Water drinking tips for cats


Tips On Encouraging Feline Water Drinking

Cats are descended from feline desert dwellers and obtained most of their water from prey. Water consuption is essential to health and housecats are notoriously low-water drinkers.

Canned food is and excellent way to encourage water intake. Canned food is almost 60% water and most cats love the taste. You can also heat it up slightly in the microwave to bring out the flavor.

Water should be changed daily. Cats are very sensitive to the taste and temperature of water. Some cats don't like the taste of tap water. Try these alternatives:

  • Filtered
  • Distilled
  • Bottled
  • Refrigerated
  • Ice cubes


Wash bowls daily. Cats can be turned off by odors on the edge or inside of the bowl. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are easier to keep clean, and some cats seem to prefer shallow glass or metal bowls. Keep the bowl filled to the brim, cats have very sensitive whiskers and usually don't enjoy putting their faces all the way into a bowl.

Some cats will drink more if a drop or two of tuna juice (from canned tuna in water) is added to the bowl, or ice cubes made from flavored broth mixed with water. If you try this, make sure to still provide a separate bowl of fresh water.

Provide a water source away from the food bowl. Cats seem to enjoy drinking water more when it is away from their food dish. This also encourages natural hunting/foraging behaviors to place water in more than one area.

Moving water is irresistable to most cats. Try leaving a dripping faucet on or purchase a cat water fountain. Fountains are excellent at keeping the water fresh and at keeping your cat entertained. Most pet stores carry cat fountains.

Milk is a good treat if your cat is not lactose intolerant, however cats do not need milk. Water is still the best thing for your cats health.

Experiment with your cat. Find his/her favorite water habits and encourage them. By keeping your cat hydrated, you can improve your cat's health and extend his life.

Please call your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cats water intake as this can be an early warning sign for medical problems.