Cats have evolved to get all their needed moisture from their prey, their ancestors were cats that lived in very dry and arid environments where water was hard to come by.
It is a trait that has been passed down over the thousands of years. However cats are notoriously bad drinkers, even when they are thirsty.
There are several things you can do to increase how much water your cat is taking in.
- The easiest option is to feed a wet food diet. Canned or pouched food has between 60 to 80% water. In the wild a cat’s prey is around 70% water so wet food provides a cat with more than enough water each day.
- If you feed dry food, it may be a good idea to incorporate at least some wet food into the cat’s diet each day, so your cat gets at least some water. Or you could try flavouring the water in a bowl by adding some water from a can of tuna make sure it is well diluted.
- Another way to increase water intake is to leave a tap on – try running a very thin stream of water in a sink or bathtub and see if the cat responds to it. Or you could purchase a pet water fountain. Many cats are fickle when it comes to water and will only drink fresh moving water. A running tap or fountain keeps water constantly moving and fresh, and both methods are very successful in enticing a cat to drink more water. Our 10 year old tortoiseshell cat took to her new drinking fountain very quickly.
- If your cat is male, it is especially vital to make sure he is thoroughly hydrated. Male cats are much more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTI’s) which is often caused by not enough water over a period of time.