how to get your cat to drink more water featured image

How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water

In the wild, cats prey on mice which are made of around 70% water. It has long since been imbued in their genes to derive their daily water intake by feeding on their prey. As a result, they don’t see the need to look for other sources of hydration. Even so, cats don’t really need that much water. However, it’s still important to make sure that they are drinking enough water to stay hydrated especially in this heat.

You’ve tried coaxing your kitty, you’ve tried reciting the whole list of bad things that could happen if it becomes dehydrated. But your cat simply stares at you blankly and lick its paws nonchalantly while you hold out a bowl of water and beg and plead and melt into puddle of worry. Now then, what do you do?

You’ve tried coaxing your kitty, you’ve tried reciting the whole list of bad things that could happen if it becomes dehydrated. But your cat simply stares at you blankly and lick its paws nonchalantly while you hold out a bowl of water and beg and plead and melt into puddle of worry. Now then, what do you do?


9 Easy Ways to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water

1. Introduce wet food into your cat’s diet

cat eating wet canned cat food wikimedia commons
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Water isn’t the only way to keep your cat hydrated! Earlier we mentioned that cats have the habit of obtaining their liquids from food sources. Dry cat food typically contains only about 10% water whereas canned cat food has around 78% water. If your cat has been living on a generally dry cat food diet, why not switch it up a little and incorporate some wet foods into its meals?

2. Change the location of your cat’s water bowl

cat eating wet canned cat food wikimedia commons
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Many cat owners tend to place water bowls against the wall so that they’re not in the way. But cats don’t like to be boxed into a corner and they don’t like leaving their backs exposed to vulnerability for fear of being sneaked up upon. Instead, leave their water bowls in areas where they are able to take in their surroundings with a quick glance whenever they want.

It would also be good to place water bowls far from their food bowls (felines like to keep their water and food separate) and in several different spots in your home.

3. Add flavor to your cat’s water

orange kitten drinking from cup pixabay
Image Source: Pixabay

Trick your cat into drinking more water by crushing up some catnip and adding it to its water dish! Alternatively, you could scoop some low-sodium tuna or chicken broth into your cat’s water.

4. Try a different kind of water bowl

kitten with wine glass pixabay
Image Source: Pixabay

Your cat might be avoiding its water dish because bending over it with its neck exposed makes it feel vulnerable. If that’s the case, try getting an elevated water dish.

The material of the water bowl matters too! Depending on the kind of material the water dish is made from, cats could detect subtle differences in the taste of water. Get water bowls of different materials and see which one your cat likes!

Cats have very sensitive whiskers and they don’t like it when they drinking from a water dish and their whiskers continually brush against the sides of the bowl. Swap out a deep water bowl for a shallow one and see if your cat is lapping up water much more frequently. But make sure that you’re consistent with the amount of water you put in the bowl.

5. Use cat fountains

cat drinking from cat fountain Lisa Zins flickr
Image Source: Lisa Zins | Flickr

Cats love running water. Instinctively, cats become suspicious of still water because they associate it with contaminated water. And while cats have excellent night vision, their ability to see still water is pretty poor – water in a water bowl is practically invisible to them. Check out cat water fountains from Hagen Catit which have an elevated design and different water flow settings!

6. Make sure to clean your cat’s water dish daily

siamese cat looking angry drinking water pixabay
Image Source: Pixabay

Cats are probably one of the cleanest mammals and if the water in their water dish isn’t fresh or clean, they most likely won’t drink from it. Clean your cat’s water dish and change out the water regularly so that it’s free from bacteria and other contaminants.

7. Change your water source

cat drinking from tap flickr
Image Source: Flickr

Perhaps your cat doesn’t like the taste of tap water? Fill their water dish with bottled water instead!

8. Add ice cubes to the water bowl

You’ve seen the videos of cats playing with ice cubes circulating online – it’s nothing short of adorable. Many cats are fascinated by the look of ice cubes bobbing around in water. Adding a couple of ice cubes to your cat’s water bowl should encourage it to drink more water and keeps it entertained at the same time.

9. Serve smaller but more frequent meals

kitten eating Mylene Bressan openphoto
Image Source: Mylene Bressan | OpenPhoto

Cats tend to want to lap on some water after they’ve eaten. By breaking up your cat’s usual meals into several smaller ones interspersed throughout the day, you’re encouraging it to drink water more frequently!


We hope these tips have been useful for you in getting your cat to drink more water! Ensuring that your cat is drinking enough water and does not get dehydrated is so important for your cat’s health and happiness. Dehydration could very quickly lead to insidious diseases if left untreated so it would be great to also know the signs to look out for!

*Featured Image Source: Pixabay

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