7 Ways To Make Your Cat Drink More Water

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 10/03/20 •  9 min read
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Just like humans, cats require lots of fresh, clean water to prevent kidney disease and maintain urinary health. Water as we all know is essential to the survival of any living creature including cats and maintain balanced health. This is largely due to the fact that your cat’s body is largely made up of water. So even a marginal difference in the amount of water your cat drinks can make a huge impact on your cat. Medical experts have concluded that dehydration in cats is a serious medical issue that may result to several health challenges for a cat such as lack of interest in drinking, vomiting, diarrhea, heat, diabetes, and other conditions. It can be difficult sometimes to get your cat to drink enough water as it should. But, ensuring that your cat remains hydrated especially during summer months is essential to the overall wellbeing of this wonderful pet.

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Fortunately, there are several creative ways to encourage your cat to drink enough water so that she or he can stay healthy and hydrated always.

1. Place water bowls in areas where your cat usually hangs around

Cats usually have two separate bowls reserved for both food and water, and it’s positioned in places where people aren’t likely to trip over them. You may also consider placing your cat’s food and water near his favorite lounging spot. Some pet owners are of the opinion that placing multiple bowls throughout the house has helped their cat to drink more water often. Most importantly, ensure there are water bowls in your cat’s room, and avoid placing them near the litter box; you wouldn’t want to drink water next to a toilet, would you?

2. Use their favorite kind of water bowl

Some cats can be fussy, and you might just be surprised to discover that your cat drinks more water from a special water bowl than others. So, it’s good to try different water bowls – glass, ceramic, stainless steel or plastic; to confirm what your cat would prefer to drink from. You also need to change your cat’s drinking water often. A tiny bowl can overtime becomes unappealing if it isn’t changed at least once every day. Ideally, cats should have steady access to freshwater. To ensure that your cat is consuming enough water, use a water bowl that is the perfect size for your cat and maintain a consistent level of water in it. Do you know that by having a solid water dish placed in your bathtub, you can encourage your cat to drink more? Have you also considered providing your playful cat with a special area where she can splash water to her heart’s desires without making a mess of the floor? This could be helpful too. If your cats like to play and splash his/her drinking water, then, spill proof and skid-proof bowls are ideal.

3. Place the bowl in a neat environment

Have you ever felt irritated eating in an untidy environment as a human? Well, pets do too. When your home becomes too untidy for healthy living, it could result in many abnormal behaviours from your cat such as your cat looking at the water but not drinking. Aside these, an untidy environment creates room for all manner of pet diseases to invade your cat’s body easily. Ensure your cat has fresh drinking water by changing his/her water and cleaning the bowl regularly. Always ensure you give your cat filtered or treated water as tap water can be laden with fluoride and other minerals and your cat might just dislike the taste. But if your tap water is very clean then, you need to encourage your cat to drink from the tap in the bathroom. Studies have shown that many cats are fascinated by water from the faucet, so give your cat an opportunity to drink from the bathroom, kitchen or laundry tap if they want to.

4. Consider investing in a water fountain

If you have the budget, consider purchasing a water fountain to ensure that your cat steady access to water. There are beautiful models of cat’s water fountain available with various designs to blend with your home’s interior decor. Cat water fountains are electrically powered cat water dispenser from where your cat’s water passes through a steadily circulated reservoir and then through a filter,, and then via a drinking area and back. Due to this continuous flow design, the cat’s water is always well oxygenated and freshly filtered. But, since the water fountain is electrically powered, you will need to place it near a power source constantly where the cord won’t be tripped.

Cat’s water fountains are never ideal for pet owners with a cat or dog prone to chewing wires

Finding the right water fountain may take some trial and error. They are water fountains for all kitty preferences. In the case of a multi-cat household, a water fountain provides enough space for several cats to share the drinking area. Remember that water fountains require regular maintenance and monitoring also.

5. Mix your cat’s food with water

Have you ever wondered why do cats lay next to water bowl? Some pet owners have seen from experience that mixing their cat’s food with some quantity of water has helped their cat to stay hydrated to an extent. This could work like a charm if you consider it. Just mix your kitty’s food with some water especially dinners, then watch as your cat enjoy his/her meal without leaving the liquid behind. This option is very safe whether you use dry or wet cat food. You may also consider giving your cats snacks in water daily to keep them hydrated and feeding them in a feeding toy. If you are concerned about your cat becoming unhealthy due to eating too many snacks because cat’s snacks aren’t always the healthiest, you can use kibble instead of the standard snacks you get in the market.

6. Add more water locations

This can be very helpful in several situations. For instance, if your household has multiple cats, it might be difficult for resources to go round. This often leads to tension among pets in your home and thereby resulting in some cats not drinking enough water due to the fear of being bullied or ambushed. It may also result in cat not drinking water but eating, this tension may appear normal, and you may not even realize what is going on. The best way to avoid it is by simply adding more water bowls throughout your home.

If your cat is old or sick, they may have a hard time if she knows she would have to walk long distances to drink enough water. Also, if she has just finished a dental surgery or gradually recovering from an illness, she could eat less and drink less water too. So don’t be worried if your cat isn’t drinking after dental surgery or after spaying. A cat would typically not eat after surgery usually up to 24 hours, after that; she should be back to her usual self and resume eating and drinking very well. If your home is more than one floor or very large, your cat may not drink enough water if she knows she has to go up on another floor to access it.

Adding water bowls to each floor and every side of your home could help

7. Keep an eye on your cat’s water intake

It’s not just enough to fill your cat’s water bowl daily, you have to monitor her water intake too. You need to know how much water your cat is drinking daily, if you notice an unusual decrease or increase, it could as well be a warning for a potential health problem. For instance, if your cat suddenly starts drinking too much water, this could signal a risk of diabetes or renal failure. The quicker you get to take note of these changes, the faster your cat will be diagnosed and the much-needed medical attention it needs. It’s advised to consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice a change in the color of your cat’s urine or litter box habits. If any of these occur, your cat will need to drink more water to help flush out any dangerous toxins and other harmful chemicals from her body. Kindly note that milk is never a substitute for water. So, if you attempt to swap milk for water, she might become dehydrated and even fall sick. You may decide to flavor your cat’s water instead, as this could make the water more palatable for your cat. But do this in moderation as an excess of it could be dangerous as well.

Signs of dehydration in cats

Dehydration occurs when fluid level drops to less than average, mainly because of a reduced water intake or increase in the loss of fluid from your cat’s body.  Below are a few signs of dehydration for cats:

How much water should a cat drink?

Since hydration is an essential aspect of your cat’s well-being, exactly how much water should a cat drink every day? This depends on some factors, including the size of your cat, the time of the year and whether your cat’s food is dry or wet food. If it’s dry food, then your cat will need more water to stay hydrated. Usually, a cat needs 2-4 ounces of fresh, clean water in addition to its food, and more during summer times.

Your cat also needs extra care and monitoring, especially after spaying. Cats are lovely animals, a treasure to behold, and as such, if you ever decide to own them as pets in your home; you should be prepared to offer them enough care that they deserve. A healthy lifestyle promotes good health for your cat just like humans too. In this article, you have read about the symptoms of dehydration. And you have also been exposed to several creative ways to encourage your cat to drink more water. As you try these methods, you might see positive results in no distant time.


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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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