All mothers need extra care and knowing the pickiness of cats when it comes to drinking water, we must take extra steps to keep them hydrated. It is not only important for the cat mom’s health but her kittens too. In this blog, we will look at some drinks for pets that are healthy, easy to make and good for lactating and non-lactating cats.
Dr. Dilip Sonune, expert Pet Nutritionist and Director of Veterinary Services at Wiggles.in says - “Milk production requires the largest nutritional demands from the lactating cat mother. After delivering her kittens, the mother cat needs to absorb a large amount of nutrients to produce sufficient milk that is essential for her kittens’ growth. Peak milk production occurs when the kittens are 4-5 weeks old. While it is very important to provide the queen or lactating cat with nutritious food with the right amount of calories, it is also essential to keep her well hydrated. Hydration is important for the mother cat’s digestion, waste removal and circulation of fluids.”
How to know, how much water does your lactating cat need?
Most adult cats require anywhere between 60 to 80 ml of water per kg of their body weight in a single day. For example - A cat weighing 3 kg would require between 3x60 = 180 ml to 3x80 = 240 ml of water per day. A cat drinking less water than the above amount is okay when the cat is on a wet food diet or a homemade diet as the food itself contains adequate fluid content.
How to keep your lactating cat hydrated?
It is without a doubt very difficult to get your cat to drink water, but it is so important for her to be hydrated especially when her body is demanding so much from her. Your cat’s health should be in perfect condition because that would also have an impact on her kittens’ health. So, to keep your cat well hydrated and healthy, you can offer some yummy drinks that will entice your cat mum to increase her fluid intake.
Here are some yum drinks you can offer your cat mother:
- Coconut water
If you’ve ever wondered if cats can drink coconut water, the answer is - yes they can! Coconut water for cats is completely safe and extremely hydrating. Coconut water is good for cats as it contains vitamins and minerals that are good for their immunity, which in turn is beneficial for the kittens as well. Coconut water, despite its wonderful benefits, should be given in moderation. For example - if your cat weighs around 4 kg you should not give them more than 15-20 ml of coconut water. As a general rule of thumb, you can give 5 ml of coconut water per kg of your cat’s body weight.
You can also give your cat mom Cocotail™, a healthy drink for pets made with chicken broth, coconut water and prebiotics. Chicken broth and coconut water are cooling and prebiotics maintain good gut health. This helps keep gut problems at bay and ensures that your mumma kitty is healthy along with her kittens.
Cocotail™ - Healthy Drink
2. Goat milk
It is often said that cats should not drink milk or consume dairy products. But goat milk is considered to be a healthy substitute for cow milk and is safe for cats when given in moderation. Goat milk is a rich source of protein, calcium and potassium and helps reduce intestinal inflammation. It is also rich in prebiotics that maintain a healthy gut environment. However, goat milk should always be given in moderation as it consists of 4.1% lactose. Vets recommend giving 50 ml of goat milk to your cat on a daily basis, but it is always best to check with your veterinarian before making any changes to their diet. Too much goat milk can cause a nutritional imbalance. In case your cat is lactose intolerant, please avoid giving them any kind of dairy products.
Goat milk is a safe substitute for cow milk
- Bone broth
You can use any kind of bone to make a palatable bone broth for your lactating cat mother. Ensure the bones are clean and do not add black peppercorns, oregano or even salt before making this broth. To make a rich bone broth, add 1 liter of water to 500 gm of bones and simmer till it is reduced to half. Strain this mixture, let it cool down to room temperature and then serve it to your cat.
- Fish broth
Locally sourced fish like sardine, salmon, pomfret, rohu, tilapia are best for your cat. Remove all bones and clean the fish properly before making this fish broth. To make a simple fish broth, add 500 ml of water to 250 gm of fish. Simmer and reduce the mixture to half. Strain this mixture, bring it to room temperature and then serve it to your cat.
Buttermilk is one of the most cooling, hydrating and probiotic-rich drinks for pets. Although dairy products are not recommended, buttermilk can be given to your cats as it is diluted. Add 1 glass of water to 4 tablespoons of curd and offer it to your cat. Ensure that the curd contains no salt/sugar/masala and is at room temperature when you’re offering it to your cat.
- Meat broth
Meat broth can be enticing to a cat mom and can keep her hydrated when she is being picky about drinking water. To make meat broth, add 250 gm of (any) meat pieces and bones to 1 L of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer the mixture and reduce it to half. Strain and then serve at room temperature.
- Goat buttermilk with chia seeds
To make this interesting and yet simple drink recipe, all you have to do is mix 4 tablespoons of goat milk yogurt with 1 glass of water and add half a teaspoon of soaked chia seeds to this mixture. Goat buttermilk is rich, palatable, cooling and maintains good gut health. Chia seeds are a wonderful ingredient as they contain more Omega 3 fatty acids than any other natural resource. They maintain a healthy digestive tract, optimize the absorption of nutrients and maintain good skin and coat.
Cats like to sip water throughout the day, unlike dogs who gulp large amounts of water in one go. Hence, we cannot ascertain how much amount of liquid should be given at a single time but it is always recommended to keep multiple bowls of fresh and clean water throughout the house to encourage your cat to drink water more often.
Keep fresh and clean drinking water available at all times
One last pro tip: Invest in a water fountain to get your cat to drink more water. The sight and sound of moving water can get your cat interested in water and ultimately help them drink more of it. Water fountains also usually filter the water with each cycle and hence it is healthier than a bowl of stagnant water.
We highly recommend you go through this comprehensive and vet-approved blog on Important Tips For Taking Care Of Mumma Cats. If you are looking for nutritious cat food to feed your cat mum, Kittibles™ is the perfect choice.
Immunity-boosting and probiotic-rich cat food that is great for mother cats
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*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.