Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
You can lead a cat to water, but you can’t make her drink.
Nestlé Purina PetCare believes that its new nutritional supplement, Hydra Care, is the answer for cats that don’t consume enough water, an issue that can lead to urinary problems and chronic renal disease.
The liver-flavored fluid has a higher viscosity than tap water, helping felines to overcome an anatomical limitation. The cat tongue, said Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVN, Purina’s director of veterinary technical communication, isn’t designed to take in large amounts of liquid — only about three one-hundredths of a teaspoon per lap.
Purina reported that cats offered Hydra Care during testing “consumed 28% more liquid on average than did cats consuming water only in addition to dry feeding.” They also had decreased urine specific gravity (USG) and lower urine osmolality.
Wet food, while higher in water content than kibble, isn’t practical or appropriate for every cat, Dr. Gagné said.
“Cats are notoriously poor drinkers for a variety of reasons that are genetic, physiological and environmental in nature,” he said.
Hydra Care, which will be marketed through veterinarians beginning in April under the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets brand, is intended for use in a third bowl, alongside food and water.
About 3 in 10 cat owners discuss their cats’ hydration needs with a veterinarian, Dr. Gagné said.
“This highlights several opportunities for veterinarians in practice — first, to proactively discuss hydration with cat owners and, second, to provide a hydration strategy that goes beyond the standard recommendation to ‘keep plenty of fresh water available,’” he said.
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