Genetically, cats have a lower thirst drive than many other pets. This is because their ancestors originated from desert environments and thus historically needed very little water to survive. Cats are also notoriously picky, and this extends to their water preferences. However, keeping felines hydrated is critical since water is crucial to their well-being and overall health. Water intake keeps organs functioning properly, helps the kidneys to flush toxins, and prevents urinary diseases. If your cat is not drinking as much water as you want, here are a few clever ways to help them stay hydrated.
Consider Water Quality
You can improve your cat’s water intake by testing the water quality. Ensure you refresh the water daily and wash the water bowl using hot water and soap. You should also find out the water temperature that your cat prefers. However, most cats prefer fresh, cool water. You can also make the water tastier by adding some low-sodium broth to the drinking water to entice additional sips throughout the day.
Put the Right Bowl at the Right Location
The location of the cat’s water bowl can affect how much water they drink. Therefore, ensure you keep their water away from their food bowl. Some cats are picky and will not drink water close to their food. You can also set up multiple water dishes around the house until you determine where your cat prefers drinking. You can also use different bowls, such as stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic, to find what your cat loves. Always choose wider-sized bowls since many cats do not want their whiskers to touch the water as they drink.
Some cats may prefer running water that continuously aerates because running water may appear cleaner to cats. Additionally, the oxygenated water tastes better, and cats are attracted to the sound or just like playing with the water as they drink. You can purchase a pet fountain for your cat, but be sure to regularly clean and change the filter. You can also try adding a few ice cubes to refresh your cat’s still water station.
Add Moisture to Your Cat’s Diet
Wet cat food can be nearly 80% water, but dry food tends to have a much lower moisture content. If your cat mainly eats dry food, you might consider adding a little water or diluted broth to their daily meals. Alternatively, you might add more canned food to your cat’s diet to boost the amount of water they consume.
Consult the Veterinarian
When cats are not emotionally or physically healthy, they may stop consuming enough water. If you notice a sudden decline in your cat’s drinking habits, it’s time to see your vet. If the case is severe, your vet will administer fluids intravenously (IV).
If you suspect your feline is not getting enough water, you can try out some of these tips. If your cat still seems resistant to drinking water, you should call the veterinarian. The vet will examine your pet and run some tests to determine whether the cat is dehydrated. If they are, the vet will work to uncover the underlying cause of the issue and help you restore your cat to good health.