A tip on getting your cats to drink more water

drinking_water_cat.gif Cats often do not drink enough water to stay as hydrated as they should be. This is because cats in the wild would get a lot of moisture from eating raw prey, but cats in our homes who are fed dry kibble are not getting that valuable hydration from their food. (Please see the blog entry about the value of feeding raw food, especially to cats) Kidneys are organs that are especially vulnerable to disease in cats, and they need that extra hydration to help them and their urinary tracts healthy, especially as they age. Canned food can actually go a long way towards helping them stay hydrated, especially if you add a few tablespoons of warm water to soup it up (kitties that like gravy like this, and it helps to make wet food that’s coming out of the fridge seem fresher). However, it would be good to get them to drink more on their own. Many cats like to drink from faucets. I know there are many folks out there that leave a little water running in the bathroom, just for the cats to drink. This is of course very wasteful. For those cats, please consider a drinking fountain for pets that recirculates and filters the water.
Another nifty tip is one that we stumbled upon entirely by accident. One day Mike was drinking water from a glass down in our basement TV room, and the kitty suddenly was very interested in what was in the glass. So, he showed it to her and she clearly wanted some – he put it down on the floor for her to check out. She drank about half the glass. We ended up refilling it and leaving it on the floor in the basement where it was, and every day she drinks quite a bit from that glass. I had been trying to get her to drink more (she’s about 20 years old, so I want her to drink), and though I thought is was silly, I figured “whatever works!”
The other day, our employee Julie was telling a customer that she had read that cats tend to drink better if you move their water glass away from their food, and it had worked really well for her cat. Brilliant! I was so interested to hear that this wasn’t just a quirky little thing unique to my very quirky cat, but something that might help other cats to drink more as well. I have also read that cats drink better from glass bowls than from metal (and plastic can sometimes be the source of skin irritation for cats around the mouth). If you’re looking to get your cats to drink more, get a glass or ceramic bowl and put it in another area of the house than where the food bowls are, and let me know if you find that this works for your cats as well. Have any other tips for getting your cat (or dog) to drink more? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
PS: check out this funny cat video of a cat drinking in a very silly way

3 Responses to “A tip on getting your cats to drink more water”

  1. Sue

    I have plastic bowls of various kinds in various rooms, and a Corningware casserole dish in the kitchen. I catch my cats drinking out of the various bowls. I think they appreciate the variety, and having water handy when they get thirsty.

  2. Christine Mason

    On a very personal note, thanks for the information! We brought our cat, Floyd, home from a Saturday through Monday hospital stay while he was being treated for FLUTD. We are very concerned with helping him fully recover stay well, The doctors are concerned that Floyd may have sustained kidney damage, and key part of kidney health is, of course, drinking plenty of water. Thanks for the ideas. I am sure we will try them all. Perhaps we will wind up rotating different ways of providing water to keep Floyd, and our two other kitties, interested.

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