How Much Water Should Your Cat Drink?
18 May, 2017
We all know the importance of water for our pets and for ourselves. Dogs are usually very good water drinkers and you can see them slurping down bowls of water after walking or exercising. But, our cats are harder to gauge. We can see them sneak in sips of water here and there or sometimes we don’t see them drinking at all. The real question is how much water should your cat drink?
Cats need to drink a minimum of 8 ounces of water a day
The general school of thought is that a cat weighing about 12 pounds will need approximately 8 ounces of water a day. Of course, there are many factors that come into play: the weight of your kitty, whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat and most important is whether your cat eats wet or dry food.
Cats that eat wet food can get almost 2/3 of the daily water intake from food
If this same cat is fed 80 grams of dry food per day, the food has merely 8 ml (0.3 oz.) of water, meaning the cat should drink an additional 212 ml (7.2 oz.). This total is very close to the total minimum water requirement. This makes sense since dry food has no moisture.
If your cat is fed 250 grams of canned food per day, the wet food has about 200 ml (6.7 oz.) of water. This means the cat only needs to drink as little as 20 ml (0.7 oz.) of fresh water; four teaspoons, basically.
How do you measure your cat’s water intake each day?
You can also approximate the amount of water your cat is drinking merely by checking your cat’s water bowl each day, although dry indoor air may causes water to evaporate. If multiple cats are using the same water bowl, it can be even harder to tell. In this case, add more bowls in separate locations and make sure that all water bowls have fresh water added daily.
How can you tell if you cat is drinking enough water?
Cats with normal hydration typically have enough saliva in their mouths, so your finger should slide easily over their gums. In dehydrated cats, the gums can feel dry or “tacky” to the touch.
Another way to see if your cats are staying hydrated is to test your cat’s skin elasticity. Pinch between your cat’s shoulders, gently pull the skin upward, and then release. If your kitty’s skin takes longer than a full second to go back in place, you have cause for concern.
And, of course, if your cat is urinating enough each day, it usually means your kitty is drinking enough water. Urination and water consumption go, well, paw-in-paw. If your cat is urinating more or less than usual, you should see your vet.
If your cat is drinking a lot of water, you should also consult your veterinarian
If it seems like your cat is drinking more water than normal, don’t limit your cat’s water, but check with your veterinarian. Some cats may drink more because of some underlying disease and you should take your cat to the veterinarian for an exam.
If you make sure to feed your cat at least some wet food each day and fill the water bowls at least twice a day, your cat should keep hydrated and healthy!
Like this article: you might want to read the difference between wet v. dry food!