Cats are the camels of the feline world. It means they can easily survive on a minimum amount of water as compared to the dogs. However, they are just as vulnerable to dehydration. You need to take care of this, especially when the temperature peaks during the summer months. Suppose your feline friends do not consume a good amount of water throughout the day. In that case, they might suffer from common health problems such as urinary blockages, constipation, or urinary tract infection.
The old and mature cats need to consume more water daily. Failure to do so can lead to kidney-related issues and disrupt the smooth filtration process. In this article, you will discover several ways to encourage your cat to drink more water and enjoy the perks of a healthy lifestyle.
Note: A best cat drinking fountain is a device that provides fresh, moving water for cats. A cat’s instinctual response to a running stream of water is to drink from it, and the sound of flowing water may entice your pet to use the fountain.
What Happens If Your Cat Skips Drinking Water?
As explained above, cats are vulnerable to dehydration and constipation when they don’t take in a proper amount of water. In addition, older cats that suffer from kidney disease must drink more water to ensure better health for their excretory system.
At times, this lack of interest in water might not just be a habit but rather a health issue that needs a veterinarian’s immediate attention.
In case you are worried about your cat skipping a visit to the water bowl, here are few ways to encourage your furry friend to drink more. Dehydration can lead to blood loss, vomiting, kidney disease, diabetes, & heat stroke.
In older cats, it could also drive in thyroid problems.
Top 9 Tips to Encourage Your Cat to Drink More Water
A single solution may not work for all cats; you just need to keep trying; these are the most successful tips to encourage cats to drink more.
1 — Place Water Bowls in Multiple Locations:
While dogs are known to be active and curious, cats are the exact opposite. They do not like to find things as a reward. Rather, they love it when things are easily accessible to them.
Normally, pet owners specify a place for the water and food bowl to be kept to avoid any mess. However, cats aren’t as messy as dogs.
So, you do not have to worry if you place the water bowls in multiple locations when considering your cat’s liking. To do this, observe your cat and check out the places frequented by your cat in the entire house.
Then, pick 2 to 3 spots from all these locations and place fresh water bowls in all these locations.
With time, you will observe that your cat would increase its water intake. However, it would help if you kept changing the water frequently to ensure no slime development.
2 — Keep the Bowl Away From the Cat’s Litter Trays:
Would you want your food to be served next to the place where you defecate? Well, the same goes for cats as well. While your dog would love to sniff around the dirt, cats are very posh when it comes to staying away from anything smelly.
Likewise, cats hate to drink or eat close to a place where they defecate or urinate.
If you have the habit of keeping the water bowl by your cat’s litter tray, consider placing it somewhere else. Maybe even a different room.
3 — Try Placing Different Bowls:
Has your cat been drinking water from every other place, but it’s a drinking bowl? Well, this could be because the bowl isn’t comfortable for the cat or doesn’t interest it at all.
Experiment with bowls that are made from various materials that are suited for use among cats. For example, ceramic or glass is considered good for serving water to your cats.
However, glass could be a bit fragile when used around cats as it is notoriously popular for breaking things. Therefore, consider the depth and width of the bowl to ensure it is easily accessible.
Cats love to drink from bowls that are wide and shallow. It helps them drink with ease while they are aware of their surroundings.
Plus, shallow and wide bowls keep the whiskers from constantly getting wet or touching the bowl’s sides.
4 — Try Switching to Wet Food:
If you have been feeding your dry cat food for long, it is time to switch to wet food. While dry food does make your cat thirsty, they might or might not want to drink water, depending on their choice.
However, with the wet food, they take in water mixed with the food itself. Most wet food products or homemade wet food come with 80 percent or more moisture than dry food.
So, even if your cat chooses to skip its daily water intake, it won’t hamper its health in any way. However, if your cat is accustomed to eating dry food and doesn’t like wet food, you can add a bit of water to the food and let it soak in the kibble.
5 — Introduce Flavor to the Water:
Even with humans, it is observed that we love to chug on water that comes with a taste or flavor. However, the plain, bland taste of water isn’t something we cherish.
The same is applicable for cats as well. The key is to introduce some flavoring to the water. For example, add some drops of the bottled tuna juice in water or a spoonful of chicken broth to the water. Now, doing this will ensure that the water is enticing for your feline friend.
Remember that cream or milk isn’t the right substitute for the normal water for your cat’s diet. Most adult cats are intolerant to the lactose content present in milk and milk products. They cannot digest it with ease, and it could make them sick.
In summers, cats don’t drink much water as it tends to get hot. To make it more interesting, you can try oral rehydration fluids. These fluids help replenish the essential nutrients and fluids in your cat’s body.
6 — Try Using Pet Water Fountain:
Have you seen your cat play around with the taps in your bathroom? It happens because the cats are attracted to and seek the freshness that comes with flowing water.
So, instead of letting your tap water flow, it is better to switch to a pet water fountain. These fountains come with gently flowing water and would surely spike your cat’s interest, so much so that it makes them drink more water.
7 — Offer Smaller Meals Frequently:
It is seen with most cats that they tend to gulp some water after they consume their food. The habit is similar to that of humans. So, feeding the cat frequently in smaller dosages would help them gulp down more water than feeding once or maybe twice per day. Break the original meal into multiple smaller ones and serve it a little in a single go.
You might observe that the food goes untouched at times. It is your cat trying to adjust to the latest feeding schedule. However, it will surely improve with time and keep the cat hydrated.
8 — Frozen Treats in Water:
Everyone loves to have some refreshing drinks in the hot summer months. Cats are no different. The cats might refrain from drinking water lying around in the bowl for hours in the summer season.
It is because the water heats up, and your cat hates to drink warm water in the hot summer.
So, the key is to chill out the situation for your cat. Add some ice chips now and then to the cat water bowl. Your cat would surely be fascinated and excited by the look and sound of the bobbing ice cubes. Then, they would happily chug some water to feel refreshed.
You can spike this watery treat by going a mile extra. If you have some clam or tuna juice lying around, you can make some ice cubes out of it.
Place these cubes in the water bowl, and this will add both flavor and freshness to the drinking water. However, ensure that you separate the trays used for making tuna or clam juice cubes when you do this.
9 — Keep the Bowl Clean:
Cats are very quick to react to bad smells. If the water bowl has been collecting slime or dirt for long, it can get smelly. Your cat would never drink from a dirty bowl.
So, the key is to clean the water bowl every day to remove the unpleasant odor or any harmful bacteria. Use techniques such as vinegar-based cleaning or cleaning with hot water to rinse the slime deposits.
Apart from this, you can also switch to a different source of water. For example, if your cat doesn’t like to drink fresh tap water, you can change it to bottled water or RO-purified water. Change the bowl of water at least once daily. Use ceramic bowls or stainless steel bowls to help avoid any slime formation.
These two materials are less prone to slime formation as compared to plastic bowls. Plus, ceramics keep the water cool for longer as compared to plastic bowls.
Every cat has its personality. Unfortunately, it means there is no one size fits all solution to help them increase their water intake. The only solution is to try them all and see what works for your pet.
Then, keep experimenting and ensure that you talk to your vet if your cat stops drinking water completely.