American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Does My Cat Have a Drinking Problem? Hydration and Health in Feline Medicine

Does My Cat Have a Drinking Problem? Hydration and Health in Feline Medicine


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Cats evolved in the fertile crescent, in a desert environment. They are well suited to handling water efficiently, but only under healthy natural circumstances. When they are ill, when they age, or when they are not eating a diet they have hunted, they are frequently at risk for dehydration. A common presentation of dehydration is constipation, but the importance of adequate and appropriate hydration goes beyond that. Water is a foundational need: all cells require water and balanced electrolytes. Presented by Margie Scherk, DVM, DABVP (Feline), this session looks at the role of optimizing hydration in cats of any age and health status.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:
• Understand which problems are exacerbated by dehydration
• Tailor a hydration plan for an individual patient both in-clinic and at home
• Craft a program that suits the personality of a given client and their cat

Speaker Bio

Margie Scherk, DVM, DABVP (Feline)

Margie graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1982. In 1986 she opened Cats Only Veterinary Clinic in Vancouver, practicing there until 2008 when she retired from regular practice. While in practice, she published several clinical trials, including the first paper on transdermal fentanyl patch in veterinary medicine. She has written many book chapters, co-edits the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, has served extensively on committees with the AAFP, North American Vet Licensing Exam Board, Winn Feline Foundation, WSAVA and ABVP. She is a Paw Project advocate, attempting to end declawing in Canada. She continues to assist colleagues with case management and enjoys teaching about all things feline, including improving interacting with cats, analgesia, nutrition, gastroenterology and kidney disease.

RACE Credits 

Sponsored by:

This program 20-845068 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 1.00 CE Credits (1.00 max) being available to any one veterinarian: and/or 1.00 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (1.00 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter categorie(s) of: Medical using the delivery method(s) of: Non-Interactive Distance. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements.