Things You Should Know About Cat Drinking

Do you notice your cat’s water intake? As the weather starts to warm up a cat’s water requirements naturally increase.Cats are very picky about how, where and when they drink. Their wild DNA makes them like running water.

How much water should a cat drink?
A cat should drink on average 60mls/kg per day of water. That means a 4kg cat should be drinking approximately 240mls a day (about one cup) to ensure their body functions properly.

What are the potential problems of a thirsty cat?
The four most common problems diagnosed in association with an increase in water intake are:
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Urinary tract disease
All of these diseases are serious, but early detection and treatment improve the outcome dramatically.

How can I get my cat to drink more?
Cats are very fussy about things in general and water is no exception. Male cats especially benefit from drinking sufficient water to help prevent urinary tract disease. Older cats are less inclined to drink water and are subsequently more likely to become dehydrated. They are also likely to have underlying diseases processes requiring a greater fluid intake. Accordingly, you should encourage your cat to drink sufficient water all year round to help prevent disease (and especially in summer).

Some suggestions to increase your cat’s water intake:
  • Cats like fresh water the same as we do and prefer water changed daily.
  • Purchasing a pet water fountain can provide constant fresh water and some mental stimulation for your feline friend.
  • Plastic bowls can make water taste funny to cats and often swapping to a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl can make it more attractive.
  • Changing their diet to include some wet food (contact your veterinarian first to determine the most appropriate food for your cat)
*The placement of the water fountain are important.
The fountain should not be near the food bowl.
A dog will wolf down about anything anywhere but not cats. They’re sensitive about this.
In nature cats don’t find their food where they find their water. Bacteria from decaying food could easily contaminate the water source, which could prove fatal and cats are instinctively aware of this. It is also thought the aromas coming from their food can put them off drinking. Ideally the fountain should be in another room, or on a tiled or stone counter and definitely not near the litter box. Never put your cat’s food or water anywhere near the litter box. It is also best to place the fountain away from high traffic areas and areas where there are sound and vibration disturbances, such as near active appliances, particularly if your cat is the timid type.