From Celine on Pawshake

Have you noticed that cats like to drink from strange places? You might give them a bowl of fresh clean water every day, but they still like to drink from the shower or the base of a plant. Why is this? And how do you ensure that a cat drinks enough water?

Cats don’t drink a lot of water by nature. They are descendants of desert-dwelling felines that would have been able to withstand drought quite well. As such, cats should be able to get their moisture from their food. It is vital for cats not to become dehydrated in order to prevent bladder and kidney problems. Bladder grit and urinary tract problems are painful and potentially fatal for a cat. Drinking water is therefore essential for your cat to remain happy and healthy.

Note that if you are a cat sitter and suspect a cat might be having difficulty urinating during a cat sitting booking, always contact the vet.

Water from cat food

Just as wild cats get a lot of moisture from their prey, cats that eat wet food are less likely to run the risk of becoming dehydrated. You will also notice that cats that eat wet food might drink water less often. Cats that only get dried food have to drink a lot more to ingest a sufficient amount of fluid during the day. However, there may be a good reason to give your cat dried food (for example, for healthy teeth). Wet food is also of varying quality, so make sure to purchase wet food that contains high-quality ingredients.

Another behavioural remnant of the domestic cat’s wild past is that they generally don’t like to drink water located near their food or toilet – their instinct says that this water is polluted. This is part of the reason why cats like to drink in strange places, such as outside from a puddle. Help your cat out by keeping their water bowl away from their food bowl or litter tray.

A cat that drinks enough is usually cheerful and active, has slightly moist gums and pees about three times a day. A healthy cat’s skin is also soft and clear and their coat is shiny.

If you suspect your cat doesn’t drink enough, there are some tricks to get your cat to drink more water.

Tips for getting your cat to drink more:

  • Gradually add wet food or fresh meat to your cat’s diet
  • Add a little water to your cat’s wet food
  • Keep their water bowl away from the litter box and food bowl
  • Keep several water bowls around the house in different places
  • Clean your cat’s water bowls regularly
  • Use a shallow water bowl to prevent ‘whisker stress’
  • Fresh water is always best: change it every day
  • Cats love running water, so purchase a water fountain.

Suddenly drinking more?

Have you noticed your cat suddenly drinking much more water, more frequently? Drinking and peeing too much could be a sign of a more  serious condition. If you see a change in behaviour, always consult your veterinarian.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Dr. Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine) welcomes referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.

Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: [email protected]