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  • Author or Editor: Cari L. Gardner x
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OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effects of drinking nutrient-enriched water (NW) on water intake and indices of hydration in healthy domestic cats fed a dry kibble diet ad libitum.

ANIMALS 18 domestic shorthair cats.

PROCEDURES Group-housed cats were assigned to tap water (TW; n = 9) or NW (9) groups. All cats received TW at baseline (days −7 to −1). No changes were made to the food-water regimen for the TW group. The NW group received NW instead of TW from days 0 through 10, then received TW and NW in separate bowls (days 11 through 56). Food intake was measured through day 10; liquid consumed by drinking was measured throughout the study. Blood and urine samples were collected at predetermined times for analyses; 48-hour urine collection (days 28 through 30 or 31 through 33) was performed to assess output volume and aid endogenous creatinine-based glomerular filtration rate (GFR) determination. Data were analyzed with linear mixed-effects models.

RESULTS Baseline TW and calorie intake were similar between groups. The NW treatment was significantly associated with increased liquid consumption during the treatment phase. Mean urine output was significantly higher in the NW group (15.2 mL/kg/d) than in the TW group (10.3 mL/kg/d). Mean GFR (1.75 vs 1.87 mL/min/kg, respectively) did not differ between groups. Effects of treatment and time were each significant for urine specific gravity and osmolality and urine creatinine, phosphate, and urea nitrogen concentrations, with lower values for the NW group.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that consumption of the NW can increase liquid intake and improve measures of hydration in healthy cats. These effects may offer health benefits to some cats in need of greater water consumption.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To investigate water intake and urine measures in healthy cats provided free-choice access to a nutrient-enriched water with (NWP) or without (NW) added poultry flavoring offered at 3 different volumes in addition to tap water (TW).

ANIMALS 36 domestic shorthair cats.

PROCEDURES Control group cats (n = 4) received dry food with TW ad libitum throughout the study. Cats of the NW and NWP groups (n = 16/group) received the same food with TW only (period 1; 7 days) followed by TW and the assigned treatment ad libitum at 1X, 1.5X, and 2X the volume of TW consumed in period 1 during periods 2 (17 days), 3 (10 days), and 4 (10 days), respectively. Liquid consumption, food intake, and total water intake (from all sources) were measured; urine collected over 48 hours in each period was measured, and urine specific gravity (USG) was determined. Data were analyzed with mixed-effects models.

RESULTS TW and food calorie intake were similar among groups in period 1; TW consumption by control cats did not differ during the study. Liquid consumed by drinking increased 18%, 57%, and 96% for the NWP group in periods 2, 3, and 4, respectively, with increases of 25% and 44% for the NW group in periods 3 and 4, respectively, compared with period 1 values for the same groups. Increased urine output and decreased USG were significantly associated with period and treatment.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Increasing the volumes of NW or NWP offered to healthy cats led to increased free liquid consumption and was associated with greater urine output and dilution as measured by USG. Studies are warranted to determine whether these treatments provide health benefits for cats in need of greater water consumption.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research