5 Ways to Get Your Cat To Drink More Water

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For any pet, hydration is a huge part of survival and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unlike dogs who lap up large amounts of water very quickly, cats drink small amounts of water throughout the day. Cats need to consume about 4 ounces of water per 5 pounds of lean body weight per day, so the average 10-pound cat should drink about one cup of water per day.


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Even though our feline friends need only a bit of water to stay hydrated, it is still important to keep an eye on how much water they are getting down to make sure they stay healthy. If you start noticing that your cat is going to the water bowl less frequently or that the water bowl stays full there are some things as a pet parent that you can do to help your cat get enough water.


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1. Change your cat’s water bowl

If you have noticed that your cat has not been ignoring their water bowl, it could be be that they're being picky about what they choose to drink out of. Something new might perk their interest and get them to start drinking again. In general, cats prefer glass, metal, stainless steel, and ceramic dishes as oppose to plastic ones.


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2. Try a cat water fountain

Cats can be quirky and how some prefer to drink their water is no exception. Cats often like to drink fresh water from a running water source like the faucet or a water fountain.


3. Add several water bowls around the house

The more water bowls placed around the house, the better chance for a cat to come across one and drink water. If you live in a multi-level home, place water bowls on every level to help increase the chances of your cat's water intake. If your cat is the type that likes to drink from your own water glass, leave a water glass out for just your cat, and keep it filled and clean.


If you have several cats, it is vital to provide enough water bowls for every cat so that each can get in enough water to avoid dehydration.If you have several cats, it is vital to provide enough water bowls for every cat so that each can get in enough water to avoid dehydration.



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4. Be conscious of the location of cat’s water bowls

Cats prefer not to drink water near their food bowls. Unlike dogs, cats do not typically like drinking water near their food. Cat parents should also move their cat's water bowls away from their litter box.


These two simple changes could make the difference and help your cat drink water in higher volumes. The reason behind cats specific preferences when it comes to their drinking habits could be credited to their natural animal instincts to avoid contaminating their water with potential sources of bacteria like feces or food.


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5. Switch to wet food from dry food for your cat

Feeding your pet a wet diet could also help your cat get those extra ounces of water to help benefit your cat's health. Wet cat food typically comes as canned food to help keep moisture.

If your cat will not bite at the wet food, try adding a small amount of room temperature water in with their dry food. Just a small change like adding some water to a few ounces of dry food could help up a cat's water consumption to ensure they stay hydrated.

With just a few simple at-home changes, like bowl location and type, a cat parent can likely add a few more ounces of water to help keep their cat's health in tip-top shape. However, there are usually additional questions that cat parents have when working with a cat that may not be getting as much water as they should.


Other tips to get your cat to drink more

Other tips to get your cat to drink more include giving them an ice cube in their water bowl. Sometimes, cats are interested enough in the cold water that they will check out the water bowl. Another thing you might try is putting a little chicken broth in their water. Check in with your veterinarian to be sure that the extra calories and salt aren't more than what your cat needs, but this extra bit of flavor could be enough to entice them to be interested in the water.

What do you do if your cat won't drink water?

If your cat refuses to drink water, you need to figure out why. If you have moved the water bowl location, changed up the type of bowl and traded our your cat's diet for wet food, there could be an underlying health issue going on with your cat.

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When should I worry about my cat not drinking water?

If your cat is not drinking water, you need to check for signs of dehydration. Dehydration can happen to a cat rather quickly, so it's important to keep an eye on a cat that doesn't seem to be interested in drinking water.

One important factor to pay attention to when looking out for signs of dehydration are your cat's eyes. They may appear sunken in or glazed over. Sunken eyes are not the only sign visible to the naked eye. Lethargy, loss of appetite, dry/tacky mucous membranes in a cat's gums as well as skin elasticity could all be signs that a cat is not getting enough water. Another way you can tell of your cat is dehydrated is to check your cat's skin. Gently pinch your cat's skin between their shoulders, and notice if the skin remains loose. If a cat is drinking less water than they should, the pinched skin won't "snap back" and instead will remain loose.


There are some diseases that can also cause increased water loss in cats. Kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism all fall into this category. Water loss can also be caused by certain medications.

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How long is too long for a cat to not drink water?

If your cat has not drank any water in over 3 days, they could start to experience some serious health issues. Though 3 days is when cat parents should truly be concerned, effects of dehydration can start to show in a cat as early as 24 hours after their last drink. Seek veterinarian care if you are concerned about your cat's lack of drinking or believe them to be dehydrated.



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