How to get your cat to drink water: what kind of water to give your pet, choosing a bowl and watering-place, as well as a few tricks to increase the attractiveness of water for a cat
Many people believe that getting a cat to drink water is impossible and unnecessary. The bowl is worth it – what else? If he wants, he will drink, he will not die of thirst. It is this approach that causes problems with the urinary system in urban cats.
All pets need access to freshwater, without exception. But first of all – to those who eat dry food. As planned by mother nature, predators receive a lot of fluid from the blood and other components of the prey. And when kept in an apartment, seals eat either bloodless meat or dry food, less often canned food. Under these conditions, owners need to further stimulate interest in water. Drinking plenty of fluids helps indoor cats maintain kidney and urinary health.
A mother cat teaches kittens not only to eat from a bowl and visit a litter box but also to drink water. If a person is raising babies, this responsibility falls on his shoulders.
- 1 Why do cats drink little water
- 2 Why is insufficient fluid intake dangerous?
- 3 What kind of water to give a cat
- 4 What containers do cats like to drink from?
- 5 Arrange the right place for watering
- 5.1 Water should not stand next to food
- 5.2 Water should not stand next to the tray
- 5.3 There should be several sources of water
- 5.4 Water at an elevation
- 6 4 more tricks to get your cat to drink water
- 6.1 Flavor water
- 6.2 Running water
- 6.3 Ice cubes
- 6.4 Toy floating in the water
- 7 Conclusion: how to tell if your pet is drinking enough water
The author of the article: Olga Shiltsova, a practicing veterinarian, author of the books ” Dachshund of Fate ” and ” Tails of Fortune ”
Why do cats drink little water?
From a biological point of view, all domestic cats are representatives of the “steppe cat” subspecies, which exist to this day. Domestication had almost no effect on the basic behavior patterns of the small predator. Therefore, cats behave as if they still live in the desert or steppe – they try to do without a watering hole for a long time.
Cats do not like to drink, which is why their urine has such a strong smell – it is much more concentrated than that of humans or dogs. The feeling of thirst in cats is dulled, they pay much more attention to hunger.
Another reason your pet is not getting enough fluid is because of the unproductive lacquering mechanism. A cat can spend a lot of time by the bowl and still drink very little water.
The cat’s tongue just touches the water and rushes back. The water rises in a “column” and the cat grabs it, closing its mouth. The tongue moves very quickly – about four movements per second.
Pets kept on dry food are at risk for insufficient moisture intake . The moisture content in granules is about 10%, while in raw meat or canned food – 70-80% water. A cat eating dry food must drink substantially more water to compensate for this difference.
Why insufficient fluid intake is dangerous
If the cat drinks little, it develops chronic dehydration. First of all, the owners notice problems with the wool – it fades, falls out. Then the urinary system suffers. The urine becomes too concentrated and the salt crystals in it precipitate. First, “sand” is formed, and then larger stones. Urolithiasis is especially dangerous for males – sand clogs the long and thin urethra, causing urinary retention.
Water is also important for digestion. Chronic dehydration causes constipation. If your pet’s feces are hard, like pebbles, this is a warning sign.
When you are dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker and your blood pressure rises. This is especially dangerous for cats with kidney or heart failure.
Too little water …
Usually, owners think about how to get a cat to drink water, precisely after the appearance of serious health problems – an attack of cystitis or urolithiasis, since such diseases come back again and again.
What kind of water to give a cat
The quality of piped water in cities varies greatly from region to region. In large cities, modern treatment facilities have been installed, but at the same time, old pipes serve as a source of harmful impurities. Water with a high content of chlorine, heavy metals, fluoride, as well as hard water with a large number of salts is not suitable for cats. I also do not recommend giving boiled water to cats – it tastes badly.
The water in the jar tastes much better to the kitten than the water in the bowl.
The best option is fresh filtered water or bottled water, but of good quality. Water from different sources tastes different, here you have to experiment. Country cats enjoy drinking rain and well water.
In pet stores, you can see water specifically for pets, but I see it more as a marketing ploy.
The water should be fresh, it is changed every day (more often if the animal has problems with the urinary system). The bowl should be washed regularly.
What containers do cats like to drink from?
If you want to encourage your cat to drink more water, you need to choose the right bowl. It should be large: wide, deep and stable.
It is better to refuse metal and plastic dishes, as they give the water a specific taste. A good bowl is easy to clean and does not absorb odors. Suitable materials:
Some cats like to drink exclusively from tall dishes. For such cats, it is better to highlight a glass, mug, or vase. You can purchase a dog bowl on a stand (height adjustable).
Drinking from a glass is a real thrill
This kitten kept turning the bowl of water over, so the owner gave him a marble mortar to drink!
Arrange the right place for watering
Sometimes a cat drinks little water just because the bowl of water is in the wrong place and there is no alternative.
Water should not stand next to food
The most common misconception of owners is to put a bowl of food and a bowl of water next to them, or even use a double bowl. Drinking where he ate is not typical for cats; in nature, a watering hole is always located far from the hunting place. And this instinct is still relevant: if a pellet of feed or a piece of meat falls into a bowl of water, it will instantly deteriorate, becoming unfit for drinking. How quickly the owner discovers the problem is a big question.
Water should not stand next to the tray
There are no comments here – neither water nor food should stand next to the litter box. Cats are clean animals, they carefully bury excrement, prefer to go to the tray with fresh litter, and hesitate to eat next to their own latrine.
It’s funny, but a human toilet bowl may seem like a good source of freshwater to a cat – far from the kitchen, in a secluded place, on a dais. The danger is that the cat can be poisoned with detergents due to the owner’s oversight.
Image is nothing, thirst is everything!
There should be several sources of water
Cats are extremely sensitive to hunger, but can ignore thirst for a long time. Therefore, there should be several bowls, taking into account the size of your home – for a small apartment, there are at least three watering places.
The water should be on the trajectory of the cat’s usual route. Observe where your pet likes to rest and play (woke up – drank and only then ran to eat).
Feline laziness knows no bounds, just take it for granted that your cat will not specifically go looking for water to drink.
In the wild, the higher the water, the cleaner it is. Cats tend to “head for the river”, ignoring the water that is in a flat bowl on the floor. Sometimes it is enough to put a deep bowl on a raised platform (windowsill, table) to make your pet interested in water. Many cats do not like to drink from the tap because there is running water. The sink is just high enough.
Oh, water, good luck. What I don’t finish, I will pour it
If you put a drinking fountain on the floor, it will lose out on attractiveness to the faucet. It is better to put high containers on the floor: a bucket, a basin, a saucepan.
Knowing your cat’s drinking habits, be careful not to leave attractive containers with toxic contents unattended:
- a bucket of detergent while cleaning the floors;
- dishes in the sink filled with water and dishwashing detergent;
- a basin of soaked linen;
- glass for rinsing brushes on the table after painting.
Bobtail drinks from a bucket
4 more tricks to get your cat to drink water
Suppose you have already placed salad bowls and vases of freshwater all over the house, but the cat stubbornly ignores the watering hole. Well, there are a few more tricks, one of which will definitely work.
If the cat is indifferent to ordinary water, you can play on the food interest. To do this, pets are offered various solutions or add them to the water for smell:
- Meat juice is a dark liquid that remains in a bowl after raw meat or offal, especially when defrosting.
- Unsalted broth – it is enough to boil a couple of shrimp, crayfish, shellfish (mussels, oysters) in water without salt. If the cat does not like seafood (although they usually love it), add some bone or meat broth to the water.
- A drop of milk or a pinch of cat milk replacer (available at pet stores and veterinary pharmacies).
- Soak slices of fresh cucumber in water – some cats are attracted to “vegetable water”.
- Fortiflora is an industrial probiotic supplement for cats. Produced in powder form, it has a pronounced meaty smell. It is enough to add a pinch to the water.
- Viyo Reinforces is prebiotic for cats in the form of a nutritious drink, it can be given in its pure form, or it can be diluted with water in various proportions (1: 1, 1: 2) – so the cat will receive even more liquid.
The only drawback of “tasty water” is that it quickly deteriorates, it cannot be left in a bowl for the whole day.
Some cats love to drink earthen water – the one that accumulates in the saucer of a flower pot after abundant watering. Others are eager to feast on from the aquarium. Do not scold pets, but try to provide them with a “favorite watering hole”.
The murmur of water attracts cats, sometimes it is curiosity and a desire to play, but in the end, the cat still drinks water, even if it licks its wet paws. Running water naturally seems fresher to animals than standing water, which is why cats love to drink from the tap so much.
Many cats and cats prefer to drink directly from the tap
Try to put your pet a special fountain. There are different models in the form of a stream or a falling stream (faucet, chamomile).
The settled water is at room temperature, and warm water is not as tasty as cool water. Coldwater is associated with freshness, so it’s helpful to cool cat water throughout the day, change it more often, and keep a bottle of water in the fridge in the summer.
An ice cube in a bowl of water can give a good effect. Playful cats begin to touch and drive a mysterious object with their paws, try to get it, lick it. Plus, the water in the bowl does not heat up so quickly – this is important if you are at work all day.
You will be surprised, but many cats love to play with pieces of ice.
A toy floating in the water
For kittens and young cats, a toy floating on the surface of the water will be a good “attraction”. Place a bowl or saucepan on the floor and throw a small, light ball (for example, a ping-pong ball or a kinder surprise egg), a bottle cap, and a plastic lid for a swim. Chasing and trying to get a toy, the kitten will dip its paws in the water and then lick them. This is how the pet learns to be interested in water.
Conclusion: how to tell if your pet is drinking enough water
Owners usually don’t think about how to get the cat to drink water until problems knock on the door. An attack of urolithiasis, idiopathic cystitis of cats, chronic constipation – all these are good reasons to reconsider the pet’s drinking regimen. But in fact, everyone who decided to feed a cat with dry industrial food needs to be puzzled about the right watering hole.
The cat enjoys cold water
If you are unsure if your cat is drinking enough, a general urine test can be done. It is the increase in urine density that predisposes to precipitation of crystals. On natural feeding, the cat will drink little – a lot of moisture is contained in the food. On dry food – naturally more. Each organism has its own rate, and it depends on many factors. How often does the cat wash (and, therefore, wastes water on the production of saliva), does it feed the kittens, and so on