By nature, cats have a low thirst drive. This served them well when they were creatures of the desert. Fortunately, cats were able to obtain all the liquid they needed from the blood and other bodily fluids of their prey.
Fast forward to modern times. Cats have adapted to domestic living (it was their decision, after all). Unfortunately, their thirst drive remains low. Cats enjoying raw or homemade food have most (but not all) of their liquid requirements met. For those on canned food, just about 80 percent of their needs are met. However, cats on a dry food diet receive less than12 percent of moisture from their meals.
Water makes up 80 percent of a cat’s body. It is necessary for all the biological processes including circulation, digestion and waste removal.
Dehydration is a major factor in the development of everything from urinary crystals and urinary tract infections to kidney disease, heart disease and irritable bowel syndrome and disease.
Tips For Getting Cats To Drink More Water
- Offer fresh, clean, purified water. Change the water at least two times per day (be sure to clean the bowl each time).
- Keep the water bowl(s) separate from the feeding area. Cats are very particular about the cleanliness of their water. They prefer it be located away from their food.
- Place water bowls in different places around the house. Cats love to find new things! Their curiosity often leads to drinking more water.
- Add water to their food. Not too much, you do not want to alter the taste of the food. Adding warm water is a great way to bring refrigerated raw, canned or homemade food back to room temperature. Bonus!
- Cats love water that moves. Consider investing in a water fountain. Avoid plastic (harbors bacteria) and stainless steel (stainless steel imported from China was recently found to contain radon). Instead, opt for ceramic. Great choices include Pioneer Pets and Thirsty Cat Fountains.
If you found this article interesting and would like to receive email notices about future posts, please click the 'subscribe' button at the top of this page. It's free!