How much water does my cat need to drink to stay hydrated each day?
This isn’t an easy answer. Cats aren’t big water drinkers and, chances are, if your cat is eating raw or canned food, she’s getting plenty of moisture from that. On the other hand, though, if she’s eating a diet entirely comprised of dried kibble, there may be cause for concern.
You should know this rough formula: Cats’ body tissues consist of about 67 percent water. Dry cat food contains around 10 percent water, and canned cat food contains up to 78 percent.Therefore, a cat on an all-dry food diet would obviously require more supplemental drinking water than a cat on an exclusive raw or canned food diet. Likewise, a cat on a combination of dry and canned cat food also needs more drinking water.
Water is essential for helping the kidneys flush out toxics from the blood. Water also helps keep other organ tissues hydrated and healthy. The best answer is to always keep a supply of fresh, clean water available to her at all times—no matter what she’s eating because dehydration in cats is dangerous, and if not treated, can lead to death. Cats in kidney failure, either acute or chronic, often require extra fluids given either intravenously or by subcutaneous drip. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best method.
Cats are descended from desert animals, and that probably accounts for her lack of enthusiasm toward the stuff. They’re also curious, though, and are fascinated with rippling, cascading or flowing water. So maybe you can try some things like those cascading pet water fountains to peak her interest in water. You might also try adding a little water to her food, or even placing an ice cube or two in her food to make it more interesting.
Here are some things to watch:
• Make sure she has fresh, clear water available at all times–regardless of diet
• Watch for signs of dehydration. A good test is to pull up the loose skin at the nape of the neck. If it springs right back, the cat is sufficiently hydrated. If it is slow to recede, suspect dehydration.
• . Know your cat’s drinking habits. If she suddenly goes “off his water” or starts drinking excessive amounts regularly, call your veterinarian because it could be a warning for feline hyperthyroidism or feline diabetes.