The Hervey Foundation for Cats
How to Get Your Cat Drinking More Water

How to Get Your Cat Drinking More Water

Are you worried about how much water your cat is drinking? Are they showing signs of dehydration? Trouble at the litter box? Many domesticated cats don’t get enough water at home, and there are some easy things you can do to encourage your cat to drink more H2O.

Dry Kibble

Dry kibble is pretty standard fare for a domesticated cat, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of only feeding them this. Kibble, especially if it is high quality, is specially formulated for cats and contains many of the nutrients they need. Cheaper brands use a lot more filler, but regardless of who made the food, there isn’t much moisture in it. 

Some cats like a little water to soak their kibble in, while others don’t. You can find out what your cat likes by experimenting! If they turn their nose up to wet kibble once, try again with a little less water. If they still don’t like it, don’t force it. There are other ways to water a cat!

Wet Food

Wet food is one of the places where cats get a lot of water in their diet. There are plenty of different types of wet food you can get for your cat; pate, flaked, grilled, etc. These wet cat foods all have a little water added and mixed in, but some cats like it if you add more. 

The pate-style food crushes up and blends well with some water. It creates something closer to a stew or porridge-like texture. It helps your cat get the food down easily and provides them with some additional moisture in their diet!

Variety – the Spice of Life

Being creatures of routine and extreme curiosity, you can encourage your cat to drink more water by placing bowls of water around your home for them to discover. Cats love to patrol their territory every single day, and they will notice a new bowl of water along their route. Being curious creatures, when they find a new water source, of course, they must test it out! Once they get used to knowing there is more water around the house, they might drink it more often!

Cats also prefer moving water as opposed to still water, so investing in a cat fountain or another type of filtered circulating water bowl is a great place to start. It will pique their curiosity and bring them over for a drink even in a situation where they might not have otherwise.

Flavour-enhancers and Ice Cubes

Think of it like cat Kool-aid, but you likely already have some in your cupboard. Adding things like tuna juice or chicken broth to your cat’s water can liven it up enough to draw your cat to it. 

Some cats like ice cubes in their water! Whether it’s the mysterious cubes floating in their dish keeping them interested, or the ice-cold temperature, ice might just bring your cat to the bowl more often!

Keep it Clean

One important element to always keep front of mind is that cats prefer clean water. Make sure you regularly change their water bowls and keep them filled with fresh water from the tap. Cats tend to leave some saliva behind in their bowls, so cleaning them regularly is also good practice, even though it only holds water. 

If cats see that the same old water has been sitting there for too long, they may not want to drink it, just as we wouldn’t. 

With these tips in mind, your cats should start getting more of the hydration they need. And who knows? Maybe they’ll even like it! If your cats seem to be avoiding water, that could be an indicator of something more serious and a call to your vet should be placed. Otherwise, good luck and happy hydration!


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