elderly cat has forgotten how to drink

by Penny
(Aurora, IL U.S.A)

my 16 yr old cat has had trouble drinking without getting water in her nose for past yr. or so. has become progressively worse until she finally became dehydrated and ill. She used to drink some from my glasses of water so I left them out especially for her but she soon developed that same problem in them. I have tried every size bowl and glasses at different heights, even a watering fountain, but she seems to have forgotten how to drink. If she has developed senility how can I help her drink. She shows clear signs of thirst and continues to try without success. She is otherwise out of pain, eats and purrs. Vet says it doesn't seem as though she is in pain and that it should be o.k to let her pass quietly at home with me instead of terrified at the hospital. she sleeps next to my head often nuzzling in my hand and has become affectionately attached to me in the way she was as a kitten. I resorted to using a syringe which she took eagerly at first but has now forgotten how to do that as well tries to lick the middle of it by my fingers instead of the tip. I've been putting alot of water in her food but she is still thirsty. I don't expect her stay much longer but would like to find a way to keep her comfortable at home if i can before choosing euthanasia. leaving the house for any reason has always terrified her but, the vet visits have always been traumatizing. I would hate for her farewell to be such. Is there anything else I can do to help her drink when she is thirsty? She won't drink from drips or faucets or toilet bowls and have never heard of any one else with this 'nose' problem before, or senility interfering with this particular function.


Reply
Hi
I am a little puzzled. Has the vet diagnosed her with anything such as diabetes etc? I am not sure from your question whether or not the vet has told you that she is dying or if she has a condition which would make her extra thirsty.

Most cats get most of their water from their food, so the fact that she seems extra thirsty may suggest an under lying illness. If this is the case then your decision to euthanasia may be easier to make at this stage.

You seem to have done everything to try and help her drink. Apart from squirting water down her throat with a syringe i can't see how else you can help her.

It is a very difficult situation for you. If you thought your cat was in distress or pain etc then as you say euthanasia may be the best option. But if this is not the case then all you can do is to provide her with all the home comforts and old cat deserves.

I do feel for you and i hope you find a solution soon

best wishes kate

Comments for elderly cat has forgotten how to drink

Click here to add your own comments

water
by: duchess

I thought I was the only one with this problem. Been siiting all night my my Doreen who's 15 trying to teach her how to lick the water. With no success. I know she is not dehydrated, all blood tests came back normal last night. She does have dementia so was assuming she had forgotten how to drink. Going to try putting water with her food.

Oh thank you....
by: Anonymous

Not sure if it really is the issue.. but not being able to drink right was definitely going on. Thank you google search and thank you for the broth idea. She seems to be at least satisfied now... time will tell

Slanted glass helps - Cat lapping 28 May 2013
by: Julie - UK

Hi
All interesting posts. Thank you. My Siamese cat Jynx can't lap water either. She is 13 years. I use a plastic syringe sometimes to help her and I have found some joke slanted glasses which help her as she is not getting water up her nose when she drinks out of one. Good luck :)

mine, too
by: Anonymous

4/11/13: My 18y.o. cat has started to have the same issue; she tries to drink but gets it up her nose. I've had some success tilting a cup for her so that the edge of the cup prevents her from sticking her head in so far that her nose goes under, but obviously I can't be around at all times to help her. Anyone who's found a solution to this, it would be so appreciated!

Same problem
by: Anonymous

Again, I don't know the age of this thread, but my cat has the same problem. No, she doesn't have a brain tumour, but at 20, and approaching the end of her life, she certainly has kidney problems. She is thirsty, she meaiows for water, but somehow gets confused about the lapping, and sneezes into the water repeatedly, often giving up. I also have been trying with various kinds of water bowl, tipping the bowl and also offering water in a glass, because she has always liked this, but to no avail. I feel it is confusion, inability to gauge the distance, perhaps. Cats don't scoop water up like dogs, they dip their tongues into the water a certain depth. It is deeply frustrating, and I sympathise with all other cat owners with this problem.

same issue new solution?
by: pam

Hi, I don't know when these comments were posted, today is 12/10/12. My cat is approx 15ys old. She has beginning crf. For the past yr she began meowing a lot, then really meowing, behavior changes, then circling. She ended up being diagnosed with an intracranial meningioma (brain tumor deep inside the head). It was surgically removed. Since then, she has not been able to drink water. Same thing as the others. She's thirsty, but snorts water up her nose and gives up. I started making chicken broth. Take the gizzards and maybe a leg, boil, cool, and then more water, poor into ice cube trays. I warm them in a sauce pan. This worked at first, but now I have to add a small amount of half and half. SubQ fluids will help too. I also add lots of water to her food and feed her about 4-5 x's a day.

Same Problem
by: Anonymous

My elderly cat also can't drink water. She can't lap it; she puts her nose in the bowl and snorts water, and gives up. She also drools a lot. My vet told me that she probably has a tumor in her lower jaw; she can feel a bone growth. The cat also has liver and kidney disease and is on subcutaneous fluid. She has been trying to drink for days, and crying over the bowls and sitting in the bathtub. But, strangely, I found out she can drink the fluid out of chunky cat food and she can chew a little bit of dry cat food. So today after hours of her whining, I almost called the vet to set up an appointment to euthanize her. But instead, I gave her expensive broth filled cat food, and then twice filled the remains with tap water, mixing the cat food for flavor. She drank all three bowls. Why she can drink broth mixed with cat food and not water, I can't say. It may not work permanently, but it's working now.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Cat Questions.


Like This Page

I'd love to hear what you think of this page or my site. Let me know if you like what you have read or if it has helped you with a problem.

It's easy to do just leave a comment in the box below and click the like / share or +1 to let others know about my site. Thank You It really is most appreciated.