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do kittens drink a lot of water

It’s a universal truth that cats don’t like water. While some will lick water from the odd glass, cats usually try to stay as far away from liquids as they can. But considering that most cats are ancestrally desert dwellers, cats and kittens have an inane need to retain their water intake.

When they find the opportunity to drink water, especially when they’re young, they take that chance with both paws.

So, if you’re wondering, “do kittens drink a lot of water?” Yes, if you have a kitten, you’ll find it drinking its fair share of water during its bouts of play.

How Much Water Should Kittens Drink?

According to a study conducted by Royal Canin on water requirements and drinking habits of cats, an adult cat weighing 4–5 kg consumes 200–250 ml of water per day. But given that kittens weigh far less, we can determine that they need about 60–120 ml of water to stay healthy.

But keep in mind, this water doesn’t come from a water bowl alone. Kittens get their water from wet food as well as freshwater.  They also require a special water source. You can’t give a kitten simple tap water and expect it to stay happy and satisfied. A cat’s tongue is sensitive to taste and temperature. Stagnant water or tap water tastes bad because they sense the chemicals in the liquid more quickly than you do.

As for kittens that wean off milk, they require even more water for strength. You have to remember, cats become naturally lactose intolerant as time goes. Cow milk or any other dairy causes digestive disturbances for their bowels. But if you give them enough water with their food, they’re able to receive the right amount of minerals and nutrients and stay hydrated alongside.

A pet water fountain provides an easy and convenient way to offer water to a feline without human intervention so cats can have fresh and clean water as per their needs.

Why is My Kitten Drinking Too Much Water?

A diet of dry food with excess salt makes your cat thirsty. If this carries on, the excess thirst ends up damaging your cat’s kidneys. And that doesn’t bode well for the cat’s adult life since chronic kidney disease is very common in senior cats.

So, if your kitten has been overdoing its intake of water, look at its diet and change things up. Mix wet food and dry food during mealtime, and don’t let your cat out during the hot summer days, so it doesn’t get dehydrated. Educate yourself on other ways through which you can keep your cat well-hydrated.

Cats who likes water are easy to pet!

Why isn’t My Kitten Drinking Water?

If you have the opposite problem with your kitten, start with its source of water.

Kittens and cats are very clean animals. They will not like having a dirty water bowl with little specks of food, hair, debris, or dander, even if they’re the reason it all ended in there. Your kitten will require clean, fresh water every day and a well-washed bowl every morning.

But, there’s a chance even this trick will not work. And that could be because of the bowl’s placement. Cats don’t like drinking water from the same place where they may “catch” their food. Chalk it up to their primitive need to hunt for food and water in different areas.

So, experiment by putting a water bowl in different places of the house. It would typically help if you had a small bowl of water in every room of the house. Please place them in a roomy space (not right against the wall, they need space so they can have their backs covered due to their ancestral instinct of staying protected), and find out which area your cat likes best. If they don’t, they will let you know.

How Your Kitten Drinks Water

Let’s assume you’re worried about your kitten not taking enough water because you never see it drink enough. You may just be mistaken about your kitten’s drinking ability.

Unlike dogs who will happily slurp away, cats have a different, unique drinking pattern. Instead of gulping down on the water, cats barely touch the surface of the water with their tongues before drawing it up. This rapid motion triggers a small column of water, which it snaps up in its mouth, right before the water drops back down. As a result, your kitten can drink more water through those little tongue dips than you know.

So, if your cat does so several times a day and doesn’t show any signs of dehydration, you’re good to go.

How Do I Know If My Kitten is Dehydrated?

If your kitten becomes overheated, participates in vigorous activity, or has bouts of diarrhea or vomiting, look out for the following signs of water loss and dehydration:

  • Panting
  • Dry mouth
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

If you notice any of the above symptoms, take your kitten to the vet straight away. If not, though, but you still suspect it dehydration, try the “skin tenting” test.

For this, pull the skin gently around your kitten’s shoulders and pull it up, then release. If your kitten is hydrated, its skin will ping back to place. If not, the skin will take time to return to its position. However, if its skin remains in that tent shape, this is an indication of serious dehydration that may veer into dangerous territory and require an emergency veterinary visit.


Kittens and cats are moody creatures. They’ll drink water when they feel like it and throw a tantrum if you don’t provide the right water source. So, eliminate your worries beforehand.

Switch up their bowl material and decide on the ones your kitten likes to drink from. As stated before, place water bowls in different areas around your home. And try to find some wet food that offers a good hydration source and nourishment, but without relying on preservatives and chemicals.

With the right diet and plenty of water sources, your kittens will be able to drink as much water as they want so that they can grow into happy and healthy adult cats!

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