5 Simple Tips to Make Sure Your Cat Drinks Enough Water

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Ensuring your cat stays hydrated is important, but it can be challenging since many cats don't drink enough water. Dehydration can lead to kidney disease and other health issues. Fortunately, you can encourage your cat to drink more with a few simple changes. 

This blog presents 5 simple tips to ensure your cat drinks enough water to keep them hydrated.

1. Opt for Wet Food

Feeding your cat can considerably affect its level of hydration. Dry kibble, a staple for many cats, has only 10% and 12% moisture content. This is considerably less than what wild felines consume naturally, whose diet often reaches a moisture level of around 70-75%.

Consequently, when dry food constitutes the bulk of your cat’s nutrition, it must take in significantly more water to make up for its low moisture content.

If you opt for wet food as part of your cat’s diet, it can substantially boost its water intake. Wet food contains roughly 70% and 80% water, helping cats maintain better hydration. Wet foods are beneficial if you have a feline companion who drinks water frequently.

Benefits of Wet Food

Wet food provides your cat with essential nutrients and more moisture than dry food. This is especially beneficial for cats with health issues like kidney disease, diabetes, or urinary tract conditions. It also helps prevent problems like low energy, weakened organ function, poor skin health, and the risk of urethral blockages.

A shortfall in water consumption by cats can precipitate numerous severe health complications, including:

  • A state of dehydration
  • Infections within the urinary tract system
  • Kidney-related illnesses
  • Formation of bladder crystals

Adding wet food to your cat's diet helps increase its water intake. If your cat doesn't drink enough water from its bowl, eating wet food is a great way to ensure it stays hydrated.

How to Transition from Dry to Wet Food

Transitioning your cat from dry to wet food requires patience and a gradual approach to avoid digestive issues. Start by mixing a small amount of wet food with their usual dry food, gradually increasing and decreasing it over a week or two. This slow process helps your cat get used to the taste and texture of wet food while ensuring their digestive system adjusts without distress.

Moreover, closely monitor your cat's reaction to the new diet; some cats may take longer to accept wet food, requiring a more extended transition period. Ensure the wet food is at room temperature to make it more appealing. Additionally, always provide fresh water, as hydration is crucial during dietary changes.

If your cat shows any signs of digestive upset or refuses to eat the wet food, consult your veterinarian for advice. This careful approach will help ensure a successful transition to a wet food diet, promoting better hydration and overall health for your cat.

2. Experiment with Water Bowl Types and Locations

cat waterers

Regarding their water bowls, the choice and positioning of your cat’s water bowl can significantly impact how much they drink. Cats often have particular preferences when it comes to their drinking containers. They might favor specific materials or shapes or be more apt to hydrate from a bowl in just the right spot. To promote increased hydration, consider introducing a water fountain or opt for broad stainless steel or ceramic bowls that cater to their material tastes.

Interestingly, some cats prefer shallow bowls, making drinking more fun and engaging. Elevating these bowls a few inches can encourage them to drink more. By placing water bowls in various spots around your home, you tap into your cat's love for exploring and provide more options for them to stay hydrated.

Material Options

Stainless steel and ceramic materials are typically the top choices for your cat’s water and food bowls. Stainless steel's merits lie in its robustness, simplicity in cleaning, and resistance to retaining odors or residues from previous meals. Its non-porous surface also prevents bacteria from seeping in.

Meanwhile, ceramic options provide a touch of elegance that can complement interior designs. However, they must be handled carefully since they are prone to chips and cracks where harmful bacteria may increase.

In contrast, despite being budget-friendly and light in weight, plastic bowls have drawbacks, such as their tendency to absorb bacteria and unpleasant smells because they’re porous. Plastic has been known to induce chin acne among cats.

When selecting a bowl for your cat’s hydration needs, prioritize those crafted from safe stainless steel or ceramic, which are conducive not only aesthetically but also hygiene-wise as these types remain pristine even after cycles through the dishwasher—making them an excellent choice for maintaining your cat’s well-being.

Ideal Placement

Choosing the right water bowl and its placement for your cat is essential. Cats enjoy drinking in quiet areas away from the hustle and bustle of household activities. Placing the water bowl peacefully encourages your cat to drink more often. Additionally, it's best to have separate areas for their food and water bowls.

To encourage your cat to drink more, place multiple water bowls around your home, away from their food and litter boxes. Cats are naturally curious. Water bowls in various locations can tap into this curiosity, leading to more frequent water intake.

3. Enhance the Water's Appeal

cat water taste enhancement

Like humans, cats have specific preferences in their drinking choices. While some felines might snub tap water, they may gladly sip on filtered or bottled varieties. Enhancing the flavor of the water promotes greater fluid intake in your pet. Infusing it with palatable tastes such as low-sodium chicken, beef broth, and tuna juice could tempt your cat to drink more.

The temperature of the water is also a significant factor influencing a cat’s willingness to drink. Certain cats are partial to cool water, whereas others don’t mind if it’s at room temperature. Introducing a few ice cubes into their bowl offers an enjoyable and refreshing indulgence for your pet during warmer times of the year.

Flavor Additions

Enhancing the taste of water can be an appealing way for cats to drink more. You might consider:

  • Infusing the water with a bit of tuna juice
  • Incorporating flavor by adding low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • Mixing in just a few drops of unsalted chicken or beef bouillon into their drinking water

Temperature Preferences

Like people, cats have their own likes and dislikes regarding how cool they prefer their water. On sweltering summer days, several felines may find water more appealing if it has been cooled with a handful of ice cubes from an ice cube tray.

Cold water isn’t the preference for every cat. Some prefer their drinking water at ambient temperature. It’s essential to pay attention to your cat’s hydration patterns and tailor the temperature of their water to promote increased consumption.

4. Utilize Water Fountains



A water fountain can help your cat drink more water by appealing to its love for fresh, flowing water, much like streams in the wild, which are cleaner than still water. These fountains attract cats to drink more, which keeps them hydrated.

Providing fresh, clean water with a fountain supports your cat's health. Cat water fountains are designed to be quiet, energy-efficient, and have large water tanks, making life easier for busy pet owners. The moving water stays fresh and encourages your cat to drink regularly.

Choosing the Right Fountain

When selecting a water fountain for your feline, consider the pump’s noise level, the ability to control the flow of water, and whether there is a filtration system that can be replaced. Cats usually prefer a quiet and steady flow of water. Choosing a fountain that mimics this environment could encourage better hydration.

Additional considerations when picking out a cat fountain include:

  • A design with multiple levels suits homes with several cats or those with preferences for different drinking positions.
  • Opting for materials such as ceramic might be more in line with what some cats prefer.
  • Ensure you select a water fountain that will undoubtedly delight and satisfy your cat’s specific tastes and needs.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Keeping your cat's water bowl or fountain clean is essential, just like picking the right one. Cats are picky and might only drink if it's clean enough. Cleaning regularly is important to ensure your cat has a fresh place to drink.

If you use a water fountain for your cat, clean parts like the spout and motor often to stay hygienic. Following a cleaning schedule helps keep the drinking area clean, makes the fountain work well, and encourages your cat to drink more water.

5. Monitor Your Cat's Hydration Levels

hidrating cat

Keep a close watch on your cat’s hydration level, as their well-being depends on it. Inadequate water intake can result in significant health complications for cats, such as low energy levels and compromised organ function. For every 5 pounds of body weight, felines should consume roughly 3.5–4.5 ounces of water daily. Maintaining adequate hydration is key.

Although cats tend to be more resistant to dehydration compared with dogs due in part to their evolutionary origins in arid environments, they are still at risk for issues like urinary difficulties and constipation if not properly hydrated. Cats already contending with other medical conditions may have an increased vulnerability to the effects of insufficient fluid intake and thus require careful observation for signs indicating a water shortage.

Signs of Dehydration

It is essential to know the indicators that your cat may be dehydrated. Dehydration symptoms in cats can range from mild to severe. Watch for early signs like tiredness, reduced appetite, and panting, which may indicate your cat needs more fluids.

In more critical cases, you might observe that your cat’s gums have a sticky or tacky texture, and their eyes appear sunken and dull. Upon identifying any signs of dehydration, it’s imperative to ensure immediate access to water for your feline companion and seek veterinary assistance when required.

Ensure Your Cat's Health Through Proper Hydration

Hydration is essential for many aspects of your cat’s health—it facilitates digestion, allows efficient absorption of nutrients, and helps manage body temperature. Neglecting proper hydration can result in severe health complications. It’s important to ensure that your cat consumes enough water. By applying these recommendations consistently, you’ll support your four-legged companion in remaining well-hydrated and vibrant in health.

For top-notch solutions to keep your cat well-hydrated, consider Petmate's range of high-quality cat products. Explore our selection and find the perfect hydration solutions for your cat today.

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