I have the bad habit of splurging on cat accessories. Recently, I bought a cute little water dispenser for my rescue cat, Whiskey. And I have noticed he hardly ever uses it.
Which made me wonder about cats and their drinking habits. Do they drink water from the bowl? How often do cats drink water from the water bowl?
How Much Water Should My Cat Drink Every Day?
A little web searching told me that for every 5 pounds of a cat’s body weight, it needs to drink about 3.5-4.5 oz of water per day. This means, my fluffy 10-pounder needs to drink about 7-9 oz of water each day. And I kept wondering if my cat is drinking enough water because I never see it with my own eyes.
So, I dug a little deeper. Went into full cat-mom research mode and compiled this relevant list of information.
Water in a Cat’s Diet
As cat owners and enthusiasts are aware, our feline friends are not the biggest fan of water bodies. Cats in the wild tend to avoid drinking from ponds or rivers with exceptions in hot weather.
The reason is that their prey in the wild is live rodents that contain enough water for a cat to survive the day.
For housecats, on the other hand, this is a little different. Some housecats sometimes take a sip or two from the cat’s water bowl. While other cats do not need to if their canned cat food has enough water content.
This little fact put me at ease.
Because I learned that a 10-pounder cat who feeds solely on wet cat food will only need 2/3rd of a cup of daily water a day. On the contrary, a diet of only dry food for the same cat means it must drink a whole cup.
Monitor Your Cat’s Drinking
Monitor Your Cat’s Drinking Cats are notoriously sneaky creatures. It is almost an impossible task to monitor them. You probably never see them go to the litter tray box or eat OR drink! So, it is difficult for us to judge if they are getting the proper amount of water consumption in their diet by trying to watch them.
Give it some time and compare results at the end of each week. Because it will take a few weeks for you to fully understand your cat’s routine.
How To Detect Signs of Dehydration In Your Cat?
However, only tracking the water dish does not ensure your cat’s complete hydration. Dehydration in a cat can leave traces everywhere. Mainly their eating habits, fur, physicality, and litter box output.
So here are a few clues to tell if your cat is dehydrated:
- Loose skin can be a sign of dehydration in a cat. Check for loose skin by stroking your cat’s back. If the skin slides back onto the spine slower than usual, he may be dehydrated.
- Lethargy is another tell-tale sign of dehydration in a cat.
- Dark circles or eye bags on your cat can be a sign of dehydration. Dehydrated cats often appear sullen or drowsy.
- Panting is uncommon in cats. Even dogs, known for panting, signal dehydration when panting. Do not neglect a panting cat, give him/her water immediately. This is the cat equivalent of sweating profusely.
- Monitor your cat’s peeing habits. Since it is the most obvious way of checking their daily water consumption, and other serious illnesses. Such as; urinary tract disease.
- Indicate dehydration in your cat. You can check for dehydration at home by pulling up your cat’s top lip and placing your finger on the gum for a few seconds. Once you remove your finger, the spot should go from white to pink within 3 seconds. If this takes longer, your cat is possibly dehydrated.
5 Reasons Why Your Cat is Not Drinking Water?
Cats are fussy creatures with picky habits. They are also smart and excessively clean, and they have certain requirements.
So, if your cat is not drinking water it does not necessarily mean that they are sick. Consider some of these possibilities:
- Cats prefer clean water bowls. Check if there is any loose hair, debris, or chunks of dry cat food in the water dish. Wash the bowl regularly and make sure you give your cat fresh water.
- Try changing the location of the water bowl. If you have experience in training a cat to do anything, you know how picky they can be; about placements of fresh drinking water bowls, feeding bowls, and litter boxes! Try placing the drinking water bowl and canned wet food bowl in different locations and see how it goes.
- Change the drinking source and accessories. Some cats prefer filtered water over tap water as well as dispensers over bowls. Shake it up, see what works for your cat.
- Cats do not appreciate sharing bowls. So, if you have multiple cats get multiple bowls. They are less likely to drink out of a bowl that has been used.
- Sometimes you should trust your cat. Maybe he or she is not drinking water because they have drunk enough in your absence. Our clever feline friends surely know their limits and we should trust them.
5 Treatment of Dehydration in Cats: How to Force Your Cat to Drink Water?
If you notice your cat is not drinking enough and would like to encourage them for increased drinking. A list of solid tricks to help your cat drink more is as follows:
- On particularly hot days, try putting ice cubes in the water bowl. Not only will the cold water rejuvenate your little buddy, but he might also play with the ice cubes. Some cats have been observed to visit the water bowl more often after being given chilled water.
- Adding some flavours of cat canned food can encourage cats to drink out of the water bowl more often. I have practised this one personally and seen the effect. You can try adding some chicken broth or clam juice to the wet food. Or after you have emptied the tuna can, put some water in the can with the residue and watch your kitten lap it up.
- Consider making some clam juice ice cubes or tuna water cubes for your little buddies (remember to mark your ice trays to avoid future confusion).
- Movement intrigues cats. This is probably why many suburban cats prefer drinking from the cat fountains. You will notice how excited and curious they are around an open tap. If cascading water encourages your older cat to drink, get a water fountain for the little buddy.
- Try placing water bowls throughout the house for better accessibility. More access could mean more consumption!
- Serve small portions of wet food throughout the day. Eating can provoke increased thirst and increase drinking.
As cat parents, you should know that cats are not very likely to splash around and take large gulps of water intake.
They have their way of doing things and often privately. Trust your feline friend and be satisfied with the sips you do see.
If they have a water-balanced diet and take a few sips of water each day, you have nothing to worry about.