Did you know that felines in their natural habitat rarely drink as much water as their domesticated relatives? Cats in the wild obtain their water almost entirely from their preys, which usually contain about 75 percent water. However we always need to provide fresh, clear drinking water to our house cats. Indoor cats left behind their natural moisture rich diet to live with humans, so the best we can do is to closely monitor their water intake even when we feed them with rich in moisture canned food. By keeping an eye on their drinking habits we may notice early signs of serious illnesses.
But how much water should a healthy cat drink on average? A good general guideline is that a house cat should drink about 60mls/kg on a daily basis. Though it can depend on variety of factors just like daily activity, age and weight of the cat, season of the year and their type of food. While canned food can contain 60-75 percent water, dry food only contains around 10 percent so if you feed your cat with dry food, it is absolute necessary to provide enough drinking water from multiple sources in your home. Though it may fit your cat needs with enough daily water intake, I highly recommend a moisture rich, species-appropriate diet.
What are the signs of your cat may not drink enough water?
- Dull coat and with dry flakes
- Weak skin elasticity and thin skin
- Lethargy or loss of appetite
- Less than 2-3 urinating per day
Weather your cat drinks more or less than he should it can lead to serious diseases. Excessive drinking (polydipsia) and excessive urination (polyuria) are early indicators of kidney and liver problems. While drinking less water can lead to dehydration and can harm their vital organs.
Tips to encourage your cat to drink more:
- In the summer you can add some ice-cubes in your cat’s water. It gives them something to play with and they will love the cold water.
- Make sure you change the water in their bowl on a daily basis. In warmer months you may need to rinse the bowl a couple times a day to prevent bacteria growth.
- Use variety of drinking bowls so they can choose their favorite drinking source. Some cats prefer stainless steel waterers rather than plastic bowls.
- Don’t put the water source near to their litter box. Keep in mind that some cats don’t like their water near to their food either. Try different areas and pay attention to their favorite drinking places.
- While generally cats are not big fans of open water and baths they are fascinated by running water. You may have noticed that they love to play with dripping faucet and they can be mesmerized by the sight of water being flushed down a toilet. It’s because they are naturally attracted to the sound and the sight of running water in the wild. To encourage your cats to drink more you can purchase an automatic drinking fountain that can imitate the natural water sources with its always running, circulated and filtered water.