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Whole Body Health:
Appetite & Hydration

Want to know if your cat is healthy? Watching how and when your cat eats can provide great clues as to how they’re feeling. Cats are born predators, and like all predators, finding, securing and eating food is the focus of their day. Negative changes in your cat’s eating habits are a red flag. If you notice these changes, check your cat for illness or distress, and consider a visit to the vet.

HOW MUCH SHOULD MY CAT EAT?

To notice changes in your cat’s normal eating behaviour, you first need to find out what that behaviour is. Next time you have a day at home, keep your cat’s food bowl within sight. This will give you a chance to observe your cat’s habits. Take note of the following:

Once you’ve had a chance to study your cat’s routine, you’ll be able to detect changes that may indicate that something is wrong.

Cat eating food from plate
Signs Of A Healthy Appetite

You’re the expert on how a healthy appetite shows itself in your cat. However, the following are common signs of healthy eating many felines share:

  • Coming to eat when food is first placed
  • Excited to eat
  • Eating at consistent times
  • Eating in consistent portions
Signs Of A Potential Problem

The following eating habits can raise the red flag:

  • Eating too much, or too quickly
  • Eating too little, and failing to eat throughout the day
  • Fussy or selective eating
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HYDRATION IS ALSO AN IMPORTANT SIGN OF HEALTH

Just like food, it’s important that your cat gets the right amount of water to stay healthy. Make sure your cat has water near them throughout the day. For most cats, placing water in a dish is fine. But if your cat is reluctant to drink, or needs a little extra encouragement, try setting up a drinking fountain. Cats are attracted to flowing water, and will be more likely to drink. Wet food can also help make sure your cat consumes enough fluids.

Cat drinking water from tap
Signs Of Healthy Hydration

While you’re keeping an eye on your cat’s appetite, don’t forget to watch their drinking habits just as closely. Cats with healthy hydration habits tend to:

  • Drink regularly throughout the day
  • Drink extra water after eating or periods of activity. All that playing makes them thirsty!

In addition, well hydrated cats are more likely to have elastic supple skin, and a healthy coat of fur.

Signs Of A Potential Problem

If you see any of the following, your cat may need medical attention:

  • Constant drinking, or failure to drink any water
  • Changes in litter box habits. You might find your well trained cat is suddenly going outside the box, or isn’t urinating at all!
  • Skin that is peeling or dry
  • Skin that feels hard or inflexible to touch