Drinking Water: How can I encourage my cat to drink more?

posted: 05/15/12
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As animals go, cats require less water than many others, and we often have a difficult time getting cats to drink as much as we'd 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's unusual, cats may try it. Find bowls of different materials: crocks, stainless steel, tempered glass.

Try running water

Many 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 don't 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.

Flavor 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.

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 doesn't, you'll need to try some other options. We don't want your cat to quit eating!

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