A orange tabby cat drinking water from bowl


Encouraging Your Cat To Drink More Water – 11 Practical Tips

As any cat owner knows, getting your feline friend to do something they don’t want to do can be a real challenge. As cat parents, we all want our furry friends to be healthy and happy. Proper hydration is essential to your cat’s health and well-being. From maintaining healthy kidneys to preventing urinary tract infections, drinking enough water is critical for your cat’s overall health. But what should you do if your cat is not drinking enough water? In this article, we share 11 practicat tips for encouraging your cat to drink more water. We’ll also explore how much water cats should drink and when to visit a vet.

What are Dehydration Symptoms?

Cats need less water than other animals, but they still need some and it is important to learn how to identify when they are dehydrated. Here are four main symptoms to watch for.

  1. Loss of appetite and low energy. When a cat is dehydrated, it can get super picky about its food and may not even want its favorite treats. This can make them feel lethargic and not up for activity. If your fur baby gets so lethargic that it can’t even move, it’s time to take them to the emergency vet. It may be a sign of severe dehydration that requires immediate treatment to prevent further complications. 
  2. Panting. Panting in cats is typically an indication of pain or overheating, but it can also be a sign of dehydration. If panting persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is recommended to seek veterinary attention immediately to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment.
  3. Pale, sticky gums/thick saliva. Healthy cats typically have pink and moist gums and saliva. However, if a cat becomes dehydrated, you might notice that its saliva is thicker than usual and looking like a rope. Plus, their gums might look pale, dry, and sticky. Monitoring these symptoms is essential, as dehydration can lead to serious health complications.
  4. Sunken eyes. Cats that are sick or unwell may develop sunken eyes, which can be a cause for concern. Although dehydration is a common cause of sunken eyes, it is also possible that an underlying medical condition at play. If you notice that your cat’s eyes appear sunken, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. The vet can conduct a thorough examination and determine the root cause of the sunken eyes, and provide appropriate treatment to help your cat recover.

How much water should a cat drink in 24 hours?

If you’re wondering how much water your cat needs to stay healthy, there are several factors to consider.


Young cats, elderly cats, and those living in hot climates need more water than others. In general, most veterinarians recommend that a healthy cat should drink around 4 ounces (or about 1/2 cup) of water per 5 pounds of body weight each day.

But keep in mind that this is just a general guideline, and some cats may need more or less water depending on their unique needs. If you have concerns about your cat’s water intake, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.

How can I encourage my cat to drink water?

If you’re having trouble getting your feline friend to drink enough water, you’re not alone. With these 11 practical tips, you’ll have some great ideas to help your kitty drink more water and stay healthy. Give them a try and see which ones work best for you and your furry friend!

  1. Give your cat fresh water every day. Just like humans, cats prefer fresh water to stale water.
  2. Clean your cat’s water bowls every day. Keep them bacteria-free by cleaning them in the dishwasher or by hand with soap and hot water.
  3. Try using bowls made of different materials. Ceramic, glass, or stainless steel bowls are better than plastic ones, which can hold onto odors and bacteria.
  4. Use a wide, shallow bowl or fill it to the top. Some cats dislike it when their whiskers touch the bowl rim, so this can help them drink more comfortably.
  5. Offer different types of water like filtered or bottled water if your cat doesn’t like tap water.
  6. Give your cat wet food. Wet food has lots of water in it – about 70%, which can help keep your cat hydrated.
  7. Add water or wet food to the dry kibbles. Start with small amounts and introduce it slowly to your cat’s diet.
  8. Place water bowls in every room of the house, so your cat has easy access to water.
  9. Consider using drinking fountains, which some cats prefer over still water.
  10. Elevate your cat’s water bowl to make drinking more comfortable, especially for older or larger cats with medical problems like arthritis.
  11. Try adding ice cubes to your cat’s water bowl. Some cats love cold water and will drink it that way.

When should I worry about my cat not drinking water?

Cats, like all living beings, require water to survive. They can go without drinking water for three to four days. However, it is important to note that dehydration can occur after 24 hours without water. Prolonged dehydration can lead to serious health issues such as electrolyte imbalances and organ damage.

Final Thoughts

Encouraging your cat to drink water is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Dehydration can cause various health issues, including kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and even death in severe cases.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your furry friend stays healthy, happy, and hydrated. Plus, a well-hydrated cat is more likely to be energetic and playful, ready to enjoy quality time with you.

It’s important to remember that each cat is unique and may have different water requirements based on their age, size, and environment. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to your cat’s individual needs and adjust accordingly. With a little effort and patience, you can keep your feline companion healthy and hydrated for many years to come.

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