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My Cat Doesn’t Drink Much Water; What Can I Do?

Cats need to stay hydrated to be healthy. If your cat isn’t drinking water, it could indicate a severe illness. Here’s what to do if your pet won’t drink water.

How Much Water Should Cats Drink? The amount of water cats should drink daily depends on several factors, including size, weight, age, diet, and lifestyle. In general, kittens and older cats need more water than middle-aged cats. As a rule, a typical five-kilogram adult domestic cat should consume about 250 millilitres of water daily. That’s approximately one cup. However, cats that eat only dry food or are very active outdoors should drink a bit more. As a cat owner, you don’t need to measure the exact amount; just ensure your pet has access to fresh, clean water all day long and let your cat drink as much as it wants. Reasons Why Cats’ Water Habits Change If you notice your cat isn’t drinking much water or any at all, or if it's consuming much more than usual, it may have an illness. Cats that completely stop drinking water may suffer from liver or kidney disease, cancer or periodontal disease. Cats sometimes stop drinking water for less-serious reasons. If you’ve moved the bowl to a new location, the cat may be reluctant to use it. The water bowl may need to be cleaned, or the water may be tainted. If other pets are sharing the bowl, try giving your cat a water bowl of its own. Warning Signs Your Cat Is Dehydrated Dehydration is a significant concern for cats and can affect organ and skin health. If your cat shows the following dehydration symptoms, you should seek professional help for your cat.

  • Loss of appetite

  • Dry skin

  • Panting

  • Drooling

  • Urinating excessively or infrequently

  • Weakness

  • Trembling

  • Increased heart rate

If your cat hasn’t had any water for 48 to 72 hours, is lethargic, won’t eat or has changes in urination and defecation, visit a veterinarian. A vet can restore your cat’s electrolytes and check for underlying health issues. Ways to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water If you’ve ruled out illness, your cat may be just plain finicky. Try these tricks to add more water to your cat’s diet.

  • Add water to their wet food

  • Clean the water bowl regularly

  • Place water bowls in different places around the house

  • Keep food and water away from the litter box

  • Add ice cubes to the water bowl

Also, use a ceramic, metal, or glass water bowl. Many cats don’t like drinking from plastic bowls. Visit a Trusted Cat Veterinarian in Scarborough At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, our cat clinic offers flea and tick control, heartworm tests, microchipping, X-rays, dental care, and more. To book an appointment with an experienced veterinarian, contact us today. We are serving the Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, and North York communities.

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