Welcome to our article on how to get your cat to drink more water. Cats are essential members of many families, and it is vital to ensure they stay hydrated. Drinking water is crucial for a cat’s overall health and well-being, including their digestive system, urinary tract, and kidneys. However, getting cats to drink water can be challenging. This article provides detailed information and practical tips to help your cat drink more water and stay healthy.
Why is it important for cats to drink enough water?
Water is a crucial factor in a cat’s life, and it plays a vital role in maintaining their health. Lack of sufficient water intake can lead to severe dehydration, which can further result in urinary tract infections, kidney diseases, or even death. The cat’s body is designed to need a lot of moisture, and they typically do not have a high thirst drive. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to your cat’s water intake and ensure they’re consuming enough water to stay healthy.
How much water does your cat need?
On average, cats need about 60-75ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day. Therefore, a 4kg cat needs approximately 240-300ml per day. However, the amount of water needed by a cat can vary depending on various factors such as age, activity level, health condition, and the type of food they eat. In general, cats that consume wet food require less water than those who eat dry food.
Signs that Your Cat is Dehydrated
Dehydration can occur in cats at any time, and it’s essential to recognize the signs of dehydration. Some of the ten most common signs include dry mouth, lethargy, reduced skin elasticity, sunken eyes, panting, loss of appetite, and dark-colored urine. If your cat shows any of these signs, provide them with fresh water immediately, and contact your veterinarian if you notice a severe change.
Why won’t my cat drink water?
Cats can be stubborn, and getting them to do something they don’t want to do can be challenging. They might refuse to drink water for many reasons, such as the water’s taste, temperature, or the location of the water bowl. Some cats may prefer moving water, and others may not like water near their food. Other factors, such as dental issues, kidney problems or urinary tract infections, could also affect your cat’s willingness to drink water.
How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water
Now that we understand the importance of water and the reasons why cats may avoid drinking it, let’s look at practical ways to encourage your cat to drink more water.
1. Provide fresh water daily
Cats prefer fresh water and are more likely to drink when presented with clean drinking water. Change their water bowl daily or twice a day to encourage them to drink more water.
2. Provide different water sources
Provide multiple water sources in different areas of your house for your cat to choose from. Different sources could include fountains, bowls, or even a dripping faucet can entice your cat to drink more water.
3. Use a water fountain
Cats love running water and are more attracted to drinking from moving water sources. A water fountain can be a great way to encourage your cat to drink more water as they get fresh, running water, which is more appealing than stagnant water.
4. Add water to wet food
If your cat eats wet food, try adding a small amount of water to their meals to increase their water intake.
5. Provide water at room temperature
Cats prefer water at room temperature, so ensure that their water bowl is not too cold. Cold water can sometimes be a turn-off, and cats may avoid drinking it.
6. Try different water bowls
Cats may be sensitive to the material, size, or shape of their water bowl. Experiment with different bowls such as ceramic, glass, or stainless steel, to find out which type your cat prefers. Ensure that the bowl is large enough for your cat and is not too deep that it is a struggle to drink from the bottom.
7. Place the water bowl in the right location
The location of the water bowl may also affect your cat’s willingness to drink. Place the water bowl away from their food and litter box as they may associate the water with the smell of their food or litter box. Place the water bowl in a quiet, low traffic area where your cat feels safe drinking.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Encouraging Your Cat to Drink More Water
Advantages of encouraging your cat to drink more water
The benefits of encouraging your cat to drink more water are numerous:
|Prevents dehydration||Drinking enough water prevents dehydration and helps keep your cat healthy.|
|Prevents urinary tract infections||Drinking enough water helps prevent urinary tract infections, which can be painful and dangerous for cats.|
|Improves digestive system||Drinking enough water helps improve the digestive system and prevent constipation.|
|Helps regulate body temperature||Drinking enough water helps regulate body temperature and prevent overheating.|
|Prevents kidney diseases||Drinking enough water helps prevent kidney diseases, which can be fatal for cats.|
Disadvantages of encouraging your cat to drink more water
There are no disadvantages to encouraging your cat to drink more water. It’s a crucial aspect of your cat’s health and well-being, and ensuring they are hydrated can help prevent several health conditions.
1. How can I tell if my cat is drinking enough water?
Observe your cat’s behavior and look for signs of dehydration, such as reduced skin elasticity, panting, lethargy, and dry mouth. Also, check the water bowl frequently to ensure they are drinking enough water.
2. How can I encourage my cat to drink more water if they only like milk?
Try adding water to the milk as it can help increase their water intake. Alternatively, you can try reducing the amount of milk gradually and substituting it with fresh water.
3. Does feeding wet food affect my cat’s water intake?
Wet food contains higher moisture content than dry food, so cats eating wet food get some extra water. However, it’s still essential to provide fresh water for your cat every day.
4. Should I add any flavorings or supplements to my cat’s water?
It’s preferable to provide freshwater without any additives. Adding supplements or flavors can change the water’s taste and make your cat reject it.
5. What type of water should I give my cat?
Tap water is safe for cats to drink, but if you’re not confident about the quality of your tap water, consider using bottled water or a water filter.
6. My cat does not like drinking from a bowl. What can I do?
Try using a water fountain as running water can be more attractive to cats than standing water. Alternatively, try using a shallow dish or a saucer that is wide and flat so that your cat can drink from the rim.
7. How can I tell if my cat has a urinary tract infection?
Some symptoms of a urinary tract infection include urinating frequently, blood in the urine, straining to urinate, and licking their genitals frequently. If you suspect that your cat has a urinary tract infection, consult with your veterinarian immediately.
8. Is it safe for my cat to drink milk?
Milk can cause digestive problems and diarrhea in adult cats as they are lactose intolerant. However, small amounts of lactose-free milk are safe for cats to consume.
9. Can dehydration be fatal for cats?
Dehydration can be fatal for cats; therefore, it’s essential to ensure they consume enough water every day.
10. Can a lack of water cause kidney problems in cats?
Yes, a lack of water can cause kidney problems in cats. When a cat is dehydrated, their kidneys have to work harder to eliminate toxins, leading to kidney disease and other health complications.
11. Can dehydration cause constipation in cats?
Yes, dehydration can cause constipation in cats. Drinking enough water helps soften the stool and prevents constipation.
12. Can moving water help encourage my cat to drink?
Cats are more attracted to running water as it is instinctive for them to drink water from flowing sources. A water fountain is a great way to encourage your cat to drink more water.
13. Is there any way to make sure my cat is drinking enough water when I am not at home?
You can consider using an automatic water dispenser that continuously refills the water bowl. Alternatively, ask someone to check on your cat and refill their water bowl while you’re away.
Ensuring your cat is drinking enough water is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Encouraging your cat to drink more water can be simple, but it’s essential to be patient and try different methods until you find what works for your cat. Remember to provide fresh water daily, provide different water sources, use a water fountain, add water to wet food, provide water at room temperature, try different water bowls and place the water bowl in the right location. By following these tips, you can ensure your cat remains healthy, hydrated, and happy.
The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. If your cat shows any signs of dehydration or any other health issues, please consult with your veterinarian.