How much water do Cats need?
All living beings need water and cats are no exception. Just as they need water though, you need to be informed about their water consumption and problem. As cats can have if they do not get enough water.
For cats in ancient times, water was never really a problem as they got their water from the food they ate, namely mice and other rodents that were comprised of a lot of water themselves. As you may know, that is not the case today and cat’s water sources are a bit different. In this post we will tackle the modern day problems of cats and their water intake and what to look for in regards to how much water your cat consumes.
How much water should do cats drink?
They question now becomes, what is the normal amount of water to give your cat. Vets and other experts tell you that 3.5 to 4.5 oz of water per 5 lbs. of body weight is normal for cats. That means if your cat weighs 11 lbs. they should consume 8 to 10 oz of water per day. It can be important to monitor your cat’s water consumption so if you are home for most of the day try to keep a eye on them and how much they eat and drink.
Now this can come from many different sources like their water dish or even wet cat food. Wet cat food can be comprised of more than 70% water depending on the type of food. And that can account for almost half of your cat’s water intake if they eat the entire can. For recommendations on wet cat food see these review posts (link review post of wet cat food).
Dry food on the other hand is naturally the exact opposite. If your cat eats only dry food, make sure your cat has a clean and fresh supply of water in their dish.
How do I know if my cat needs water?
Now that you know how much water your cat needs, let’s talk about the other side of things. What are some of the signs that your cat needs to drink more water? Dehydration can be caused by many things. Some as simple as overheating or lack of access to water to other underlying health issues like diabetes or kidney disease. Here are some signs of dehydration in cats to look out for:
- Lethargic (low energy)
- Decrease in appetite
- Stomach problems (vomiting/diarrhea)
- Sticky or dry gums
- Sunken eyes
- ‘Skin tenting’ (loose skin)
‘Skin tenting’ is when a cat’s skin does not immediately go back to its resting shape. If you pinch the skin between your cat’s shoulders and the skin falls back into place quickly, your cat is hydrated. However, if it takes a while for your cat’s skin to fall back into place, your cat could be dehydrated. If your cat’s skin stays in place after you pinch it, your cat is severely dehydrated and needs to be taken to the vet for a health assessment.
Can cats drink too much water?
Your cat can have the right amount of water and not enough water but can they have too much water? Most cats regulate their water intake and only drink when necessary just like their ancestors. If your cat is drinking more water than usual it could be a sign of an underlying health issue and you should contact your vet for a check up.
How can I get my cat to drink more water?
There are many things you can do to help your cat drink more water. One thing you can do is to add some tuna juice or chicken broth (low sodium and no added spices like onion or garlic) to the water to entice them to drink. You can also switch up their food from try to wet to help them consume water wen they eat. You can also add ice cubes to the water to create sounds and sensations to make them want to drink the water.
Some other things that can help are adding more bowls or dishes of water to make it more accessible for them. Cleaning their dishes on a daily basis can also help them want to drink clean, fresh water. The biggest thing that we did was to get a water fountain for the cats to drink out of. It keeps the water moving and it creates noises for cats to be interested in drinking. For some reason, some cats really love moving water and the fountain helps with that and makes them want to drink it. For a great fountain, check out the link here.
I love water and not jut because it is essential to living. Cats may not love water as much and do see it as only a necessity. They drink when they are thirsty. They stop when they have had enough. But it is still important to monitor your cat’s water intake if you can as this can be an indicator of an underlying health condition.
The biggest things to get out of this post are to provide your cat access to clean and fresh water. Try to monitor your cat’s water consumption and check the signs for if your cat is dehydrated when you suspect they are not drinking enough water. The main thing is to pay attention and get a cat water fountain.