Does Your Cat Need to Drink More Water?

We all know cats are not good water drinkers. They always seem to be hovering right on the brink of dehydration. We have some tips to get them drinking water.

There are a number of specific reasons you might want to encourage your cat to drink water. You may have a cat with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) or idiopathic cystitis, or your cat may be elderly with renal failure.

Whether there is an underlying health problem you need to tackle, or you suspect that your cat is borderline dehydrated most of the time, we have some simple tips to encourage drinking:

  • Some cats have a preference for drinking out of the bath or shower. Put the plug in and leave as small amount of water in the bottom and avoid the use of cleaning products for the time being.
  • For cats that like to drink out of a running tap, consider the use of a cat water fountain.
  • Try using stainless steel, ceramic or glass water bowls.  Plastic often has a taste that cats find objectionable and will often develop a biofilm layer that leaves a residue.
  • Wash bowls daily, avoiding cleaning products and replace with fresh water.
  • Many cats do not like their water bowl next to the food. Place multiple water bowls throughout the house, the idea is that if your cat practically trips over the bowl, it might remind him to drink. You don’t need to use anything fancy, just a glass or mug will often be more attractive than the traditional cat water bowl.
  • Add water to dry and wet food to make a nice cat-food soup. Canned food is approximately 70% water, while dry food is <5%. So although it seems as though cats eating dry food drink more, they are still probably not getting enough water.
  • Water down some cat milk (lactose free milk) into a very dilute solution.
  • Add some salt reduced stock (with no onions) or juice from an open can of tuna to drinking water, just a small amount will do.
  • Try adding some ice cubes to your cat’s water bowl.
  • Use distilled water and see if your cat prefers the taste.
  • Using one of those drip-bottles that are used for rabbits and guinea pigs can be an additional, interactive way to provide water for your cat.