Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Eight Ways to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water

Orange and white cat looking joyful
Did you know that cats need to drink one ounce of water for every pound they weigh each day to stay hydrated?  Thus, if your cat weighs 11 pounds, he will need to drink 11 ounces of water each day to stay properly hydrated.  Unfortunately, cats aren't typically big drinkers, so it's up to us as loving pet parents to encourage them to drink the water they need.  Here are some ways you can encourage your kitty to drink more water.

Offer Various Bowl Choices: There is no, "one size fits all," when it comes to cat water bowls.  Different cats will prefer different types of bowls.  Place a few bowls of varying sizes and shapes around your home so your cat can choose which ones she likes best.  Cats have very sensitive whiskers and are less likely to drink from a bowl if their whiskers touch the sides.  Try to find bowls that are wide enough so that your cat's whiskers don't touch the sides when she drinks from them.  It's also a great idea to keep your cat's bowl filled up to the rim as much as possible so she doesn't have to stick her head into the bowl to get a drink.

Carmine and Milita have one ceramic water bowl and one stainless steel bowl they can drink from.  While Milita drinks from water bowls a lot more than Carmine, Carmine likes to drink from the stainless steel bowl at times, too.

Keep Water Away from Litter and Food: Most cats do not like eating or drinking near their litter box (which totally makes sense!).  Additionally, some cats don't like their water bowl being next to their food bowl.  If you use a double-feeder, be sure to place a couple of other water bowls around your home as well.

An image of a white cat's face
Keep it Clean: As you're probably already aware, cats are obsessed with being clean.  It's important to keep your kitty's water clean and fresh.  Change your companion's water and wash his water bowls daily to help keep his water fresh and clean.  Cats are sensitive to odors, which can accumulate on a bowl's rim with time.  Ceramic and stainless steel bowls harbor fewer germs than plastic ones, but if your cat prefers plastic bowls, be sure to wash them regularly.

Different Types of Water: Not all kitties like drinking tap water.  Offer your cat different types of water placed in different spots throughout your house to see which type she prefers.  You can try tap, bottled, and distilled water as well as water filtered through a Brita pitcher.  Additionally, try refrigerating tap water to see if it improves the taste for your furry friend.

Feed Wet Food: Wet food contains a lot more moisture than dry food does.  Specifically, Purina states that wet cat food in the United States must contain at least 65% moisture content whereas dry cat food in the United States must contain less than 20% moisture content.  Adding a little water to wet food will also get more moisture into your kitty.  Start small, and add just a little water to your cat's wet food.  You can increase the amount of water in your furry friend's wet food over time.

Orange cat eating out of a bowl on the ground

If your kitty doesn't like eating wet food, try adding just a little wet food to his dry food.  Again start by only adding a small amount of wet food to the kibble.  You can increase the amount of wet food you add to the kibble over time as he acclimates to it.

Add Water to Dry Food: If your cat simply won't eat wet food, try adding a little water to her dry food everyday.  Begin by adding a little water to her food and increase it over time as she acclimates to it.

Flavored Water: Some kitties prefer to have a little flavor in their water.  I can't say I blame them.  I don't really like plain water, either.  Pam Johnson-Bennett suggests adding a few drops of low-sodium chicken broth to your cat's water.  Alternatively, you can try adding a few drops of clam juice, low-sodium beef broth, or tuna juice (from a can of tuna in water) to your feline's water.

Some cats enjoy ice cubes in their water.  Try adding plain ice cubes to your kitty's water to entice him to drink more.  You can also add a couple of drops of tuna juice, clam juice, or low-sodium chicken or beef broth to water in ice cube trays to freeze into flavored ice cubes.  If you add any flavoring to your feline's water, be sure to provide a separate bowl of plan water for him as well so that your cat has a choice of which one to drink.

Carmine drinking out of the top of a PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda fountain
Pet Fountains: Some pets really love flowing water.  Pet fountains provide an excellent source of free-flowing filtered water for cats.  When Jewel got sick with chronic renal failure, I purchased a pet fountain for her, and she really loved it.  I also discovered that Carmine loves flowing water, and he drinks a lot more water from his fountains than he ever did from a water bowl.

July is Pet Hydration Awareness Month.  To celebrate, the fantastic people at PetSafe are allowing me to give away one of their Drinkwell Pagoda fountains in any color!  Please come back and visit us on Friday (July 10th) to enter for a chance to win one.

How do you encourage your cat to drink water?  Please share your tips with us in the comments section.

FTC Disclosure: Last year, PetSafe sent me a Drinkwell Pagoda fountain free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  Receiving the free fountain did not influence my (or my cats') opinion in any way.  All opinions shared on Fur Everywhere are our own. 


Pam Johnson-Bennett: Cats Need Water.

Higgins Animal Clinic: Water Drinking Tips for Cats.

Purina: What is the Difference Between Wet and Dry Cat Food?

Olathe Animal Hospital: Enticing Cats to Drink More Water.


  1. Excellent post- hydration is so important. We will be back to enter, we would love one of those. I like that they aren't plastic.

  2. Great post!
    Personally I drink a lot of keeps you looking young and dewy.

    Noodle and crew

  3. I had a favorite water bowl. Between the fact that it broke and the peeps strted adding dental stuff to my water, I completely stopped drinking. Other cats think I get a lot of food cos I get 2 1/2 3-oz cans a day but it’s mostly so I drink the liquid out of it. TW does try adding water to my food but I mostly won’t eat it then. Occasionally, I’ll take a few sips from our fountain.

  4. We love, love, love our many fountains and they sure help keep us hydrated!

  5. It's all good advice but beware of watering down dry food. Be careful if you water down dry food as it can spoil very rapidly.

  6. Dat's a pawsum posty. Weez luv our fountain too and fur sure dwink way more water tthan we ever used to. Of course dat makes mommy happy and da fountain makes us happy. So glad yous gettin' to give one away too. We can't wait. So many kitties in da blogosphere awe gunna be dwinkin' good.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  7. This is so interesting. I used to never catch my cat drinking water, but now he's so good about it! ...and he also still drinks from bowls like where my mom leaves potatoes to gather moisture or lettuce to wash. Or this one bucket in the patio. I try to keep the bucket clean just so he has that option as well. He loves drinking from there, I don't even know.

  8. our mom didn't know that about how much we are supposed to drink. We get water added to our shtinky goodness, otherwise our mom doesn't really see us drinking. we have a fountain but we are scared of it, mol! purrs,

    pip, smidgen, minnie, hollie

  9. I honestly had no idea that cats needed to drink 1 ounce of water for every pound they weigh! I need to also put a water bowl somewhere else besides by my cats' food dish.

  10. I didn't know that cats needed that much to drink, I guess I always figured they'd self regulate!

  11. I love these tips - I think it would be nice to get some flavored water! I will put in a request for that. ;-)

  12. Great information and something every cat guardian needs to know!

  13. Most of us like drinking from our stainless steel fountain but we have six other water bowls of varying sizes as well. Of course, some of us like drinking from the tap and others from the toilet. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  14. My goofy kitty brofur Rhette likes to dip his paw in the water bowl and then lick his paw. But I know I'd love a fountain! Love Dolly

  15. Tis is really great information. Mommy is going to buy us a fountain this month.

  16. Tis is really great information. Mommy is going to buy us a fountain this month.

  17. Tis is really great information. Mommy is going to buy us a fountain this month.