How Much Water Should a Cat Drink?

Keeping your pet supplied with fresh water is one of the most important things you should do as a responsible pet owner. Cats and dogs are different in their eating and drinking habits, but they both should have access to fresh water at all times, but when it comes to how much they should be drinking each day, do you know? Many cat owners may not even know how much water their cat is taking-in on a regular basis, let alone how much they should be drinking each day.

Dangers of too little water

Why is water so important? Water is essential for aiding the kidneys to flush out the toxins from the blood. It is also essential to keeping your cat hydrated, from all the organs, to their skin. If your cat becomes dehydrated, it can be very serious and can eventually lead to kidney failure.

When cats drink too much water

It is fairly normal for cats to increase their water intake during hot weather, but it they begin to drink too much, it can a sign of a medical problem, typically feline diabetes or feline hyperthyroidism. But if you don’t know how much they should be drinking, then you won’t know if they are consuming too much.

Cats’ water needs depend on their diet

What a cat eats will determine how much water they should be consuming every day. A feline’s body tissues are made up of approximately 67% water. They need to replenish this through both their water intake and what they eat. If your cat eats an all-dry food diet, he will need more water since dry food does not contain much water, just 10%. However, if your cat eats all canned food, which contains about 78% water, he won’t require as much supplemental water. For cats that eat a combination of canned and dry food, their supplemental water intake will need to be higher.
The bottom line is, a cat’s water intake needs are variant on the individual cat. The size of the cat matters, what they eat, how much water they are losing in a day due to activity level or they are inside where it’s cool or outside in the heat. Making sure they get adequate amounts available to them and monitoring what they’re drinking and their health, is important.
Tips to help ensure your cat drinks enough 

To help encourage your cat to drink plenty of water, be sure to keep a fresh bowl of water out for him on a daily basis. Make sure the bowl is clean and water is cool and fresh. It has been proven that cats love running water. You may have seen your cat trying to drink water out of a dripping faucet. There is a theory that cats love, and prefer running water as opposed to standing water due to their fear that standing water is full of bacteria and parasites.

Monitor your cat for signs of dehydration. You can test your cat’s skin to see if it is well hydrated by pulling up the skin on the nape of the neck to see if it snaps back into place. If it does, your cat is well hydrated. If it responds slow to lay back down, your cat may be dehydrated. If you think your feline is, try adding an ice cube to his water dish and encourage him to drink, or offer him a can of canned food. You may also want to try putting some water in a different container, such as a glass or other dish he may like instead of his typical water dish, or run the sink for him to drink out of.

If you can’t get your cat to drink and suspect dehydration, it’s important you have him checked with your veterinarian for medical issues.

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