How much water does a healthy cat need? The total amount consumed in a day by your cat depends on several factors, and they range from your cat’s size (and weight), your cat’s age, and even the time of the year to your feline companion’s diet. If you feed your cat only dry cat food, it’s natural that he or she might need a bit more water so as to ensure the body’s necessary hydration levels.
In this article, we’ll discuss several aspects that are important when it comes to keeping your cat hydrated, but the simplest and shortest answer to this question is that your cat needs between 2 and 5 ounces of water per day depending on the aspects we’ve told you about already.
Telling whether your cat is getting enough water
The issue that arises when it comes to cat parents is that people who spend ten hours out of their homes have a hard time estimating the amount of water that the cat has consumed while they were away. This is especially true if you care for a cat that goes outside, as he or she might drink water from sources you know nothing about.
One way of circumventing this would be to integrate wet food into your cat’s daily diet because your pet will get at least a small amount of extra water from it.
There are several details that could give you pointers with regard to whether your cat is drinking enough water. If you notice that your cat is not urinating two to three times per day, the animal’s coat is shiny, and he or she doesn’t have normal physical activity, then you should start worrying. Unfortunately, cats don’t drink as much water like dogs, for example, which makes it challenging for you to tell whether your pet isn’t getting dehydrated.
Skin elasticity is another clue you can use to tell whether something is wrong in this sense. Pull the skin at the base of the animal’s skin. If it doesn’t spring back right after you release it, your cat might be dehydrated.
Other common symptoms of dehydration range from depression and loss of appetite to sunken eyes and panting. Many of these go unnoticed if you have a lot on your plate in terms of work or school, so the last and maybe the most worrying symptom would be your cat urinating less. If your cat isn’t able to pee on account of having a urinary obstruction, for example, it’s quite likely that the overall water consumption per day will decrease.
Why is your cat not drinking enough water?
Some cats don’t drink water if the bowl is too close to their food source. As a general rule, you should keep the litter box, the food bowl, and the water bowl in separate areas of the house.
One important note that must be made in this respect is that many cats have a fascination toward running water, and that’s logical seeing how it’s considered fresh compared to the stale one from their bowls. If you notice that your pet is predisposed to consuming more water from the kitchen or bathroom faucet whenever you turn them on, you might have to get him or her an automatic device that recirculates the water so that it is kept fresh.
On top of everything, there’s a thing called whisker fatigue that cats have to manage as best as possible. As you might know already if you are a cat parent, your pet’s whiskers are sensitive organs, which means that if you are using an inappropriate bowl where the whiskers are constantly in contact with the sides as he or she drinks water, the animal might just refrain from doing it altogether.
Fortunately, you can fix this issue by purchasing a flat bowl. The important thing to consider when you’re making this decision is that the sides of the bowl shouldn’t be too high so as to touch the cat’s whiskers.
Situations where changes in water consumption can be a sign of disease
Your cat’s body is composed of 70% (more or less) water, so even though felines don’t like to drink that much water compared to other species, water consumption should always be observed, especially if you have the means available to do that.
Some cats drink more water than others, and while that might be physiological for bigger cats because they need more since their bodies are larger, you might notice fluctuations in your pet’s water consumption.
Diabetes is one of the possible medical conditions that your cat might suffer from if you’ve noticed an increase in water consumption recently. Yes, cats can have diabetes just as humans and a host of other animals. If this does occur, you’ll notice that the water bowl is practically empty by the time you get back home from work or school, which is never a good sign with cats.
On the other hand, the animal’s body might activate a protection mechanism if there is a urinary dysfunction that needs to be handled as best as possible. If your cat can’t urinate or eliminates only a part of the urine, his or her kidneys might not be capable of doing their job properly, in which case, there’s no need to strain their functionality by consuming more water.
How to make sure that your pet gets enough water
Some cats might simply not like water on its own, without you adding a bit of flavor by means of extras such as a bit of clam juice or tuna. Chicken broth can also be utilized for this purpose.
If you have an indoor cat that’s also an explorer, you could place several water bowls all throughout your home so as to make sure that wherever he or she is having fun, there’s always something to hydrate the animal.
Another aspect that has to be considered is that cats loathe stale water and they won’t consume any if you have forgotten to change it every day. By the way, you might also have to go the extra mile and clean the bowl so that it retains no unpleasant odors or potentially harmful bacteria.
There are cats that prefer bottled water over tap, and the other way around. To solve this mystery, you could have two bowls in your house with different water sources so that you can tell which one is preferred by your feline friend. You could also filter your tap water.
Is there something wrong with your cat’s urine?
In case you’re having trouble telling whether your cat has a urinary infection that might also affect her water consumption, you could use only a small amount of litter in the box so as to collect at least some urine.
The normal pH range of cat urine is 6.0 to 6.5. You can use pH strips to tell whether your cat has an infection or not. It really doesn’t matter whether the ones you purchase are marketed for humans, because the pH is a purely chemical clue that you can rely on and that proves its worth in a host of situations such as testing your cat’s pee.