Nutrient enriched water can promote hydration in cats

Nutrient enriched water can promote hydration in cats

PURINA® PROPLAN® HC Hydra CareTM is shown to increase total water intake and increase urine volume

  • 60% of the cat’s body weight consists of water¹
  • A 5% decrease in body water can result in clinical signs of dehydration2
  • Cats tend to respond to eating food low in moisture by increasing urine concentration rather than by drinking more. This may predispose them to urinary tract conditions
  • Promotion of water intake can be beneficial, particularly in cats with increased water loss, resulting from conditions affecting the renal system; or conditions of the lower urinary tract which may be exacerbated by increased urine concentration
  • A nutrient-enriched water was scientifically proven to help cats consume on average 27% more water every day than water alone* and helps to increase urine dilution.3
  • PURINA® PROPLAN® HC Hydra CareTM is available to veterinary practices as 85 gram sachets, to provide a tasty soft textured jelly as a third bowl given to cats.

PURINA® launches PROPLAN® HC Hydra CareTM, a nutrient enriched water supplement for cats. The supplement is based on many years of research at the Purina Technology Center. A team led by Senior Research Scientist, Dr Brian Zanghi, has identified that Pro Plan® Hydra CareTM can successfully complement dietary and drinking water to increase total daily water intake in cats, promote hydration, and increase urine volume and dilution.4-7

Photo showing Purina PROPLAN Hydra Care Cat food.

Total water intake can vary according to body weight and intake from the diet as well as water consumption. Cats fed dry food tend to have a lower total intake for their body size. Pro Plan® Hydra Care™ includes organic osmolytes, including amino acids from whey protein, which play a role in fluid balance and cell volume and are absorbed into the body after consumption.

Studies published in 2018 and 2019, showed that acceptance of nutrient-enriched water resulted in increased total water intake and this was sustained over time.4-7 Urine volume was also increased and remained more dilute. The addition of the water supplement increased total water intake to 35-55 ml/ Kg bodyweight – on average 27% more than when dry food and water alone were offered. This compares to a total water intake of 20-30 ml/ Kg bodyweight when dry food is fed, or 35 ml/Kg bodyweight when wet food is fed.  There was a 48% increase in total daily urine volume compared to cats drinking tap water.4

Increasing water intake, maintaining urine volume and ensuring urine dilution is key in managing conditions such as urolithiasis8 and feline idiopathic cystitis9, as well as chronic kidney disease10. The need to maintain water intake is also important in the management of conditions such as constipation, exudative skin disease and diabetes.11

Libby Sheridan is Purina Veterinary & Technical Affairs Manager, UK & Ireland and believes that PURINA® PROPLAN® HC Hydra CareTM will be of benefit to many cats in need of better hydration, “Veterinary professionals have long sought ways to support the health of cats by improving voluntary water intake. Measures can include feeding wet food, adding water directly to the food, or offering multiple water stations, with variable levels of success. Our research shows that cats enjoy drinking water enriched with PURINA® PROPLAN® HC Hydra CareTM and will voluntarily consume more to increase their overall water intake, beyond that achieved by feeding a wet food as their daily diet. It’s a useful and easy change to make as support for maintaining hydration, urine dilution and output.”

It is recommended that clean, fresh water continues to be provided ad lib alongside PURINA® PROPLAN® HC Hydra CareTM. For more information, veterinary professionals can contact

* Compared to cats consuming only water in addition to dry feeding. Cats must consume at least 26mL/kg of bodyweight daily for benefit.


  1. Fluid, Electrolyte and Acid-Base Disorders in Small Animal Practice, 4th edition (2012). DiBartola S (Ed). St Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.
  2. National Research Council (2006). Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.
  3. Colliard et al. (2019): Nestlé Internal Report
  4. Zanghi BM, Cupp CJ, Pan Y, et al. Non-invasive measurements of body composition and body water via quantitative magnetic resonance, deuterium water, and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in cats. American journal of veterinary research 2013;74:721-732.
  5. Zanghi BM, Gerheart L, Gardner C. Effects of a nutrient-enriched water on water intake and indices of hydration in healthy domestic cats fed a dry kibble diet. Am J Vet Res. 2018 Nov;79(7):733-744.
  6. Zanghi BM, Wils-Plotz E, DeGeer S, Gardner CL. Effects of a nutrient-enriched water with and without poultry flavoring on water intake, urine specific gravity, and urine output in healthy domestic cats fed a dry kibble diet. Am J Vet Res. 2018 Nov;79(11):1150-1159.
  7. Wils-Plotz E, DeGeer S, Zanghi B. Nutrient-enriched water supplements nutritionally support hydration in the domestic cat (abstr). American College of Veterinary Medical Forum 2019.
  8. Eisenberg BW, Waldrop JE, Allen SE et al (2013). Evaluation of risk factors associated with recurrent obstruction in cats treated medically for urethral obstruction. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 243:1140-6.
  9. Gunn-Moore DA and Shenoy CM (2004). Oral glucosamine and the management of feline idiopathic cystitis. J Feline Med Surg 6:219-225
  10. Reynolds BS, Chetboul V, Nguyen P et al (2013). Effects of dietary salt intake on renal function: a 2-year study in healthy aged cats. J Vet Intern Med 27:507-15
  11. Sparkes A et al (2015) ISFM Consensus Guidelines on the Practical Management of Diabetes Mellitus in Cats, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 17, 235–250