How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water | Comforted Kitty Cat Sitters

by | Jun 29, 2021

Does it seem like your cat never drinks from its water bowl? That could be a big problem – UTIs, kidney problems, and dehydration is more common in cats than you might expect. The ancestors of today’s housecats got most of their water from the prey they ate, and cats that eat dry kibble instead may not have as much of an instinct to drink water from a bowl.

What health problems could your cat have if they don’t drink enough water? How much water should your cat be drinking? How can you get your cat to drink more water? Read on for these answers and more.

How Much Water Should Cats Drink?

Cats need between 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day. For a 10-pound cat, that’s 7-9 ounces a day.

Your cat doesn’t need to drink all that water from a bowl, though. If you feed your kitty wet food, they could get between 3.85-4.4 ounces of water from a 5.5-oz can of food. On the other hand, cats who only eat dry kibble won’t get much moisture from their food and should drink plenty of water to make up for it.

How Do I Know if My Cat Is Drinking Enough Water?

It’s difficult to monitor how much water your cat is drinking, especially if they eat canned food. The best thing you can do is to fill your cat’s water bowls to the same level every day and take note of how much water is left before you dump it out and refill it.

While you may not get a precise amount of how much water your cat is drinking, you should notice trends. If there is suddenly more or less water than usual left in your cat’s bowl, you’ll have a sign that something could be wrong with your cat.

What Happens if My Cat Won’t Drink Water?

Cats that don’t drink enough water are more prone to dehydration, urinary tract infections (UTIs), crystals, and other health problems.

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Cat Dehydration Symptoms

Just like people, cats can suffer from dehydration if they don’t drink enough water. Signs of dehydration in cats include:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Loss of energy
  • Loose skin that doesn’t “snap” back into place if you pinch it
  • Panting
  • Refusal to eat
  • Tacky or dry gums
  • Urinating less than usual
  • Elevated heart rate

Dehydration can be fatal. If your cat is experiencing any symptoms of dehydration, seek emergency veterinary care.

Cat UTI Symptoms

Since cats tend not to drink enough water, they are more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder stones, or blockages than dogs. If you’ve ever had a UTI, you know how painful it can be. However, cats tend to hide their symptoms if they don’t feel well.

Be on the lookout for cat UTI symptoms like:

  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Frequent urination, but only passing a small amount of urine each time
  • Straining to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Increased licking of the urinary opening
  • Crying in pain while urinating

How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water

If you’re worried about how much water your cat is drinking, here are some ways to get them to drink more water.

Consider Switching to Wet Food

Since cats were designed to get the water they need from the food they eat, it makes sense to feed them wet food. In fact, wet cat food is about 70-80% water. Even if you can’t switch your cat to an entirely canned diet, adding canned cat food to their dry kibble can still help your kitty get more moisture.

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Get a Drinking Fountain

In the wild, flat water is more likely to harbor parasites, so cats may be more likely to drink flowing water than flat water. Cat drinking fountains have the added benefit of making it easier for your cat to hear and see the water than if it’s in a bowl.

Alternatively, you could leave a faucet dripping if your cat likes drinking water that way.

Try Different Bowls

Cats are picky – we know this as cat lovers! Your cat may not like the taste of water in a plastic bowl, or they may experience whisker fatigue if they drink from a bowl that’s too small and high-sided. Try bowls of different sizes and materials to find out what your kitty likes best.

Place More Water Bowls Around Your Home

Does your cat only have one water bowl in the whole house? Make it easier for them to drink by putting more water bowls around your home. Also, make sure that food and water dishes are a good distance away from the litter box – you probably don’t enjoy eating near the bathroom, either, right?

Add Flavor to the Water

Ice cubes, clam juice, or low-sodium chicken broth could all make water more appealing to your cat. Just remember – a little bit goes a long way.

Add Water to Dry Food

Since dry food is so low in moisture, adding a little water to it can help your cat get more moisture. Experiment with different ratios of water to food to see what your kitty likes best.

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Wash Your Cats Bowl More Frequently

Cats can be hypersensitive to smell and taste, meaning even the slightest difference can turn them off from drinking out of their water bowl.

Get a Cat Sitter in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Sacramento, or San Francisco to Help

If you’re worried about your cat drinking enough water, you should definitely employ a cat sitter any time you have to leave town. A professional cat sitter can make sure your cat’s water bowls or fountains are clean and full and pay attention to how much water your cat is drinking.

Don’t risk coming home from a trip to discover your cat knocked over their water bowl while you were gone. Trust The Comforted Kitty if you need a cat sitter in Sacramento, San Francisco, Las Vegas, or Las Angeles.

For FAQs, services, rates, or to schedule an appointment for cat sitting, click here now.

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