Make sure kitty is getting enough water
Many veterinarians warn that the average house cat isn’t drinking enough water. It’s not possible to force your cat to drink more water and cats are already known for being rather uncooperative.
Dehydration can be dangerous and lead to serious complications, including kidney problems. What’s a concerned cat owner to do? Luckily, there are a few effective methods for helping your kitty stay hydrated.
Consider the bowl
The round water bowl is a classic and favored by many pet owners. Unfortunately, they aren’t the best choice for cats. Cats have extremely sensitive whiskers that act as a source of important sensory information. Whiskers can help cats get around in the dark and detect slight movements from prey.
This sensitivity causes issues when it comes to food and water bowls. Many cats end up drinking less water because their whiskers are touching the sides of the dish. This unpleasant sensation discourages some cats from drinking or eating as much as they’d prefer. Luckily, this problem is easily remedied by switching to a fountain-style dish or a very shallow bowl.
Consider the diet
Dry kibble tends to be the staple diet of choice for pet cats. Kibble is really dry, however, and can lead to dehydration. A wild cat would get most of their hydration from prey animals, only supplementing with fresh water when needed. Exclusively feeding dry food can result in a cat that becomes dehydrated but fails to drink enough water to make up for the loss.
The addition of wet or raw food can solve this problem by providing extra moisture. Some experts recommend ditching the dry food altogether! Drastic dietary changes aren’t necessarily warranted; just make sure your kitty is getting some moist food.
Consider the water source
Water bowls have already been covered but cats rarely make things easy! Many cats refuse to drink “old” water. This trait had an evolutionary advantage for their wild relatives; avoiding dirty or standing water meant lower chances of contracting a parasite or disease.
Now, it mostly causes drama for domestic cat owners. Try changing the water a minimum of two times a day and be sure to wash the dish out regularly. Pet owners have a tendency to forget to include the pets’ bowls when washing dishes but it’s important to keep them clean.
In true feline fashion, some cats are even pickier and won’t drink from standing water. These are the cats that will try to drink out of the bathroom faucet. Luckily, there are cat fountains and similar products available commercially. These types of dishes keep the water fresh and moving, enticing even the choosiest cats.