How to Get a Cat to Drink More Water
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. How do I get my cat to drink more water?
 
A. A cat drinking from his water bowlAs animals go, cats require less water than many others, and we often have a difficult time getting cats to drink as much as we would like. Cats with certain health problems, especially kidney failure and bladder infections, need to drink more water than an average cat. To get your cat to drink more water, here are a few hints:

Increase the number of bowls of water

Place a number of water dishes for your cat around the house. You can even place the water bowls in some unusual places. Cats seem to pay more attention to things that are different. How often have we seen cats drinking water out of the Christmas tree stand or the bath tub when someone has just showered?

Vary the type of bowl

Vary the types of bowls – low ones, high ones, a drinking glass, a big dog bowl. Again, if it is unusual, cats may try it. Find bowls of different materials: crocks, stainless steel, tempered glass.

Try running water

A cat drinking from a cat fountainMany cats, including one of mine, refuse to drink out of a bowl. They prefer running water. Some drink from a slowly running faucet, but you do not want to leave a faucet running all day. Luckily, there are 'fountain bowls' available, which can provide your cat with running water 24 hours a day.

Consider the flavor of the water

Try adding a little water from a can of water-packed tuna to the bowl of water. This extra flavor may entice some cats to drink. Some cats do not like the taste of chlorinated water, or some types of well water. Consider using a water filter or even collecting rain water.

Add water to the food

Feed canned food and/or add water to the food. Canned food has a lot of moisture, so it will provide your cat with more water. If adding additional water to the food, though, we need to use some care. Some cats do not like food with added water. If your cat does not, you will need to try some other options. We do not want your cat to quit eating!

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