Is It Wrong To Not Give My Cat Fluids? I Feel It Would Only Stress Him More And Only Prolong The Inevitable.


4 Answers

Kathryn Wright Profile
Kathryn Wright answered

If you are asking about simply giving your cat water, of course fresh water should always be available to your cat.  Denying a cat water, although you might think that it is unnecessary as perhaps they urinate almost immediately, animals cannot communicate to us what they need, all they know is what they want so please do not stop providing water, it is essential to keep animals properly hydrated.

If you are referring to fluids as suggested by a vet, here is some information about what these do and why they would be used.

Fluids can be administered to a pet in 2 ways:

  1. Intravenously

  2. Subcutaneously (under the skin).

Intravenous fluids are usually used in kidney disease when a cat has acute (sudden) kidney failure or when a cat with chronic renal failure starts decompensating.  This is a rescue method.

Subcutaneous fluids are used at home daily, every other day, or even twice weekly to slow the progression of chronic renal failure and improve quality of life.  As a rule of thumb feline subcutaneous hydration will prolong life.

With cats in kidney failure it is about balance.  It is important to provide treatment to prolong a good quality of life. Many vets would use subcutaneous fluids in pets that tolerate them well and are doing well otherwise.

If your cat is vomiting, not eating, and losing weight while on subcutaneous fluids then yes I think you might be prolonging the inevitable.  If your cat has a good quality of life and tolerates fluids then it is appropriate to continue this treatment.  Your veterinarian knows the details of your cat's case and medical history and a vet will always be honest and advise you if you pet is in pain and should be put to sleep, they will only recommend this if it seems cruel to keep your cat alive.

Bobbi Profile
Bobbi answered
GodsRoxy, please don't let the rude comment hurt you. I can understand your situation completely. My suggestion, to start with, is to give him ONLY canned food, and mix in extra water. (*note: Transition him over the course of a week or so, by adding the new food to his old food, slowly removing all of the old food over time, as to not upset his stomach) Dry food is the main cause of the huge rate of kidney disease in cats. Cats need water with their food, they are naturally not good drinkers. The reason being that with live prey, they would be getting 70% water with each meal. If he is at the water bowl often, he is definitely dehydrated. Please switch his diet to canned foods only and add water. This will help him a lot. You will see an improvement. Kidney disease usually progresses pretty slowly, so helping him stay hydrated now is crucial.
Also, I have never given fluids myself, but I have talked to many who have, and it is surprising how well most cats tolerate it. When my Trixter was diagnosed with diabetes, at first I was having to give him insulin injections, (switched to wet food and his glucose normalized!) and he didn't even flinch. Its amazing what love can inspire us to do for our furbabies. I never thought I could give a shot, but for him I was willing and capable of not only giving injections, but also of pricking his ear for blood glucose tests every day, too! You can do it! If your baby needs fluids, even with the crucial diet change, don't be scared. Have your vet show you how, and even if it seems stressful at first, it will become routine very quickly. Cats are very intelligent, also, as I am sure you know... With time he will realize that what you are doing makes him feel better!
You sound like a wonderful catmom, and I really hope this post helps you and your sweet boy! :)
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Anonymous commented
Your baby is VERY lucky to have you, it's nice to hear from someone in a similar situation! Thank you very much for your kind words and for the canned food advice. I have always been against canned food as a main diet b/c of my babie's teeth but it makes sense now in this stage of his life. I will get him started on it today.

I am hoping that my kitty will be okay w/ receiving the fluids, I know he will receive it better from me than having to travel to the vet though. I have an appointment w/ my vet soon to have him show me how to give the fluids correctly. He unfortunately couldn't get me in right away. I do know and believe in how intelligent cats are, that's the cause for this entire question in the first place.

Thank you again for all of your advice and your kindness, you have no idea what your comment means to me.
Bobbi commented
Awww, thank you, too! I am so glad I could help.

Please don't believe the myth about dry food helping a cats teeth. Its not true. Actually, the carbs in dry food get stuck between their teeth much more easily and they break down into sugars, which in turn can cause more decay than any canned food. My cats, especially my oldest, Trixter, teeth have done MUCH better since i switched. The difference in overall health after having a diet of all canned food is truly amazing.

This site does a wonderful job of explaining why dry food is a bad diet for cats.

Please check it out. You and your kitties will be SO glad ya did! :)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Hi! Just saw your question. We had an 8 year old male cat that we gave fluids to twice a day. The vet gave him 2 years tops. He lived for 4+ years. I highly recommend giving fluid. It just becomes a way of life for you and your cat. Very little pain for them once they get used to it. I am so glad my little guy was with me for 4 more years. I thank God for being able to give him fluids and prolong his life. He was a very happy very loving little guy who did great on the fluids. Do it! Your won't regret it!
Phoebe MadHat Profile
Phoebe MadHat answered
If the vet said give him fluids, give him fluids. If you are not a vet, you aren't qualified to make that decision (no offense). Being without fluids is painful, to the point of excruciating, and can be quite a slow death in many cases.  Unless he has hours to live, I do not recommend it. Cats are smaller and can dehydrate easier in many cases, so I doubt they live more than a couple days without water. If you don't want him to suffer, which I fully respect, I gently suggest that this ordeal be ended now.

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