How To Tell If A Kitten Is Dehydrated?

How can you tell if a kitten is dehydrated? The answer: It depends on the severity of dehydration. Most cats and dogs go through periods of water loss throughout their lives, but if your cat hasn’t been eating or drinking for more than 24 hours — or has lost at least one pound — he needs to see a vet right away. (See “What happens when your pet loses too much weight.”)

Dehydration can be caused by diarrhea, vomiting, insufficient food intake, an illness that prevents the animal from eating and drinking normally or excessive heat exposure. Severe dehydration often requires IV fluids; less severe cases may require oral rehydration therapy with fluids such as Pedialyte and Gatorade-type drinks. If your cat shows any signs of distress while you’re giving him this treatment — including not wanting to drink anything — contact his veterinarian immediately so she can help him back on track quickly.