Is your cat drinking enough water?

Just like us, it is important that our cats stay well hydrated.  All cats will drink different amounts of water depending on what they are fed.  If you are feeding a wet diet (i.e. meat) they get a lot of water from the food itself, so you may not see them drinking as much.  Cats who are fed on dry food (i.e. cat biscuits) will drink more water.  If you don't see your cat drinking, don't worry - that may be because they are drinking from a water source outside, or from their water bowl inside when you're not looking!

Here are some facts and tips that may help you to help your cat drink more: 

  • Cats are biologically programmed not to drink water which is near their food or near their toileting area - this is thought to be their instinctive avoidance of contaminating their water with potential sources of bacteria. Try moving the water bowl away from the food bowl and litter tray and see if your cat drinks more.
  • Every day, wash the bowl, thoroughly rinse it and refill with fresh water. 
  • Cats generally prefer their whiskers not to touch the edge of a bowl when drinking - try using a wide-brimmed bowl.
  • Cats prefer to drink out of ceramic, glass or metal bowls - plastic bowls can taint the water.
  • Some cats will prefer to drink from a natural water source outside; this might be because some are put off by the taste of chlorine.  You could try collecting rain water for your cat to drink.
  • Cats often like to drink from a running water source, such as from a tap or fountain - you can buy cat water fountains, which some cats love (but not all are so fussed about!)
  • Water should always be available indoors in case a preferred outdoor drinking source suddenly becomes inaccessible.
  • Try experimenting with different types of drinking vessels and where you place them.  See where your cat prefers to drink and what they like to drink from - you may be surprised!

If you are worried about your cat's drinking or eating habits, please contact your vet to have a health check for your cat.