause. Likewise, feeding a 'wet' diet or freshly cooked meat wouldn't increase her water intake, so it can't be put down to that either. It is possible that Cleo has a urinary issue that is causing her to pee more frequently, and as such start to drink more. Keep a close eye on the litter box for any signs of blood, and see if she seems to be straining or passing only small amounts at a time.

For now, continue to keep a close eye on your girl and continue to encourage her to eat well. Make sure she has unlimited fresh water and still encourage her to drink (as she obviously needs to!). If possible, you can also start to measure how much she is drinking. A 'normal' cat drinks 60ml per kg per day (around 25ml per pound per day). If she is drinking over 100ml per kg per day (40ml per pound per day),then this would be considered excessive. If you take Cleo in to your local vet, also see if you can get a fresh urine sample from her litter box. Some non absorbant cat litter is available for this purpose.

All the best with Cleo and definitely follow up on this with your local vet in the next few days if you can. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 8 months ago.

Hi again,

Let me know if you have any further questions regarding Cleo. I will be online for another 10 - 15 minutes or so.

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 8 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Pet Doc
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 8 months ago.

Hi again,

How has Cleo been since we chatted? Did her symptoms settle, or did you get her seen by your local ER vet?

It would be great to get an update when you get a moment,

Dr E