Dehydration occurs when there is an excessive loss of fluid from the cat’s body. It is not just water that is lost, but also electrolytes like sodium, potassium and chloride, which are important for normal body function.
Dehydration is usually a symptom of another disease – one which makes the disease that much worse. Rehydration (replacing water and electrolytes) thus becomes an important part of many treatment plans.
What to Watch For
The classic sign for dehydration is skin tenting. If you take a pinch of skin over the cat’s shoulders and pull up gently, the skin should snap back into place when released. As the cat gets more dehydrated, the skin goes back in place more and more slowly. If the pinch of skin stays up (the “tent”), it is a sign of severe dehydration. The cat should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Read more at Pet MD.