Water is essential for your cat’s health. But what to do if your kitten won’t drink water? In this article, Let’s discuss some reasons why your cat might not be drinking and offer advice on what to do.
How much water does a cat need?
Your cat must have access to fresh water all the time to keep hydrated. Keep her water bowl clean and refill it often, especially if it’s close to her food dish, where she might drop food into it.
But how much water does your cat need each day? Less than you might think.
“Cats don’t need as much water for each kilogram of their body weight as dogs do,” says the Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. The amount of water your cat needs depends on the food she eats and where she lives. The committee points out that cats typically drink about an ounce of water for every half ounce of dry food they eat. Wet food gives your cat both nutrition and moisture, which can help keep her hydrated.
Why won’t my cat drink water?
All animals, including humans and cats, need enough water to stay healthy. Usually, animals drink when they feel thirsty and need different amounts of water to remain hydrated. Your cat might be drinking enough water, even if it seems like they aren’t drinking a lot.
Cats tend to drink little bits of water throughout the day, unlike dogs who often drink a lot at once.
Also, dogs need more water for each kilogram of their body weight than cats. So, your cat may not need as much water as you might think.
Cats that eat dry food should drink more water than those eating canned or fresh food. Cats eating dry food usually drink about an ounce of water for every ounce of dry food, while cats on a wet food diet drink much less as they get most of their water from their food.
However, if your cat’s water intake drops significantly, it’s important to pay attention. Especially if your cat stops eating or drinking altogether, they need urgent veterinary care.
Common reasons your cat may not be drinking include health issues, the cleanliness or location of their water bowl, or stress factors like moving or a new pet at home.
Cat dehydration symptoms
Dehydration is a big risk to your cat’s health. Cats that don’t get enough water can become dehydrated fast. Here are some ways to check if your cat might be dehydrated.
- Skin Elasticity – Gently pinch the loose skin between your cat’s shoulder blades to make a tent shape. Let go and watch how fast the skin returns to normal. It should snap back in less than a second. If it doesn’t, your cat could be dehydrated.
- Sunken Eyes – Look closely at your cat’s eyes. If they seem unfocused, sunken, or dull, it might be due to dehydration.
- Dry Mouth – Check your cat’s gums. They should be pink and moist. Press your finger on the gums, and if the color doesn’t turn pink again quickly after removing your finger, your cat might be dehydrated.
- Constipation – Check the litter box. Dehydrated cats often get constipated. If there’s less stool than usual, dehydration could be the cause.
- Panting – Cats usually don’t paint. If your cat is panting, they might be dehydrated.
If you see signs of dehydration in your cat, contact your vet immediately. Dehydration in cats can be deadly. When you notice the symptoms mentioned, your cat may already be severely dehydrated and need veterinary care.
How can I hydrate a cat that won’t drink water?
If you’re worried your cat isn’t drinking enough but doesn’t show any dehydration symptoms, there are several steps you can take to encourage your cat to drink more water.
Keep your cat’s water bowl away from their litter box. If they’re too close, move the water bowl to a better place in the room or another room.
- Change the water every day. Many cats don’t like water that’s been out for too long.
- Consider placing the water bowl in a different spot, even if it’s already not near the litter box.
- Try using a different bowl, or a bowl that offers flowing water, which some cats prefer.
- If your cat is on a dry food diet, consider switching to canned food.
FAQs about cats won’t drink water
I know you are very stressed if your cat won’t drink water, here are additional questions you may want to seek answers to:
1. Why doesn’t my cat drink from a water fountain?
There are several reasons your cat may not drink from a water fountain.
These include being unaccustomed to the new water source, disliking the fountain’s location, being scared of the noise it makes, the fountain being too strong, the water tasting funny due to dirtiness, or their diet providing sufficient hydration if they eat wet food.
To encourage your cat to use the fountain, ensure it’s not placed near their food or litter box, maintain a clean fountain, and consider a quieter model if noise is an issue. Gradually introducing the fountain and providing positive reinforcement can also help.
For further insights into ways to drink from the water fountain, consider reading” Ways To Encourage Cats To Use Their New Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain”
2. Is it alright if my cat only drinks milk and not water?
It’s important to know that adult cats generally do not need milk and it can be harmful to them.
Cats are often lactose intolerant, and milk can lead to stomach upset. Water is essential for cats, and they should always have access to clean, fresh water. If your cat is not drinking water, it’s important to consult a veterinarian.
3. What should I do if my cat won’t drink water after surgery?
If your cat isn’t drinking water after surgery, it’s essential to monitor their hydration closely as dehydration can be dangerous.
Encouraging them to drink, perhaps by offering water from your hand or using a dropper, can sometimes help.
Additionally, maintaining a quiet and comfortable environment for your cat to recover in can be beneficial. Always follow your vet’s post-surgical care instructions carefully.