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C2008-05

Dear Christopher Cat

We adopted a friend’s cat a week ago. Samantha, a 2-year-old Maine Coon, drinks more water than any other cat we’ve known. Is this normal for a Maine Coon?

Christopher Responds

No. We house cats evolved from North African desert cats, so we don’t need to drink much water – at least when we’re healthy. Maine Coons are no exception.

Kidneys that function properly remove impurities from the blood, return the cleansed fluid to the body and excrete the impurities in very concentrated urine.

As a matter of fact, the urine of healthy cats is much more concentrated than dog or human urine.

As a result, we healthy cats need to drink very little water, and we excrete only small amounts of urine.

If Samantha is drinking more than a normal cat – and therefore passing large volumes of urine – her kidneys might not be functioning at optimal capacity.

Of course, other problems, such as diabetes, also can increase thirst and urination.

Therefore, it’s important for Samantha to see a veterinarian for a urinalysis and blood work to determine why she is drinking excessively.

If her kidneys aren’t working as well as they should, your veterinarian may recommend a diet change and medications to help preserve her kidney function.

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