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Increase in water intake

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi there,
I'm a bit concerned about my cat who is nearing 8 years old. She seems to be drinking quite a lot of water, more than usual. Is this something to worry about? I would be grateful for any input.
Thank you,
Marie xxxxxxxx
post #2 of 23

Definitely take the cat for a check up at the vet's!

I don't mean to alarm you, but an increase in water intake, particularly at this age, could signify any number of medical conditions - diabetes or kidney problems for example.

Don't wait and get her to the vet ASAP.

By the way, I'm moving this thread to the health forum.

Please keep us posted. I'm a bit worried myself about your cat...

[Edited by Anne on 11-20-2000 at 05:51 AM]
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Anne for the advice.
I'll keep you posted as to how she is. She's my 'heffalump' as I call as she is so cuddly
Thanks again xxxxxxxx
post #4 of 23
The same thing happened to my 5yr old dlh..His water intake went thru the roof, sure enough he had diabetes. Luckily it is now controlled by his diet. I did have to go thru daily injections for a while, which i assure you are VERY easy to do. Dont get scared, But definitely get him/her into the vets ASAP. I guess this is very common in cats. Most people think their cat is getting lazy, when actually he is turning diabetic...Good luck
post #5 of 23
Marie, how is she? What did the vet say?
post #6 of 23
Your post drew my attention because my Persian was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. His only symptom at present is increased water intake. He is 12 years old. Since your cat is 8, this may not be the's my understanding this disease usually appears at ages 10-14.
Has your kitty gotten blood work done? I hope all is well.
post #7 of 23
My girl Peaches is 14 and about 6 months ago was diagnosed with diabetes. I suspected diabetes because her water intake increased by 500%. After 2 months of insulin injections (which really are easy) she seemed to be back to "normal" Unfortunately, she had complications, stopped eating and drinking. $4000 later she cam home from the hospital after the most expensive enema's known to man. She was great for 3 months. I was thrilled I made the decision not to put her down and go into debt. Now, she is peeing outside of her liter box and looking bad. I am thinking i need to take her to a new Vet who will be a little more aggressive. I think her diabetes is out of control. ANYONE HAVE IDEAS? Is the peeing outside of the box common? Is she trying to tell me she is not well? I can't stand the peeing. HELP!
post #8 of 23
I couldn't say for sure if the peeing out of the box is related to the diabetes. However the #1 cause for that is uaually a urinary infection. It should be looked at irregardless. I will give you my take on vets. All vets are different. Some will treat certain things more aggressive than others. The best advice I can give to is to go with your gut instinct. If you think another vet may help your treasure, go hunting and get some input from other pet owners in the area. Keep us posted on how she is doing!
post #9 of 23
Wow! 4000$ in vet bills! Makes you think about pet insurance...

You say that the diabetes is out of control. What symptoms do you see? Do you check her sugar level or is it just the urination? I looked in some vet books and couldn't find anything relating diabetes with litter box problems. Although diabetes is a condition that affects various systems in the body, so I guess it could be related.

I also think you need to check for urinary tract infections and if you rule out the medical causes, you may want to look into behavior problems.
post #10 of 23
Thanks folks for responding to my message.
My vet has treated Peaches with antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. She has completed the course and still pee's outside of the box. I am going to try a new liter and move the box. Does anyone know if it is unsafe to restrict liquid intake for a diabetic cat? She can't seem to get enough to drink and then of course, she pee's. My father is diabetic and is not supposed to drink much at all because of water retention. Any ideas?
post #11 of 23
It is essential that she be allowed to drink when thirsty or you may have further problems!! Kidney problems come to mind. I do not know why your father is not supposed to drink alot, but humans and cats are different, and I know nothing about human diabetes.
You can best help your cat right now by going to the and reading all you can about feline diabetes. I have a flyer on my website which contains the best URLs for newly diagnosed diabetic cats. Go to You will learn about FAQs, hypoglycemia, ketones, and hometesting just to name a few things.
You can also help by learning to hometest your cat's blood glucose like a human diabetic tests theirs. Your vet will probably be against this, there have been some articles in vet journals stating that the cats end up hating their owners, but it's just not true. My cat objects to the insulin shots much more than the earpricks. Yes, earpricks. There is a tiny vein that runs along the outside of the ear. You do not prick this, you go for the area between the vein and the edge of the ear - you will find the URL for the hometesting sites in the flyer.
Your original question was about urinating outside the litter box - yes, this is common for a number of reasons -
1. They can't get there in time - solution - more litter boxes.
2. They have neuropathy from uncontrolled diabetes - solution - get the diabetes under better control (with hometesting), and get vitamin supplements to help.
3. It's a cat thing - some cats just urinate outside the litter box because they don't like to get their feet wet, and with the diabetes, they usually pee puddles. Solution - get the diabetes under better control.

I most strongly advise going to and reading. There is also a message board over there where you can post this question - there is a wealth of knowledge out there.

As far as your vet is concerned - most vets can be considered general practitioners - that is they need to know a little about a lot of diseases. They are not specialists, and diabetes is a complicated disease and the treatment is evolving, and most vets are not yet up to date with the latest changes. What kind of insulin are you using? How often do you give injections? Has your vet done a bg (blood glucose) curve and what were the results? What type of diet is your cat on? All of this affects the bgs and how your cat feels. Are you monitoring using ketodiastix in the urine? It does not give a great picture because it only tells you what is being spilled into the urine since the last time the cat urinated. It does not let you know how high or how low the cat goes, or for what length of time the cat is in an "undesirable" range. You need to educate yourself and take over the monitoring of your cat to be able to report things to your vet. Or if you are not comfortable with your vet, there is a site at which lists vets recommended by patients. (It is not a site that vets pay to have their names listed - you only get on thru recommendation). Also, to check by geographical location, you can try

Good luck.
post #12 of 23
Wow! Welcome to the forums Diana, and thanks for all that useful info and links!

I'm glad to have an expert on feline diabetes here. I read today that one in 400 cats has diabetes! That's a lot of cats!
post #13 of 23
Thanks for the nice compliment!! I am glad that I can share some knowledge, but I am not the expert - TC was only diagnosed in August, and I have learned a tremendous amount, but I am not an expert. That is one reason I usually refer people to the felinediabetes site. You can go there any time day or night and usually someone is online to help you with your emergencies.

Yes, many cats are diabetic. Some have transient diabetes, often steroid induced - this is not to say that steroids cause diabetes in all cats, but that in cats prone to diabetes, the steroids seem to push them over that hump. Once the steroids are out of the system and the pancreas starts working again, the cat will no longer need insulin. This could take a few weeks or a few months. That is one of my main reasons for pushing hometesting. If you don't test your cat's bg, you will have no idea if the pancreas is working or not. If it wasn't for hometesting TC would not be here today. Actually, if today was not a day I had normally planned to do a curve for her, I would have missed her hypo - thank goodness it wasn't a work day! She did get all the way down to 50, but if I hadn't caught it early, when she was still at 119, and started feeding her dry food to bring up the bgs, I hate to think what would have happened. The standard treatment for hypoglycemia is Karo syrup, which will bring up the bgs quickly, but it doesn't last long, and the bgs will drop quickly again. I try not to use it - only as a last resort. If she had shown any symptoms or gotten under 40, I would have had to use it. Many diabetic cats do not show symptoms of going hypo. TC usually only has dialated pupils (some cats pupils constrict - every cat is different), but today she had no symptoms whatsoever. I just happened to be testing for the curve.

Hopefully I will be able to help out, and I am glad you found my links helpful.

post #14 of 23
First, I have to ask for an update from Marie - how is your cat doing? Have you been able to get by the vet's? Eric, it has been my experience that ANY out-of-the-norm behavior, including peeing outside the box is considered to be a sign of a problem and most always warrants a trip to the vet for an exam and labwork which includes blood AND urine.

With regard to Diana's post, she has given you all some very useful information about feline diabetes, and some excellent links to follow. I have thoroughly read each of them over time. I have been treating a diabetic cat for 3 years, and consider myself to be an expert - but only on the topic of treating MY cat. What works for me may not work for others. All cats are different, and some of the advice and suggestions Diana offered do not work for me, or for my cat, so it stands to reason they may or may not work for other diabetic cats/owners. My first and best suggestion to anyone with a diabetic cat is to establish a good relationship with a veterinary practitioner you trust who is well skilled in the treatment of diabetic cats. After that, my next suggestion is to learn all you can about this disease, the symptoms and signs of problems, the different insulins and other alternatives, and most importantly, how YOUR cat reacts. Finally, develop your visual observational skilled to a fine enough level that you can know almost at a glance that your cat isn't acting normally - then know what to do about it.

Regarding the Feline Diabetes Web Site, there is a lot of really good information there, I agree, however, I found the group on the message board to be somewhat obsessed with home blood testing, and in fact, there have been all-out flame wars if someone didn't agree that it was the only way to successfully treat a diabetic feline.

I wasn't able to home blood test. My cat simply couldn't tolerate it. Her stress levels went through the roof, and it is a known and accepted fact that stress in cats significantly raises the blood glucose levels. In my cat's case, so much so that it rendered the entire procedure totally worthless to me as a tool, and needlessly put my cat through an event she didn't tolerate well at all. When I posted that I wasn't having any luck with it, I got plenty of really nicely-worded replies to keep trying. So I did. And I kept failing. Once I determined this was NOT something I was going to continue, I posted that as well, and got some really malicious email from people who had at first posted nothing but encouragement and support. I don't go there anymore. These messages alluded (and in most cases came right out and said...) that if I didn't home blood test, I wasn't properly caring for my animal and shouldn't be allowed to keep her. One individual even threatened to come to my home with Animal Control!! Needless to say, I found the FDMB (Feline Diabetes Message Board) a bit too militant for my purposes. Your milage may vary, of course.

Best of luck, Marie and Eric, and all others with diabetic or otherwise sick kitties.


post #15 of 23
Thanks for the input Gaye and welcome to our forums!

I'm sure we won't have any flame wars here. I know that we all love our cats and care for them deeply. I can certainly see your point about the stress induced by hometesting. This would really depend on the cat.

One of my cats is so stressed by any medical treatment, I sometimes wonder whether the benefits are worth it. I usually try to get around it, by mixing medicine in food, applying ear drops when he's asleep (yes, he does wake up... but by then the drops are deep in his ear...) etc.

The only time he's been to the vet's clinic was when he was neutered. At all other occasions, we have our vet over for a house call. It's more expensive but less stress time (no car journey and no waiting time).

So, I can see how some cats cannot be tested everyday...
post #16 of 23
Hi Anne, and thanks for the warm welcome. I came across this site from a link on another message board today, and have found it very informative.

I certainly did not mean to imply that Diana was one of those people who acted so badly at the Feline Diabetes Message Board when in fact, she was not. The events I mentioned happened long before she even came on the scene. I just wanted to clarify that. *smile* I do not "know" Diana, other than from what I have read of her posts here today, and only wish her the best of continued luck with her diabetic kitty.

Stress in cats elevates the blood glucose levels in anticipation of "fight or flight" much like the human adrenal response. The liver kicks out huge amounts of glucose into the blood for quick uptake by the muscles in the event the cat needs a quick energy burst to fight or to get itself out of harm's way. Any stress, from the car ride to the vet's office to being held down against her will and poked on the ear with a sharp lancet at home, to serious illness or injury can trigger this response, and effectively render any blood glucose readings totally inaccurate. This was the case with my "too-sweet" diabetic girl.

Again, thanks for the warm words of welcome.

post #17 of 23
I also did not want to imply that what worked for my cat worked for every cat. Each cat is different. I had heard about the controversy a while back on FDMB about hometesting, and while I will always advocate it, I will never put anyone down for not doing it. Gaye, you tried and found it does not bode well with your cat. Obviously your vet and you have a great working relationship and have found the right dosage of insulin for your cat. You also have developed enough observational skills to know how your cat is feeling. I personally need to see the bg numbers - my cat does not show symptoms when she goes hypo. We have not yet found a dosage that works for her, though we are narrowing it down to somewhere between 1.2 and 1.4u PZI. I think it is important for everyone to read everything they can about ANY disease their cat may have, and learn what to look for. From there, you need to know your own cat, your own needs and limitations, your own flexibility, etc. and work with your vet to come to a reasonable treatment that works for you, your cat, and your lifestyle. Each cat is different. Each person is different. (and I still think everyone should at least consider hometesting and know it is an option available to them if they so desire - no flaming here - just don't want the intention to be misunderstood because it is written and not spoken).

post #18 of 23
Hi Diana,

By the way, what is your diabetic kitty's name? *smile*

And...has anyone heard from either Marie or Eric about their kitties? I am worried!

Thanks for your reply,

post #19 of 23
I want to thank everyone for writing and all the great advice. My Yoda, as you may remember was diagnosed with kidney failure last December. He had lost 2 pounds in a year leaving him at 10 pounds. I fed him regular food (Science Diet) instead of Science Diet for Seniors and gave him a treat every morning in an attempt for weight gain. I took him back to the vet today and he had lost 4 ounces in the last month. He has started urinating on rugs all over the house. He has also developed a heart murmer.
The vet said it does not look good. His gums are pretty white and he is weaker. Treatment for kidney failure (fluids) works against the heart problem.
I'm taking him back in 2 weeks. If he is worse, I may have to do the humane thing. This is so hard. He's been my little "cotton tip" for 11 years.
post #20 of 23
There is information about chronic renal failure at the Pets with Diabetes website, and at the bottom of the page is a list of links to other sites. It doesn't mention heart problems specifically, but maybe one of the other sites does. Also, the site was written by Melissa, she has at least one CRF cat, if not more. If you click on her name you can email her directly and perhaps she can give you other links to follow up on. Good luck with your furbaby, I'll be keeping fingers and toes crossed, and TC (my cat) will keep her claws and paws crossed for good news.

post #21 of 23
So sorry to hear about Yoda
I'll pray for him to get better. This must be so difficult for you!

I hope you'l find some helpful info that might help!
post #22 of 23
My last post was written with the new news freshly upon me and in much grief. I have decided, for my Yoda, to let him go naturally and at home. He is not in pain tho weaker. I have placed an additional litter box in the upstairs Master Bedroom - where we all stay most of the time. Also, food and water upstairs so Yoda won't have far to go for what he needs. We are spending quiet evenings on the couch in the sitting room, hugging - watching TV - and he is hearing how much I love him often. If he becomes distressed or in pain, I'll ask the vet to come to my home to help him cross over. My deepest wish is he will go quietly, not in pain, and naturally - at home where he feels safe.
The support here has been so very appreciated. I'll let you all know Yoda's progress.
post #23 of 23
How nice for Yoda that you have a vet who is willing to make that last house call. I'm sure you will treasure the time you spend together, and Yoda will be able to make his trip to the Rainbow Bridge from the safety and comfort of his own home. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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