Water is an essential nutrient for life, health and vitality, and our cats' need for water cannot be overemphasized. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems, the digestive tract, the kidneys and liver, the brain and peripheral nervous system – every aspect of the body depends on adequate hydration to function effectively. Yet 80% of cats in the U.S. are fed dry food, which has so little moisture, it literally robs the body of moisture to metabolize what nutrients kitty is able to derive from it. How can a food that provides almost no moisture be labeled “Complete and Balanced?”
Chronic kidney disease is the number one cause of death in cats over 5 years of age, and was the number one reason for visits to the vet by cats in 2015. Although the role of hydration in the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been downplayed or misunderstood, current research indicates that even mild dehydration is a risk factor in the progression of all types of chronic kidney diseases. In fact, according to that report, there is also evidence that increasing hydration (especially with water) may actually have a role in preventing CKD. Importantly, water consumption also has been shown to have an impact on bladder and urinary stone diseases, mitral valve prolapse, and cancers of the breast, colon and urinary tract.
The need for cats to consume plenty of water cannot be emphasized enough, and their need for water is often overlooked – or understated. Because there is no industry emphasis on the importance of water as a vital nutrient, there is often a lack of understanding of just how much water our cats need – and why.
In our newest article, Water - An Essential Nutrient for Our Cats' Health, we provide understandable measures of how much water the diets we feed our cats provide, and we identify how much water healthy cats should consume. We think you may be surprised at the data - we were!