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how much water does a cat drink

Naturally, all animals require water to stay alive and healthy, and your beloved pet is no exception. The amount of water your cat drinks depends on what you feed them. A cat on a wet diet will not require as much freshwater as a cat on a dry diet. Don’t worry if you can’t see your cat drinking water. They are most likely hydrating from outside water sources or lap from their bowl when you’re not looking.

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How Much Water Does a Cat Need?

Ideally, a cat should take 60ml of water per kg of their weight. Cats can achieve this hydration level through the ingestion of food and fluids or metabolism – also known as oxidation water.

Your cat’s water intake greatly depends on what it feeds on and the surrounding environment.

If you opt to keep them on a wet diet, cats will hydrate from their food’s fluids and water content. As such, they will make lesser trips to their water bowl or cat fountain.

Technically, a cat on a dry diet will drink more fresh water. However, scientists argue that cats on such diets don’t hydrate as they should. It makes them susceptible to lower urinary tract diseases and chronic kidney disease.

How Often Should Cats Drink Water?

If your cat is on a wet diet, it will not drink as much water as a cat fed on cat biscuits. Wet foods are 80% water, while dry foods contain only up to 10% water content.

Your environment also dictates how often your fur baby will seek to hydrate. Hot and humid areas mean the cat will dehydrate faster than cooler areas. If your kitten is active, it will have a higher water intake than its relaxed counterparts.

It’s almost impossible to keep track of how much water your cat drinks in a day, especially if you have other cats or pets in the household. However, if you notice that your cat frequents the water bowl repeatedly or starts to drink from unusual locations, take that as a sign of underlying illness. Call your vet as soon as possible.

How Do I Know My Cat Drinks Enough Water?

As a fur parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your pet is properly fed and well hydrated. But how can you tell if your cat is getting enough water?

The most technical way around this will be to trace the amount of water your cat consumes daily. In addition, the urine of a hydrated pet should be odorless and clear or pale yellow.

Alternatively, you can keep track of hydration levels by observing your pet physically. Signs of proper hydration include pink, moist gums, elastic skin, and shiny bright eyes. A hydrated pet has good energy levels.

Why Isn’t My Cat Drinking Water?

Naturally, most fur parents will panic when they notice their pet is not hydrating properly. There are several reasons why your cat is not drinking enough water, and not all of them require a vet’s attention.

For starters, look at his water bowl. Is there any debris, hair, food particles, or dust in it? Just like you, your fur baby desires clean drinking water, so ensure you clean her bowl and replace the water several times.

Some cats will refuse to drink water simply because they dislike the placement of the water bowl. Move the bowl around the house and note where your cat shows interest in the water bowl.

In some cases, your cat can be drinking water from a different source, inside or outside the house. Some cats tend to drink from the pond, shower, or sink, all the while ignoring their water bowl.

A change in routine or a disturbance in daily life might trigger a thirst strike. It includes moving, changing diet, or introducing other pets. To prevent this, create a daily routine and slow down transitions. In the case of multiple cats, place several drinking bowls around the house.

When is it time to call your vet? Cats tend to mask their illnesses, so it can be hard to tell when they need medical assistance. Your cat might have trouble hydrating if they have endocrine issues such as liver diseases—severe kidney disease results in loss of thirst.

If you are unsure why your cat won’t drink water, visit your vet as soon as possible.

How Do I Know If My Cat is Dehydrated?

There are numerous ways in which your fur baby can be dehydrated. Dehydration means that the water and electrolytes levels are below the required needs. Common causes of dehydration include low water intake, overheating, vomiting, fever, diabetes, heatstroke, and diarrhea.

What are the warning signs for dehydration?

  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive or infrequent urination
  • Sticky, dry gums
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling and panting
  • Spiked heart rate
  • Sunken eyes
  • Tenting – If you pull your cat’s skin, it should quickly fall back in place. If it falls back slowly, your fur baby is dehydrated. If the skin remains in the tent position, your cat might be severely dehydrated.

In most cases, dehydration is a sign of far-worse underlying conditions, so it is advisable to contact your vet right away.

How Do You Remedy Dehydration in Cats?

Suppose you notice any signs of dehydration in your cat. In that case, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as you can. Meanwhile, there are several home remedies that will help you rehydrate your fur baby.

You can opt to flavor your cat’s drinking water by adding small amounts of tuna juice or broth. You can also place several ice cubes in their drinking water.

Substitute their dry food with wet foods. Opt for smaller portions spread out severally during the day instead of large, spaced-out feedings.

You can set up a cat fountain or an automatic water dispenser for your cat. It will make hydrating more exciting for your cat.

In severe cases, your vet will rehydrate your pet either through subcutaneous or intravenous injections. If vomiting is the cause of dehydration, your vet might administer antiemetics. These drugs prevent nausea and vomiting.

How Can I Increase My Cat’s Water Intake?

Treating dehydration might prove to be a costly ordeal, so it is vital to pay keen attention to the hydration habits of your pet. As the parent, this helps you detect any abnormal behavior and symptoms early.

Here are numerous tips and tricks that will help you increase your cat’s water intake;

  • Biologically, cats tend to avoid water placed near their feeding bowl or toileting area. This instinct helps them avoid water contamination. So, try placing their feeding and water bowls at different locations.
  • Remember to wash the water bowl every day before refilling it with fresh water. If you have multiple cats, change the water at least twice each day.
  • Naturally, cats don’t like it when their whiskers get wet or touch the bowl. So, opt for wide-brimmed bowls instead.
  • Cats dislike the taste of chlorine, so they prefer drinking water from natural sources. Instead of tap water, you can collect rainwater for your fur baby.
  • Cats are naturally inclined to running water sources. That is why they seem fascinated with showers and taps. You can get a cat fountain or automatic water dispenser for your pet.
  • Even if your cat prefers an outside water source, always have a clean bowl of water indoors in case their preferred source is inaccessible for any reason.
  • Opt for a wet food diet instead of kibble. Canned foods contain sufficient water and electrolytes to keep your fur baby hydrated and healthy. Alternatively, you can also add water or ice cubes to their dry foods. This tactic helps to increase the water content in their food.
  • Ask your vet about electrolytes supplements you could use.

I also recommend you to read about How to get a cat to drink more water? It is a resource that will help you keep your cat hydrated and healthy.


The amount of water your cat drinks depends on their feeding habits, levels of activities, and the environment they live. Nevertheless, fur parents must ensure that their pets are well fed and hydrated. It prevents physical complications that could cost thousands or even your pet’s life.

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