How to Get Your Cat to Drink Water: Tips and Tricks

Are you worried that your feline friend is not drinking enough water? Dehydration can lead to serious health problems for cats, including kidney disease and urinary tract infections. Fortunately, there are several ways to encourage your cat to drink more water. In this article, we will explore the tips and tricks you can use to keep your cat hydrated and healthy.

Why is Water Important for Cats?

Water is essential for all living beings, including cats. It helps them regulate their body temperature, flush out toxins, and support healthy organ function. Cats are naturally inclined to drink very little water, which can lead to a variety of health problems. Not drinking enough water can cause urine to become too concentrated, leading to painful urinary tract infections. In severe cases, dehydration can even lead to kidney failure.

How Much Water Do Cats Need?

On average, cats need to drink about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces (100-130 milliliters) of water per day for every 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) of body weight. However, this can vary depending on several factors, such as age, activity level, and diet. Cats that eat dry food may need to drink more water than those that eat wet food, as wet food contains more moisture.

How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water

1. Provide Fresh and Clean Water

Cats are naturally attracted to fresh, clean water. Make sure you provide your cat with access to fresh water at all times. Change their water bowl once or twice a day, and clean it regularly to ensure it stays free of bacteria and other contaminants.

2. Use a Water Fountain

Many cats are fascinated by the sound of running water. A water fountain can stimulate your cat’s natural curiosity and encourage them to drink more water. If you decide to use a fountain, make sure you clean it regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.

3. Try Different Types of Bowls

Cats can be finicky creatures, and they may prefer drinking water out of a certain type of bowl. Try different materials, such as ceramic or stainless steel, and different shapes and sizes to see what your cat likes best.

4. Add Flavor to the Water

Some cats may be more inclined to drink water if it has a bit of flavor. Try adding a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or tuna juice to your cat’s water bowl to entice them to drink.

5. Offer Wet Food

Wet food contains more moisture than dry food, which can help keep your cat hydrated. If your cat is not already eating wet food, consider incorporating it into their diet.

6. Use a Syringe or Eye Dropper

If your cat is not drinking enough water, you can try offering them water with a syringe or eye dropper. This can be particularly helpful if your cat is sick and not drinking on their own.

7. Keep Multiple Water Sources

Make sure your cat has access to water in different locations throughout your home. Cats may avoid drinking water if they have to travel too far from their favorite spot. Try placing water bowls in different rooms or levels of your home to encourage your cat to drink more.

The Pros and Cons of Different Water Sources

Tap Water

Pros Cons
Convenient and readily available May contain chemicals and contaminants
Inexpensive May have an unpleasant taste or odor

Bottled Water

Pros Cons
Purified and free of contaminants Expensive
May have a pleasant taste or odor Produces excess plastic waste

Filtered Water

Pros Cons
Removes harmful chemicals and contaminants May need to be replaced frequently
May have a better taste or odor Can be expensive

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why won’t my cat drink water?

There are several reasons why a cat may not be drinking enough water, including illness, stress, and a preference for running water. If you are concerned about your cat’s water intake, consult with your veterinarian.

2. Can cats drink milk instead of water?

Milk should not be used as a substitute for water in a cat’s diet. Many cats are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk properly, leading to digestive problems and dehydration.

3. How can I tell if my cat is dehydrated?

Signs of dehydration in cats include lethargy, dry mouth and nose, and a loss of skin elasticity. If you suspect your cat is dehydrated, contact your veterinarian immediately.

4. Do cats prefer cold or warm water?

Most cats prefer cool, fresh water. However, some cats may prefer slightly warmer water, especially in cold weather.

5. Should I add ice to my cat’s water bowl?

It is not necessary to add ice to your cat’s water bowl. In fact, some cats may be startled or frightened by the sound of ice cubes clinking against the bowl.

6. Can I use flavored water to encourage my cat to drink?

Flavored water, such as water with a small amount of chicken broth or tuna juice, can be a great way to entice your cat to drink more. Just make sure to offer fresh, clean water as well.

7. How often should I change my cat’s water bowl?

You should change your cat’s water bowl once or twice a day, or whenever the water appears dirty or contaminated.

8. Can I give my cat electrolyte water?

Electrolyte water is not necessary for most cats, and giving it to your cat without consulting with your veterinarian can be dangerous. Electrolyte water contains salt and other minerals that can upset your cat’s electrolyte balance.

9. How much water does my cat need?

On average, cats need to drink about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces (100-130 milliliters) of water per day for every 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) of body weight.

10. Is it safe for my cat to drink from a fishbowl?

No, it is not safe for your cat to drink from a fishbowl. Fishbowls can contain harmful chemicals and bacteria that can make your cat sick.

11. Can I leave water out for my cat all day?

Yes, you can leave water out for your cat all day. In fact, it is recommended that cats have access to fresh water at all times.

12. Why does my cat prefer drinking from the faucet?

Cats are naturally attracted to running water, as it is associated with freshness and cleanliness. You can encourage your cat to drink more water by using a water fountain or dripping water from a faucet.

13. What should I do if my cat still isn’t drinking enough water?

If your cat is not drinking enough water, consult with your veterinarian. They can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.


Ensuring that your cat drinks enough water is essential for maintaining their overall health and well-being. By using the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can encourage your cat to drink more water and avoid dehydration. Remember to provide fresh, clean water at all times, offer wet food, and try different types of bowls to find what works best for your cat. With a little patience and creativity, you can keep your feline friend happy, healthy, and hydrated.

Closing Disclaimer

The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet or lifestyle.

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