My cat isn’t drinking

My cat isn’t drinking

If your cat is not drinking enough, there are a number of possible reasons. We will show you what the problem could be.


By nature, cats only drink a small amount of water

As former desert animals, cats need very little water. They owe their relatively low fluid requirements to their powerful kidneys, which are a legacy of their ancestor, the African wildcat. This breed of cat has always had to get by with limited water because there is little to be found in its natural habitat. Their bodies have therefore adapted to cover most of their fluid requirements through their prey. Like wet food, this consists of around 80 percent liquid. When it is given wet food, a cat is therefore able to obtain a large part of its water requirements in this way. To ensure adequate hydration, a cat should always be provided with a supply of fresh water.

Increased water requirement with dry food

Outdoor cats that are fed with wet food at home cover almost all their liquid requirements through the cat food, the prey they catch, and any drinking sources on their expeditions. The situation is different if the cat is given dried food. With a moisture content of around 10%, dry food does not provide the necessary amount of liquid. To ensure that the cat is getting enough water, it must always have unrestricted access to fresh water.

Is my cat drinking too little?

It is not easy to tell whether a cat is not drinking enough. There are, however, a few indicators that may help you: Basically, a cat's water requirements depend on its age, weight and size, its food, the room temperature, its level of physical exertion and any illnesses. Therefore, only an average value can be given, which is 55 millilitres per day and kilogramme (body weight). A cat weighing five kilogrammes therefore needs around 275 millilitres of water. If it eats around 250 grams of wet food a day, it will already consume 200 millilitres of water (assuming the food has an 80 percent moisture content). Therefore, the cat only needs to drink an additional 75 ml of water. If, on the other hand, it is only given dry food, the amount required is significantly higher.

If you are not sure whether your cat is drinking enough, you can measure the amount of water provided and check the remaining amount with a measuring cup 24 hours later.

Encouraging your cat to drink

Not only the correct position of the drinking bowl, but also the bowl itself can influence how much a cat drinks. On the one hand, this concerns the material: plastic and rubber can have a particular smell. With bowls made of ceramics, glass or metal, this is seldom the case. On the other hand, the shape is also important: For example, some cats do not like bowls that are too small or too deep, because they are prone to knock their whiskers on them. This can also occur when there is too little water left in the bowl, which is why it should always be adequately filled. Please fill it with fresh water every day, because many cats dislike stagnant water. And please also remember that the water bowl should be non-slip. If necessary, a special non-slip mat placed under the bowl can be helpful here.

An increasing number of cat owners use another trick: They use a drinking fountain. Not only does the gentle splashing remind the cat to have a drink, but the fountain replicates the advantages of natural running water. This is, of course, always cleaner than standing water. In order to ensure this at all times, the right material should be chosen, (no plastic), and the drinking fountain should be cleaned regularly and the water renewed daily.
To encourage the cat to drink, you can refine the drinking water with the delicious milk snack from animonda.