Keeping your cat hydrated isn't always easy, since felines generally have a low thirst drive. And even though they don't need a lot of water, they do still need it, so there's a fine line between a healthy drinker and a cat that's a little dehydrated.
Because they evolved in the desert, cats require less water than you might think. Back when they were hunters in the dry desert, they got most of their water from eating prey. Modern cats seem to have kept those old habits. But since they don't get as much hydration from their food as their ancestors did, you might need to entice them to drink more.
To help keep your cat as healthy as possible, consider creative ways to entice your feline friend to drink more. Here are ways to help kitties drink enough every day.
Cat Hydration Tips:
Put the Right Bowl in the Right Place
The location of your cat's water bowl can affect how much your cat drinks. Keep the water dish away from the food bowl. Some cats are pretty picky and don't like to drink next to their food. You should also try setting up multiple water dishes around the house until you figure out where your cat prefers to drink.
Try using different types of water bowls, too. Some cats may prefer ceramic or stainless steel bowls to plastic, or they may even be allergic to plastic. Try a wider-sized bowl, since some cats don't like getting their whiskers scrunched up when they drink.
Feed Wet Food
Because their ancestors got most of their water from their prey, it's good to mix some wet food into your little buddy's diet. Wet food can be up to 80% water, which is a great source of tasty hydration for cats. The delicious gravy in Meow Mix® Simple Servings® is a very tempting way to increase your cat's water intake.
Some cats prefer running water to still water because it feels safer to them, the oxygenated water tastes better, they're drawn to the sound, or they just like to play with the water while they drink. Set up a bubbling fountain and see what happens.
Make the Water Tastier
Water is an essential nutrient for cats, so consider making your cat's water tastier. Try adding low-sodium broth to your cat's drinking water. This might be enough to entice extra sips during the day.
Signs of Dehydration
Cats typically need about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water daily for every five pounds of weight. But this can come in the form of food or liquid, so it can be tough to track.
Some signs of dehydration include:
- Dry gums
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue or listlessness
- Loose skin
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Higher heart rate
- Sunken eyes
- Decreased urination
Undiagnosed health issues can cause dehydration, even if they're drinking enough, so take your kitty to a vet if you notice these symptoms.
Wet food is a great hydrator, but dry food is healthy for many cats, too! Here's a bit more on the benefits of both wet food and dry food for cats.