How much water does elderly cat need? Using bottle
My elderly cat with multiple handicaps is declining. Nothing specific, just losing function and sleeping more and more. She lost interest in eating. The vet gave me special "critical care" food, and she likes that enough to eat more than she has in weeks...like more than twice as much. Lab tests showed mild dehydration. It's probably because she has mobility issues, is on Phenobarbital, and is too sleepy to make it to the water bowl. They gave her subcutaneous fluids and told me to make sure she got enough. Since the vet visit yesterday, though, she won't drink water. It could be that the special food is very runny, and she is therefore not thirsty.
However, I decided I should give her water, and have been using a small squeeze bottle to do that. She does not object. I just sort of hold her upright, put the tip in her mouth, and let it dribble in. 4 times so far today, for total of maybe 2/3 cup altogether. I have to play around to get the angle right so she doesn't choke; if anyone has suggestions I'd appreciate it. I guessimated intake and rate by what I've seen her drink recently. She has always drunk a lot compared to other cats I've known (and peed a lot too).
She had not urinated either since some time on Tuesday. Finally early this evening she did, normal concentration, volume less than normal but still pretty good considering she had not urinated in more than a day. She has no history of kidney problems at all.
I don't know what is an appropriate amount to give, though. My guesstimate could still leave her dehydrated, and there's also such a thing as too much water. Does anyone know the right amount of water that a 6 1/2 pound, completely sedentary elderly female cat, who is eating only moist food, no dry, should have in a day? Thanks for your help.