Like we require sufficient water for our bodies to function correctly, so do our feline friends. While dogs usually stay adequately hydrated, most cats don’t drink enough water. This might be because domestic cats evolved from desert wildcats. Hence, they have a naturally low thirst drive. More so, cats are particular creatures that some water sources or their location can sometimes turn off. However, it’s still essential for your cat to keep well hydrated. According to cat experts, cats are prone to constipation, kidney disease, and urinary tract disease, and keeping them hydrated can prevent the onset of these conditions. Because cats don’t usually drink sufficient water on their own, here is a look at how to encourage your cat to drink more water.
1. Keep The Cat’s Water Dish Clean
You don’t want to drink from a dirty cup yourself, nor does your cat. Like humans, cats are discerning animals, and dirt in their water dish can quickly turn them off. To encourage your cat to drink more water, you should consider changing the water daily and even more often if it’s noticeably soiled. Also, consider cleaning the water bowl one or two times every week. A clean water dish will encourage cats to drink more water.
2. Refill The Water Bowl Daily
A glass of water sitting around on the floor for several days is not very appetizing to drink. This is the same for your cat. Your feline friend might be pissed off by water sitting around for several days. The cat will appreciate clean and fresh water, so try refilling their water bowl daily.
3. Try Providing water in a Different Water Bowl
Some cats are very picky in terms of the type of water dish they drink water from. For instance, your feline friend might not like their water dish if it’s tiny and shallow because drinking from it might regularly stimulate their whiskers resulting in sensory overload. According to International Cat Care, you might try whisker-friendly bowls that tend to be broader and shallower. Also, metal and plastic bowls can taint the water so consider using a glass or ceramic bowl instead.
4. Provide Standing Water and Water Fountain
If your feline friend is not taking water from their dish, try diversifying ways of providing them with water. Providing cats running water can encourage them to drink more water and change their drinking habits. Most cats are attracted by the freshness and movement of flowing water, which is why you might have witnessed them trying to drink water directly from the tap. According to animal experts, even though your cat doesn’t seem interested, keep the fountain around for the cats to familiarize themselves. You can purchase different water fountains online or from the local pet store.
5. Keep The Water Bowl Away from Their Food
One of the possible reasons why your cat might not be drinking water is because he doesn’t like its location. A water bowl might turn off cats next to food because their instincts tell them it might be dirtied. This has been carried over from the African wildcat ancestors because the gut contents from their prey would contaminate their water source. It would help if you considered placing the water bowl away from the food. Having another water option in a different place offers your cat a clean choice.
6. Keep Litter and Water Trays Separate
You wouldn’t want to drink water next to your toilet. Likewise, cats won’t be keen to drink water placed near their litter tray. This instinct has been passed from their African wildcat ancestors, who normally toilet far from their water source to avoid contamination. So, keeping the litter tray away from the water bowl will encourage your cat to drink more water.
7. Add Water to Your Cat’s Diet
You have probably wondered whether you should feed your cat a mixture of wet and dry food. One reason feline owners mix dry and wet food is to increase the water intake of their cats. Wet food consists of around 70 percent water compared to just 10 percent in dry food. The food allows your cat to obtain a significant part of their daily water needs. To supplement their water intake, you can add more water to their dry or wet food.
8. Add Some Flavor to The Water
Having the water a bit flavored can encourage your cat to drink more water. According to Pet Health Network, you can add a small amount of chicken broth or tuna juice to your cat’s water to make it more palatable and enticing to your feline friend. However, you should ensure the flavoring does not include a lot of salt as it can be unhealthy for your cat.
9. Shift To Canned or Wet Food
Canned food comprises around 70 to 80% water. Therefore, starting to feed your cat with canned food will help it get a proper proportion of its daily water requirement only from the food. If your cat is mainly eating dry biscuits, they will require to drink more water. However, if you switch your cat’s diet to canned food, introduce it gradually to decrease the chances of the cat having loose stools.
10. Put Water Bowls Throughout the House
Cats prefer drinking water in different locations. Having a single water bowl for your cat might piss them off from constantly drinking water. Even a little foot traffic will be sufficient to keep your cat from drinking water. Therefore, provide them with plenty of options to select from so that a bowl of water will always be nearby. Having fresh water bowls in several spots will maximize the comfort of your feline friend and encourage them to drink more water.
That’s it. These are some ways to encourage your cat to drink more water. According to Daily Paws, it’s essential to monitor how much water your cat is constantly drinking. In case of any concerns or questions about your cat’s health, always consult with your vet to ensure the ultimate well-being of your pets.