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Ensuring that your cat remains hydrated, especially during the hot summer months is essential to your cat’s overall health and wellbeing. It can be difficult though, to get your cat to drink as much water as they should.
Why is water so important?
Clean, fresh drinking water is essential for your cat’s urinary health. Adequate hydration aids digestion and helps to prevent the development of urinary tract infections and more serious health issues such as kidney disease.
Is your cat drinking enough water?
Besides monitoring your cat’s water consumption, there are a few basic signs to help you determine whether your cat is drinking enough water.
- Physical activity – you cat should be its usual active self – not lethargic or sleepy.
- Urination – most cats urinate 2-3 times per day. If you have an indoor cat, check the litter box for urine clumps.
- Coat condition – well hydrated cats have a healthy, shiny coat with no dry, flaky skin.
- Skin elasticity – gently grab the skin at the scruff of your cat’s neck and release it. Well hydrated skin will spring back fairly quickly; a slow response can indicate dehydration.
How to encourage your cat to drink more water:
#1 – Ensure your cat has fresh drinking water. Change your cat’s water and clean the bowl at least once a day.
#2 – Place multiple water bowls throughout the house. Ensure there are water bowls in the rooms that your cat most frequently spends time in, to help increase their water consumption. Avoid placing a water bowl near the litter box – would you want to drink next to the toilet?
#3 – Use their favourite type of water bowl. Cats can be fussy, so try a few different water bowls – glass, ceramic, stainless steel or plastic – to see what your cat prefers to drink from.
#4 – Allow your cat to drink from a glass. Some cats like to drink straight from the glass (just their like their humans do), so consider giving your cat their own drinking glass.
#5 – Place ice cubes in your cat’s water. Ice cubes will keep water cool on a hot day, and some cats prefer icy cold water. It may also encourage your cat to drink more, especially if they like to paw at or lick the ice cube.
#6 – Use filtered water. Tap water can be laden with fluoride and other minerals and your cat may dislike the taste – try giving your cat filtered water instead of water straight from the tap.
#7 – Encourage your cat to drink from the tap. Many cats are fascinated by water from the faucet, so give them the opportunity to drink from the bathroom, kitchen or laundry tap if they want to. My cat Charlie likes to drink from the bathroom tap when I’m brushing my teeth in the morning and at night, it’s become a part of our daily routine.
#8 – Invest in a water fountain. If you have the budget, consider purchasing a water fountain to supply feline drinking water 24 hours a day. Some of the models available are well designed, will blend with your home decor and take up minimal space.
#9 – Flavour your cat’s water. Adding chicken broth or the liquid from a can of tuna will make water a lot more palatable for your cat. You can also make chicken broth and tuna water ice cubes for a frozen, hydrating treat.
#10 – Add water to your cat’s food. Canned food naturally has more moisture than dry food, but you can increase the water content of both wet and dry food by adding water or broth.
To help your cat stay hydrated, it’s really a question of trying different things and seeing what works.
What tips do you have to encourage your cat to drink more? Please share…