Tips to encourage your cat to drink more water

How To Ensure Your Cat Drinks Enough Water

Does your cat need to drink more water?

Although cats are able to survive on less water than dogs, they are still prone to dehydration, especially as the temperature rises over the summer.  If your cat doesn’t drink enough during the day, it can lead to common health issues such as constipation, lower urinary tract disease and urinary blockages. It is particularly important for mature cats to drink more water as their kidneys will need extra help to function properly.

If you are concerned that your feline friend isn’t drinking enough to stay hydrated, try some of these tips to encourage your cat to drink more water:

Increase access to water

Placing water bowls around the house can encourage your cat to drink more because it is easier for them to access. They are likely to have a drink as they walk past a bowl out of interest without realising they are thirsty.

Keep water bowls away from litter trays

We wouldn’t want to eat and drink next to where we go to the toilet, and cats often have the same attitude. If your cat’s water bowl is close to their litter tray, consider moving it (potentially to a different room) and you may find that your cat starts to drink more water.

Experiment with different bowls

If your cat seems uninterested in drinking from their water bowl, it could be that they don’t feel comfortable drinking from the bowl. Experiment using bowls made from different materials (e.g. glass or ceramic) and see if your cat’s drinking habits change. Cats usually prefer wide, shallow bowls as it allows them to keep an eye on their surroundings while they’re drinking and keeps their whiskers from touching the sides of the bowl. 

Switch to a wet food diet

Wet food contains up to 80% more moisture than dry food, meaning a cat on a wet diet will get a good proportion of their daily water requirement just from eating. If your cat will only eat dry food, try adding a few drops of water to the bowl and let the kibble soak it up. 

If you do switch your cat’s food, make sure you do it gradually as this will reduce the chance of loose stools.

Shop our popular wet diets from Hill’s Science Plan  and  Royal Canin

Add some flavour

Adding a few drops of tuna juice (tuna in water, not oil) or chicken broth will make the water more enticing for your cat. Just make sure the flavouring doesn’t include too much salt, as this is unhealthy for your cat.

It’s important to remember that milk or cream isn’t a substitute for water in a cat’s diet. Cats are lactose intolerant and have difficulty digesting dairy products, so drinking milk could make them unwell.

If you’re worried your cat isn’t drinking enough during hot weather, another alternative is to try Oralade GI Support Rehydration Fluid. Its natural chicken flavour encourages cats to drink and its unique formula quickly replaces essential fluids and nutrients to keep your cat hydrated.

Try a water fountain 

Many cats enjoy playing with the bathroom taps because they are attracted to the freshness of flowing water. Instead of leaving your taps running, try a water fountain instead. The gentle flow of water should interest your cat enough to drink more.   

Each and every cat is different, which means that there is not necessarily one solution to encouraging them to drink more water. It is simply a matter of experimenting with different techniques and finding what works for you and your cat. If you have any serious concerns about your cat’s water intake, you should not hesitate to speak to your vet.