Question: does your feline friend ignore their water dish? Do you struggle with feline hydration? You are not alone! Cats are loveable little fuzzballs but getting them to do anything that wasn’t their idea can be a struggle.
Keep reading to learn fun hydration tips and avoid a dehydration CAT-astrophe!
How much water DOES a cat need?
Let’s start at the very beginning! An average cat should drink about 4 ounces of water per 5 pounds of their body weight daily. But, of course, this amount will vary depending on your climate, the cat’s age, activity level, and health conditions.
Your furry friend’s diet also impacts their daily water needs. Wet or canned food contains about 80% water, and dry food contains about 10%. So, if your cat eats predominantly wet food, you may notice they drink less water.
Pro Tip: If you notice your cat’s hydration habits change abruptly, it might be a good idea to speak with your vet. This change could indicate developing health concerns.
Choosing the Right Bowl
Not all bowls are created equal. Did you know that cats have extremely sensitive whiskers? A cat’s whiskers help them navigate the world, but unfortunately, they can get in the way while eating or drinking out of a bowl.
The ideal bowl is shallow and wide enough that their whiskers do not brush the edges.
Use A Fountain
If your cat REFUSES to drink out of a bowl but instantly appears whenever you turn on a sink, you might want to consider investing in a fountain. Some cats like the sound of running water; to their furry little brains, running water is fresh water.
When purchasing a fountain, make sure you get one intended for cats. A decorative water fountain designed for your garden may contain harmful chemicals in the glazes.
Keep It Fresh
Clean your cat’s water bowl every day. This step is essential because it prevents bacteria buildup; plus, let’s face it—day-old water is gross!
Some cats prefer cold water, while some will only acknowledge room temperature. Observe your feline friend until you find their preferences.
Appeal To Your Cat’s Mischievous Size
If the above steps fail, you might be able to trick your cat into drinking more water. First, get a new cup of water and make a big deal out of drinking it while your cat is watching. Then, set it on the floor.
Cats are curious and love investigating, and who knows, they might take the bait and drink your obviously delicious water. This solution gives your cat agency and makes them think it was their decision. Don’t worry—we won’t explain the trick to them!
We hope the above tips help you keep your cat hydrated, but we also wanted to share these dehydration symptoms with you. If you notice any of the symptoms below, please reach out to your vet for more information:
- Dry gums
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue or listlessness
- Loose skin
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Higher heart rate
- Sunken eyes
- Decreased urination