Most cats don’t drink enough water. Because cats are so self-sufficient we assume they know what’s best for their health, and many times they do.
1 in 3 cats will experience kidney problems in their lifetimes. Many cat lovers have already had to deal with this issue at one time or another and may already be aware that dehydration worsens kidney disease. Most cat households do not provide sufficient sources of water for they feline friends.
The following tips can be used to encourage your cat to drink more water.
1. Place water bowls EVERYWHERE
Location, location, location—it really matters! You’d be amazed to learn how sensitive most cats are to the positioning of a water bowl. Even a little unexpected foot-traffic can be enough to keep your cat from having that next drink. Keep fresh water bowls in multiple spots to maximize your feline’s comfort.
2. Consider feeding your cat wet food
We provide free dietary advice with our nurses, but feeding wet food can be a great way to introduce more liquid to your cat. It is always more important that a cat eats, than eats what we want, and it is surprising that not every cat likes wet food, especially as their only diet. So, keep your cat’s preferences in mind and make sure they eat enough of a new diet to maintain their energy level and weight.
3. Add water or flavour to your cat’s food
Consider adding water or a low sodium chicken broth to canned food or get creative and discuss other flavor options with our nurses. You want to find something that’s healthy and appealing to your cat. Remember, each cat is an individual and even the texture of food can make a difference.
4. Add flavour to your cat’s water
Consider adding low sodium tuna or clam juice ice cubes to your cat’s water (you may want to use a different tray than you use for your own cubes). The ice will not only keep the water cold longer, but can add a tasty flavour. Alternatively you can give the cubes to your cat to play with.
5. Use drinking fountains
Drinking fountains are not only a fun way to encourage your cat to drink, they can make very appealing additions to your home.
6. Test different bowls
Keep in mind that your cat probably doesn’t want to share the dog’s giant bowl. In fact, the only way you’ll know your cat’s preferences is to swap bowls at different times. Better yet, keep several bowls out at all times and see which one drains the fastest. Lastly, consider broadening your definition of “bowl” for example we have know cats who only like to drink from a clear drinking glass.
7. Encourage your cat’s drinking quirks
Many cats will embrace less conventional methods of getting water. Many cats, for example, would rather drink from a leaky tap than an open bowl. If you notice this behaviour, by all means let your cat have a few drips before turning off the tap.
Our nurses are on hand to offer advice on all behavioural problems or questions you may have about your cats health.
If you notice your cat is drinking more this could be a sign of diabetes or kidney problems. We would always advise a consultation to discuss things further.