How long can cats go without water? Not long, that is why cat owners can become concerned if they don’t see their cat drinking often. How can you get your cat to drink more water if you think they are not getting enough? Well, you can make the water more presentable or fix problems with the location of the water!
Read on to learn seven ways you can get more moisture into your cat and up their fluids so they avoid dehydration.
Put Them On Wet Cat Food
If you are concerned about your cat’s water intake and fear they may be becoming dehydrated, one of the easiest ways to remedy the issue is to get them on a wet cat food diet.
Most cats in the wild get their moisture from the food they hunt. They are evolved from desert animals and to aid their survival they have evolved to have a reduced thirst for desert living – but that does not mean they don’t need water! Being a desert hunter they are adapted to satisfying their moisture needs through the food they eat.
If your cat is not drinking enough, get them on canned cat food as this usually contains 80% moisture and will give them more moisture than they could obtain by drinking alone!
Add Water To Their Cat Food
If your cat is already on wet food but you are still concerned about their water intake or they are dry cat food you can always add water to their food. A couple of teaspoons of water mixed in wet cat food will create a gravy your cat will find hard to resist – and boost their moisture intake.
Same with dry cat food, a couple of teaspoons of water will make the food soft, probably enhance flavor and texture and boost your cats water intake!
Change The Water Bowl To Get Your Cat Drinking More
All it might take to get your cat drinking more is a change to the water bowl. Many cats suffer from whisker stress. The whiskers are incredibly sensitive in some cats and dropping their head in a bowl can result in the whiskers touching the side of the bowl and giving them issues.
Imagine if you had bad teeth and drank some icy water – you would get a sensitive shooting pain. Same with whisker stress, shooting sensitivity if touched. You wouldn’t want to drink from such a bowl if you were a cat with whisker stress!
Try a saucer or wide bowl to avoid the discomfort for your cat or to avoid the possibility they are suffering from whisker sensitivity. Have you seen them drinking rainwater from puddles – this could be a clue that they prefer a low sided water bowl.
Clean The Drinking Bowl
Cats have got a very sensitive sense of smell – some say fourteen times stronger than ours! Your cat may detect odor from old, scuffed plastic bowls or from cracked porcelain bowls and think the water is bad.
If your cat thinks the water is bad they will seek other sources and avoid the bad water – even if it seems fine to you.
Clean the water bowl and make sure to rinse out any detergent that may also put your cat off. It is easy as a cat owner to assume the bowl is clean if you only ever use it for water, but even water bowls should be cleaned regularly to avoid issues with your cat.
Put Down Fresh Water Daily
If the water bowl has water in each time you see it it is easy to walk by and ignore it. But, is that water fresh or has it been standing for some time? Standing water can get dusty and change temperature which may put your cat off with their reduced thirst.
Now we are not saying change the water every few hours but don’t leave the same water standing all day. It may be enough to get a picky or fussy cat drinking again!
Use More Water Bowls
Because cats have a lesser thirst reflex they may walk past a water source without thinking they need a drink. But if you have several water bowls around the home you may find they drink more because when they do get the thirst their is a bowl right there to hand!
The other benefit of putting out more water bowls is that you can eliminate problems with the siting of bowls. A water bowl in a busy walkway may be used less by your cat because they feel more vulnerable drinking from it, likewise a water bowl near an outside door may leave your cat feeling vulnerable to attack as they stop to drink.
Multiple water bowls can make life easier if you live in a multi cat home and some cats are behaving territorially and guarding resources or just if you have undetected problems with the water bowl like cleanliness issues discussed earlier.
Move Water Bowl Away From Food
Some cats don’t like to take water from near to eating areas or toileting areas. People like to put water and food down together – almost in the same way people might usually eat and drink a meal. But, cats aren’t into that!
A cat has an evolutionary instinct that tells them water might be bad where fresh kills have happened in the wild. The kill may have contaminated the water supply. You don’t often see a lion attacking at water holes for this reason. Your cat might assume the water near their food or toileting area is risky to drink.
Move water bowls away from food bowls and see if your cat responds by using the bowl and drinking more water.
Cats have a lower thirst motivation than people due to their evolution. This means sometimes they seem to have very little fluid intake that might lead to dehydration. A wet cat food diet or increasing the locations, cleanliness and freshness of water supply can help to get your cat drinking more water.