How Much Water Should Your Cat Drink?
11 February, 2013

Our kittens and cats need to have a full, well-rounded diet to keep happy and healthy.   Just as in humans, it is important to keep your cat or cats hydrated.  So just how much water does your cat need?

There are a variety of factors that should be taken into consideration.  How old is your cat?  How active?  Has your cat’s water consumption suddenly changed?

Watch your cat’s water intake

It’s very important to pay attention to your kitty’s normal water consumption and notice if that amount happens to change. Any increase or decrease in your cat’s daily water intake could be a sign of illness. Drinking too much or too little water could be indicative of a bladder infection, tapeworm infestation, diabetes or hyperthyroidism.   If you notice any change in your cat’s drinking patterns, make an appointment with your veterinarian.


Your cat’s water depends on his or her diet

First of all, if your cats eat primarily dry food, they will require significantly more water to stay normally hydrated.  Sammy, my cat, has a lot more dry food and drinks a lot of water.   A cat should normally drink about 3 ounces of fresh water in addition to its food. Dry food is approximately ten percent water, while canned food is approximately eighty percent water. So obviously your cat is going to drink a lot more water if you are providing dry food only.

Below are some indicators to tell you if your cat is being properly hydrated:

1.  Your pet’s skin is properly flexible.  To test this, gently pull the skin of your cat and it should spring back when you let it go.  If it doesn’t, your cat is probably dehydrated.

2.  Your cat’s coat should be shiny.  If it looks dull or matted, this is also an indication of dehydration.

3.  Your cat is physically active and not too sedentary (besides, of course, the requisite naps).

4.  Your cat is urinating 2- 3 times a day.  You can check your litter box for evidence…. You cat owners know how to figure that out!

If you feel like your cat needs to drink more water, but doesn’t like to, you can try the following:

1.  Try using glass or stainless steel water bowls. Sometimes plastic leaves a taste that cats don’t like.  Test a few different bowls to see which one your cat likes.

2.  Make sure to refresh and change your cat’s water bowl daily.

3.  Try using filtered water instead of tap water.

4.  Purchase a fountain that keeps refreshing the water.  This could make drinking water fun for your cat and feel like a game.

5.  Make a game of it as if feeding your cat water is fun, just like feeding your cat food.

Only you, the cat owner, will know if your cat is being properly hydrated or if there has been a noticeable change in behavior.  But, as with any other issue, if you are unsure, consult your veterinarian for some advice and guidance.


Does your pet have a profile?

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