Proper hydration is incredibly important for the overall health of your pets. And as you know, your feline friends certainly are particular about everything from food to water to toys. But what if your cat is drinking too much water or not enough? In honor of National Hydration Awareness Month, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian, Dr. Caroline Wilde, to further discuss the importance of proper hydration for cats and to elaborate on how much water does a cat need daily.
The importance of proper hydration for cats
Whether you have a senior cat or kitten, proper hydration is essential for the well-being of your feline friends. In addition, hydration plays a critical role for your cat during the summer season, as the temperatures can reach the triple digits. “I tend to worry a lot more about a cat that drinks too much, rather than not enough. However, when a cat has an underlying disease that leads to dehydration or not drinking enough water. For instance, dehydration can lead to serious health issues such as a urethral obstruction in male cats, constipation, or UTI,” states Wilde.
Further, dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion are claimed conditions that are seen more often among pets in the summer months compared to other seasons.
How much water does a cat need daily?
If you are a first-time cat owner, you might not be sure how much your new furry friend should be drinking. In essence, “the amount of water that a cat needs varies depending on life stage and the general health of the cat. For example, a young growing cat needs more water than a healthy adult cat; an older cat with chronic kidney disease or hyperthyroidism is going to require higher water intake than the previous two groups. Also, cats with urinary tract issues such as crystal formation, inflammation, or blockage can benefit from increased fluid intake,” points out Wilde. Further, if you have any questions about your cat’s daily water intake, check in with your veterinarian.
Can a cat drink too much water?
Humans and pets alike enjoy fresh cold water on a hot summer’s day. While some pets might drink more than others, at what point should you be concerned for your feline friends? “If a cat’s water intake suddenly increases, or if the cat is spending long periods of time at the water bowl, it can indicate serious medical issues,” says Wilde. As always, any change in water intake can be an indicator of something more serious going on and is worth a check-in with your veterinarian.
Consider the following medical conditions connected to cats drinking excess water:
As with any medical condition, every pet is unique and might not always exhibit all the necessary signs of a condition. If you have any concerns with your cat’s health, please seek veterinary care.
Best practices to encourage more water for your cat or/kitten
While your cat or kitten might need some encouragement, providing a variety of sources is an opportunity to keep your pet hydrated and entertained.
Wilde weighs in on the importance of a versatile water source –
“Every cat is different. Some cats love to drink out of a faucet, so leaving the faucet dripping can encourage water intake. It’s certainly even better for those cats who enjoy running water like a water fountain. In addition, feeding a diet of canned food can also increase water intake, as canned foods are 70-80% water, compared to dry foods which contain significantly less. Further, a clean water bowl that always contains freshwater can also encourage water intake.”
How much water does a cat need daily: depends on your feline friend
Whether you have a senior or young feline friend, the end-all question of how much water does a cat need daily strictly depends on the nature of your forever friend. By notating your cat’s behavior, checking in with your veterinarian, and providing versatile hydration sources your cat will surely be happy and hydrated for seasons to come.
is a digital content writer for Trupanion. She spends her workday writing for the Trupanion blog. She loves writing about pets, being creatively inspired by pets, and luckily gets to hang out with pets all day long. In her free time, she enjoys exploring and traveling with her family.