Homemade All-Natural Feline Electrolytes
Providing the Potassium Cats Need
When In Renal Failure.
One of the most important nutrients for cats in renal failure is potassium in the form of a mineral salt. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, potassium and other mineral salts tend to be washed out of the body. This can lead to vomiting, reluctance to eat and to drink plain water, heart attacks, and death.
If you’ve ever needed electrolytes due to heavy sweating during the summer months, you know that being low in minerals salts is not pleasant. Most people drink a mixture filled with chemicals and sugar. The sugar keeps the electrolyte formula from tasting bitter, and helps increase blood sugar rapidly when the body is depleted. In an emergency, fluids of this type may be given intravenously.
Regular veterinary medicine uses medications and subcutaneous fluids (fluids injected under a cat’s loose skin near the neck) as their solution to low potassium levels for cats in renal failure. I prefer a natural approach.
One of my friends has used Pedialyte in the past with her cats. Pedialyte is a brand of electrolytes made for small children. I looked it up online, and found it had too many chemicals in it for me to give to my cats.
So – I kept searching, and soon found a homemade, all natural, formula someone had devised for her children. I altered it to make it suitable for my cats. This is what Sakhara (who has had renal disfunction for more than 2 years now) and Violet are both taking. I administer it by dropper. Both cats will take it readily. It works just fine.
Please read the disclaimer at the end of this article before trying this on your own. Thank you.
HOME-MADE, ORGANIC ELECTROLYTE FORMULA
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water (I prefer to use structured water because that’s better for the kidneys.)
(Use spring or filtered water to avoid chlorine and flouride.)
- 2 Tablespoons raw honey
(Raw honey has natural antibiotic properties and is less sweet. The honey you buy in supermarkets has other types of sugars added to it … and they don’t have to put that on the labels.)
- 3/8 Teaspoon sea salt (Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Salt are the best choices.)
(Table salt from the supermarket has sugar in it – [What? You haven’t read the label recently and noticed this? It’s called “sucrose.”] – and is missing all the trace minerals available in a good quality sea salt.)
- 1/8 Teaspoon potassium salt (365 mg)
(Sometimes called “potassium chloride” and available in health food stores in powder form. I use the NOW brand Potassium Chloride Powder and that’s the basis for this measurement.)
- Enough water to make 2 full cups (16 ounces).
My veterinarian and I discussed the exact amount of potassium required, so I know the proportions are correct for my cats.
OTHER THINGS YOU WILL NEED
- A glass bottle that will hold 2 cups of electrolyte liquid for storage purposes.
- A 1-ounce brown dropper bottle for easy dispensing.
- An extra dropper for dosing your cat so the dropper in the bottle isn’t contaminated.
MAKING THE ELECTROLYTES
- Put the raw honey into the warm water and stir. I use a small wire whisk, but a fork will do as well. You want to break up the honey and spread it through the water.
- Add the sea salt, potassium salt, and lemon juice.
- Put the mixture into the glass bottle and add enough water to make 2 full cups.
- Shake well. This distributes the ingredients evenly throughout the liquid.
- Pour about an ounce of this into the dropper bottle.
- Refrigerate both bottles.
- The serving size for MY cats to start off was 3 dropper pulls from 1 ounce dropper bottle. (This is about 1 full dropper. Check with your veterinarian to determine the correct amount for your cat.) NOTE: I reduced the serving size when I felt that my cats’ potassium levels were restored to “normal” and that they needed less as daily maintenance. I also make adjustments for hot summer days when they need to drink more water in contrast to cooler weather. I use muscle testing to determine when and how much of a change is appropriate for my cats. If you are not trained to muscle test, please consult someone who has this training or consult your veterinarian.
- Squeeze the liquid into a small cup.
- Then use the extra dropper to dose your cat.
- ALWAYS put the liquid into the SIDE of your cat’s mouth. This prevents choking.
- Put a few drops ON THE CATS TONGUE.
- Allow the cat time to swallow and TIME TO BREATHE between swallows.
- Gently stroke your cat along the spin as the cat is swallowing and breathing. This helps you both relax.
FREQUENCY [see disclaimer below]
- In the beginning, I gave 3 to 4 times a day for a few days to my cats.
- After 3 to 4 days, I was able to drop back to dosing twice a day.
- If you feel your cat needs more, discuss this with your veterinarian.
When you first start giving electrolytes, your cat’s potassium levels might be very low. If this is the case, yout cat would benefit from 3 to 4 servings a day for a few days. If you cat’s not eating, you can give some by dropper and then add a squirt or two extra into the food. Many cats will start to eat again when their potassium levels go up. The salt will also make them thirsty and they’ll start to drink again.
If you feel your cat still refuses to eat or drink, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately. There are occasions when subcutaneous fluids are a valuable emergency measure.
My cats have been taught to accept liquids from a dropper. If you’ve never done this before with your cat, you can start by giving the cat a bit of room temperature water with the dropper. The cat may resist at first, but will find that “It’s just water.” This increases the cat’s willingness to accept from a dropper. If your cat is healthy now, I’d get the cat used to this idea by giving some drops of plain water by dropper every now and then so that ultimately, your cat doesn’t think anything of this. That’s what I’ve done with Starlight, the youngest member of my feline family.
VIOLET: “They’re OK. I don’t much like taking anything from a dropper, but this tastes OK and it does help me stay feeling good. Before I got them, I felt pretty yucky and didn’t want to eat.”
< > < > DISCLAIMER < > < >
Nedda Wittels is not a veterinarian and does not diagnose or prescribe medications or treatments for humans or animals. For diagnosis and treatment of cats with kidney disease, please consult your veterinarian. The information provided here describes what worked for my cats. You are advised to discuss this approach with your veterinarian before trying it.