Our cats need to drink water every day! But how to get cats to drink more water when they won’t drink?
They prefer eating over drinking the water they need to be hydrated and healthy. Cats originally lived in the desert. They got used to dry conditions by getting water from their food.
Now, cats living indoors still act a bit like desert animals. But, they don’t get water from eating wild food. So, we have to help them! Let’s first discuss how much water your cats should drink and why it matters.
Next, I’ll give you 11 tips to make your cats drink more water.
The importance of water for your cat
Knowing why your cat needs a lot of water is key to keeping them well and happy. Let’s look at this more simply:
- Hydration: Water helps control body actions, keeps fluids balanced, and helps important organs like the heart and kidneys work.
- Kidney and pee health: Enough water makes urine less strong, stopping kidney problems and pee issues like infections and crystals.
- Stopping dryness: Always having fresh water stops dryness, important when your cat is sick, to avoid big health problems.
- Keeping pee healthy: More water lowers the chance of pee problems like crystals and stones in the pee path.
- Hairball control: Drinking water often helps with hairballs, making them easier to move through the belly.
- Better health: Clean water helps your cat’s overall health, energy, and sharpness.
11 Tips to help your cat drink more water
Ensuring our feline friends stay adequately hydrated involves a blend of creativity, observation, and sometimes, a tad bit of coaxing. Let’s explore some engaging and practical tips to elevate your cat’s water intake.
- Elevate your cats’ water bowl: Creating a designated, elevated spot for water may attract more attention and ease their joints while they sip.
- Playtime with ice and water toys: Introduce ice cubes or special water toys to turn hydration into a fun and engaging activity.
- Playful cats drink more: Entice their playful nature by incorporating water games that subtly encourage more drinking.
- Try tasty broths: Offer flavorful broths (ensure they’re safe for cats) as an alternative to plain water occasionally.
- Experiment with different cat bowls: Vary bowl materials and sizes to discover your cat’s preference. Sometimes they might prefer one over another.
- Wet food for extra water: Include wet food in their diet, as it can be a significant secondary water source.
- Right temperature, happy cat: Ensure water is at a pleasant temperature, not too cold or warm, to suit your cat’s liking.
- Fun DIY drinking ideas: Implement DIY setups like dripping faucets to invoke curiosity and inadvertently increase water intake.
- Praise good habits: Affirm and reward your cat when it drinks water to reinforce the habit.
- Keep it fresh and clean: Regularly refresh the water and keep the bowl clean to make it inviting.
- Try a water fountain for cats: Water fountains can pique interest and ensure a consistent flow of clean water.
How much water is enough for cats?
Understanding the ideal water intake for your cat is crucial to prevent dehydration and support optimal health. Here we delve into breed-specific requirements and how to identify and address your cat’s thirst.
Different breeds, different needs
Various breeds may have different hydration needs due to their size, activity level, and specific genetic predispositions.
How to tell if your cat needs water?
- Behavior changes: Look for signs like less playfulness or more sleep.
- Dry mouth: Check if their gums are dry or sticky.
- Reduced urine: Notice if they’re using the litter box less or if the urine is darker.
- Sunken eyes: Their eyes may appear less bright and slightly sunken.
- Skin elasticity: Gently pinch their skin; if it doesn’t spring back quickly, they could be dehydrated.
- Lethargy: A lack of energy or reluctance to move can be a sign of needing water.
Daily water intake guide
On average, a cat should intake approximately 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight daily. Wet food can contribute to this total, but fresh water should always be available. Observing your cat and noting any shifts in their drinking patterns is crucial.
Your Role in Keeping Your Cat Hydrated
Caring for a feline friend goes beyond providing food and cozy snuggles; ensuring they are adequately hydrated is a fundamental aspect of cat care. Adopting a proactive and informed approach towards their hydration not only contributes to their wellness but also helps prevent various health issues.
Regular checks and vigilance
Your attentive gaze can play a pivotal role in maintaining your cat’s hydration:
- Consistent availability: Ensure that fresh, clean water is always available by routinely checking and refilling their water bowls.
- Observation is key: Keep an eye on their drinking habits. Changes in frequency or amount can be indicative of underlying health issues or dissatisfaction with the water being offered.
- Water quality: Stale or contaminated water can deter your cat from drinking. Regularly clean their bowls and provide fresh water to encourage consistent drinking.
Your regular checks and vigilance in observing any changes or peculiarities in their hydration habits help in identifying and addressing issues promptly.
Collaborating with vets
A synergistic relationship with your vet is instrumental in sustaining your cat’s health:
- Regular checkups: Routine veterinary visits help monitor your cat’s hydration status and overall health. Vets can identify and address any subtle signs of dehydration or related issues.
- Guidance and advice: Leveraging your vet’s expertise about specific hydration needs, especially if your cat has health issues like kidney disease or urinary tract conditions, ensures you’re adhering to best practices.
- Navigating challenges: If your cat is persistently avoiding water or showing signs of dehydration despite ample availability, your vet can help explore underlying causes and propose suitable solutions.
- Dietary consultations: Discussing your cat’s diet with the vet ensures you’re providing moisture-rich nutrition, especially crucial for those reluctant to drink water.
How long can cats go without water?
Cats, while known for lower thirst drives compared to other pets, should not go without water for more than 24-48 hours. The exact time can depend on their overall health, age, and diet.
Can you force a cat to drink water?
Forcing a cat to drink water is not recommended due to the potential stress it could cause the animal. Encouraging hydration through various safe and stress-free methods, such as adjusting their diet or changing their water source, is typically more effective and humane.
Do cats like cold water?
Cats’ preferences for water temperature can vary. Some might prefer room temperature while others may enjoy cool, fresh water, especially in warmer weather. Observing your cat’s habits and preferences will guide you in providing what they enjoy most.
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