How Much Water Should My Cat Drink?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: August 27, 2020
How Much Water Should My Cat Drink?

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Hydration helps our bodies function properly by aiding in the circulation of important vitamins and minerals to the different organs in our bodies. Drinking enough water is essential for all living beings, including our cat. But, how much water should your cat drink?

In this AnimalWised article, we're going to talk about cat hydration and dehydration, helping you encourage your cat to drink enough water for a healthy lifestyle.

You may also be interested in: Is My Cat Overweight?
  1. The importance of cat hydration
  2. How much water your cat should be drinking
  3. How to know if your cat is dehydrated
  4. How to encourage your cat to drink enough water

The importance of cat hydration

What is hydration in cats?

Hydration is the physiological state of when there is a balance of electrolytes, minerals and fluids in the body. For this balance and its positive affect on the body, all living beings will need to have sufficient water for their biological needs.

When it comes to cats, 60-70% of their body weight is water, so it should be no surprise that they will need plenty of it to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, dehydration in cats is a common issue as many of them don't enjoy drinking water. Thankfully, there is a number of things we can do to encourage them to stay hydrated.

Why is hydration in cats important?

Hydration in cats is very important. Proper hydration allows their organs to function properly by transporting all the necessary nutrients to the different organs, providing proper circulation and digestion. It will also help decrease the likelihood of urinary stones, helping the kidney flush out toxins.

How much water your cat should be drinking

This will depend on your cat's weight and diet, whether they eat dry cat food or wet food. Nevertheless, cats will need to consume about 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day.

It's important to focus on the word “consume” since cats don't need to get their daily water intake just by drinking water. For example, a can of wet food is around 70-80% water. This is why wet food for cats is recommended for cats. Learn more about wet food on our article about the best wet foods for cats.

How Much Water Should My Cat Drink? - How much water your cat should be drinking

How to know if your cat is dehydrated

What causes dehydration in cats?

Dehydration in cats can be caused by a number of things. It can be due to the weather, their high activity levels, preference of water, etc. Cats also need less water than their canine counterparts due to their genes and evolution.

For cats, it's easier to get their daily water intake though wet food as drinking water from a bowl is inefficient and sometimes not preferred. This is probably due to the fact that cats instinctively gravitate toward fresh, moving water, instead of the water bowl they're provided with at home.

Another reason as to why your cat may be dehydrated is that they may be experiencing a health issue that makes them prone to dehydration, such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes or diarrhea.

Signs of dehydration in cats

There are certain signs that can help you determine whether your cat is meeting their daily requirement of water intake:

  • Sticky gums
  • Low energy levels
  • Sunken eyes
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Panting
  • Less urination
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice your cat experiencing any of these symptoms, it's safe to say that they may be dehydrated. However, if any symptoms appear in an extreme matter, it's best to offer your cat fresh water but also call your veterinarian as soon as possible, as it can imply another health issue.

Learn more in our article about how to know if your cat is dehydrated.

How Much Water Should My Cat Drink? - How to know if your cat is dehydrated

How to encourage your cat to drink enough water

Encouraging your cat to drink more water can be difficult. As we all know, cats don't appreciate being told what to do, they'd rather be independent and make their own decisions. Nevertheless, there are certain things we can do to help them drink more water if they're not getting enough from their diet.

Remember that this is only necessary if they are not getting the daily water intake their bodies need. If your cat is extremely dehydrated, you must go to the veterinarian as soon as possible. These tips are for cats that just need a little more encouragement. Here are our tips for encouraging a cat to drink more water:

  • Water bowl: choose the correct water bowl for your cat. Some cats will be happy with a simple clean bowl with daily fresh water, whereas other may prefer a cat fountain bowl. This way, they will be more attracted to the fresh and moving water. Whichever bowl you choose, make sure it's clean and contains fresh water. You should change the water at least once a day.
  • Right location: the location of the water bowl will also influence whether your cat is attracted to drink water or not. You should place their water bowl away from their litter box. Perhaps next to their food area or in the living room, but never close to their litter box.
  • Fresh water: when we leave a water bowl out, the water will soon get warm and perhaps even get some bugs stuck inside of the water bowl. This will clearly not be appetising for our cat. It isn't even for us. Keep their water fresh by changing it at least once a day. If you wouldn't drink it, your cat probably won't either.
  • Right diet: if you haven't done so already, begin incorporating wet food into your cat's diet. These types of food are very beneficial as they are more fresh than dry food, they are made specifically for domestic cats so they provide them with the correct nutrition and they also help them reach their necessary daily water intake.
  • Exercise: making sure your cat has enough exercise during the day will also encourage them to drink more water. You can take them out on cat walks or just play with them at home or in the garden. Cats are very playful and will enjoy spending that time with you.

Learn more in our article about how to get a cat to drink more water or home remedies for dehydrated cats. We also encourage you to watch our Youtube video where we give you tips to helping your cat drink more water.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How Much Water Should My Cat Drink?, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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