The causes of excessive thirst in cats can be attributed to any number of varying factors, ranging from minor lifestyle adjustments to serious illnesses that require immediate medical attention. It is quite common for a younger cat that is quite active to have sporadic periods in which their excessive thirst can be alarming to a pet owner. These circumstances are usually resolved with the replacement of lost fluids, and a cat's drinking habits will return to normal levels within 24 to 48 hours. In older cats or those with ongoing health issues, excessive thirst may be the result of an undiagnosed condition that may or may not be correctable.
The medical terminology related to excessive thirst is referred to as Polydipsia, and the causes are most often associated with a handful of illnesses in cats. The most common of these is Chronic Renal failure, which occurs when a part of the kidney known as Nephrons are damaged by infection or aging, which results in a cat being unable to absorb fluids that maintain a constant balance in it's system. Chronic Renal failure is marked by excessive thirst as the cat in question attempts to compensate dehydration by raising it's fluid intake.
Other common causes of excessive thirst in cats are in response to feline diabetes, tumors, and kidney disease. Adrenal glands with decreased steroid production and a hormonal or electrolyte imbalance are also associated with excessive thirst. Even a diet that is lacking adequate protein or in rare cases, a cat suffering from a psychological disorder are causative factors in excessive thirst. Also, there are any number of pet medications such as diuretics which can cause excessive thirst to a cat.
The only true manner in which to discover the cause for excessive thirst in cats is to have the animal examined by a veterinarian. The usual course of action in diagnosis encompasses x-rays, urinalysis and a complete blood count for the cat in question. After a firm diagnosis is reached, a veterinarian can then begin an appropriate treatment program directed at reducing the necessity for fluid intake and reducing the impact of the underlying causes.
One at home, a cat with excessive thirst will more than likely need to have it's water intake and urinary output monitored closely by it's human friend to note any changes. During this time it is also imperative that a pet owner check frequently for signs of dehydrations, and the cat may be required to ingest medication directed at maintaining a constant electrolyte level.