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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22449
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Behavoural Question: How cat has this strange and strong

Customer Question

Behavoural Question:
How cat has this strange and strong desire to go into the wet room and drink water from
a jug full of water. She will come in from outside and want to go in there. She has been
doing this for about 6 months.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Do you think that Toffee Crisp drinks more overall in the past 6 months then she used to?

Has she been passing more urine then usual?
Does the urine appear more dilute?

Any weight loss?
How is she otherwise?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr B.

Never have the opportunity to examine urine or how frequently as she is outside a lot.(in the country) She does suffer from fleas a lot and is cleaned almost on a daily basis with a comb but still manages to bring a lot into the house which makes the ankles very itchy. She has gone off eating her favorite food whiskers brand in the last few months and only will eat tins of sardines or tuna. Daughter says she maybe isnt smelling food that isnt so strong smelling.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,

What are the sardines and tuna in? Brine?

Does she sound congested/stuffed up?

Has she had any vomiting, retching, gagging, lip licking or drooling?
Did her appetite wane over time or did she just start refusing the Whiskas suddenly?
Was it a hard or wet food she was on?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Turned away from Whiskas pretty suddenly after a life times devotion.

Generally a clean and tidy cat with nothing messy happening. Does have

a red bump of about 4mm that has appeared above left eyebrow (if they had one)

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,

You didn't confirm what the fish were in, can you let me know if they were in oil, spring water, or brine/salt water?

Has she had the bump for 6 months?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry, the fish is in oil not brine.

The lump has appeared over a similar time

This morning at 4am(when I happened to be up) I noticed she rushed in from outside and waited

for me to open the bathroom door and in she went for her water!

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,

First, I am glad that the tuna is not in brine, as the excess salt often causes increased thirst. That said, the oil isn't much better. Too much oil is going to cause her to have looser stools and that is again going to increase thirst. So, I would be highly suspicious it is the food choice that is leading to an increased thirst and the jug has just become a site she prefers to drink from (as others will prefer taps or plan pot water catchers).

Just to note, the thirst is not the only concern with a diet of tuna/sardines. In fact, as this is so imbalanced for her nutrition needs, we can actually see long term use of this diet cause her harm. Imbalances can cause a variety of health issues for any animal, but of particular concern here is how the fish diet will effect her Vitamin B levels. The reason is because these products contain high levels of thiaminase enzymes that will break down her body's thiamine. If this gets too low, it can actually cause brain damage for cats. So, we need to get her back on a commercial diet or at least ensure you are keeping her balanced with a cat specific multi-vitamin (with taurine to prevent heart damage).

That all said, the biggest issue in her history is actually her sudden change in food preference. This is because at her age to turn away from a food she has loved for a lifetime is a major red flag that something is amiss. Common causes are dental disease or we can see this secondary to nausea or internal/systemic issues (ie kidney disease, liver damage, metabolic imbalances, hormonal disease, etc). And with these systemic issues in mind, I do have to note that most cause increased thirst in cats as part of their disease process and could be why we have this jug seeking behavior.

With all of this in mind, I do have to say it would be ideal to have her see her vet at this stage. If she is due a booster, consider moving that appointment up. Her vet will be able to examine her, check her teeth, rule out sinister lumps or bumps, +/- check bloods to determine what is triggering her signs. Depending on their findings, they can address the underlying cause and get her back to eating normally and reduce her drive to drink (though she may always favor the jug).

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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