How to make a cat drink water: what water to give the pet, the choice of bowl and place for watering, as well as a few tricks to make water more attractive to the cat.
Many people think that making a cat drink water is impossible, and it’s not necessary. The bowl is there – what else is there to do? If he wants to, he can drink it, he won’t die of thirst. This approach is the cause of problems with the urinary system in domestic cats.
All pets, without exception, need access to fresh water. But in the first place – those who eat dry food. Predators get a lot of liquid with the blood and other components of the victim according to Pet Health vet’s blog. And when kept in apartments, cats eat either exsanguinated meat or dry food, less often canned food. In these conditions the owners must additionally stimulate an interest in water. Abundant drinking helps house cats keep their kidneys and urinary system healthy.
Mother cat teaches her kittens not only to eat from a bowl and attend the litter box, but also to drink water. If a human takes care of the kittens, this responsibility is passed on to the human.
Why do cats not drink enough water?
Biologically, all domestic cats are representatives of the subspecies “steppe cat”, which exists to this day. Domestication has had little 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 go without water 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, says Reyus Mammadli from aetapet.com. Cats’ sense of thirst is blunted; they pay much more attention to hunger.
Another reason your pet doesn’t get enough fluids is because of an unproductive gulping mechanism. A cat can spend a lot of time at the bowl and still drink very little water.
The cat’s tongue just touches the water and rushes back. The water rises up “in a column” and the cat grabs it, closing its mouth. The tongue moves very quickly – about four movements per second.
In the risk group for inadequate moisture intake are pets that are kept on dry food. The moisture content of pellets is about 10%, whereas raw meat or canned food has 70-80% water content. A cat that eats dry food must drink significantly more water to make up for this difference.
The dangers of not drinking enough fluids
If a cat doesn’t drink enough, it becomes chronically dehydrated. First of all the owners notice problems with the coat – it becomes dull and falls out. Then the urinary system suffers. The urine becomes too concentrated, and the salt crystals that are in it precipitate. First “sand” is formed, and then larger concrements. 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 a pet’s feces are as hard as pebbles, this is an alarming sign.
When dehydration occurs, the blood gets thicker and the blood pressure rises. This is especially dangerous for cats with kidney or heart failure.
The best option is fresh filtered water or bottled water, but of good quality. Water from different sources differs in taste, you have to experiment here. Country cats gladly drink rainwater and well water.
In pet stores you can see water specifically for pets, but to me it seems more like a marketing ploy.
Water must be fresh, it is changed every day (more often if the pet has problems with the urinary system). The bowl should be cleaned regularly.
What containers do cats like to drink from
If you want to encourage the cat to drink more water, you must choose the right bowl. It should be large: wide, deep and stable.
It is better to refuse metal and plastic dishes, because they give the water a specific taste. A good bowl is easy to wash, it does not absorb odors. Suitable materials:
Some cats like to drink exclusively from tall dishes. For such cats, it is better to allocate a glass, mug or vase. You can buy a dog bowl on a stand (height is adjustable).
Arrange the right place for a watering hole
Sometimes a cat drinks little water just because a bowl of water is in the wrong place and there is no alternative.
Water should not stand next to food
The most common misconception owners have is to put a bowl of food and a bowl of water next to each other, or to use a double bowl altogether. It’s not inherent to cats to drink where they’ve eaten, in nature the watering place is always away from the hunting ground. And this instinct is still relevant: if a pellet of food or a piece of meat falls into a bowl of water, it will instantly spoil and become unsuitable for drinking. How quickly the owner discovers the problem is a big question.
Water should never stand next to the litter box
No comment here – neither water nor food should stand next to the cat litter box. Cats are clean animals, they carefully bury excrement, prefer to go to a litter tray with fresh litter and are squeamish about eating next to their own litter box.
Funny, but a human toilet may seem like a good source of fresh water to a cat – far from the kitchen, in a secluded spot, on a hill. The danger is that a cat can get poisoned by detergents due to owners’ negligence.