Water consumption and cat health

the cat drinks water

You probably often wondered if your cat drinks enough water. Especially if you feed it dryfood.

And you’ve wondered, of course, why cats like to drink more from the tap than from her bowl.

In today’s post I will present Water consumption and cat health, but without claiming to be exhausting the subject.




It said that we humans should drink between two and two and a half liters of water a day. We can’t do this all the time, so some evenings we have headaches and are in a bad mood. These things are also true for animals and it is our duty to help them.

Thus, we must consider Water consumption and cat health.

Cat drinking tap water

The cat has a reputation for being a “little drinker”. And that’s because she’s able to concentrate her urine a lot. The average density is 1045, compared to 1015 in dogs or humans.

But, if the concentration of urine is too high, there is a risk of precipitation of crystals and the formation of urinary stones. That’s why we need to encourage the cat to drink water.

The most important way to evacuate water is through urine. If the cat fed dry food, half of the water consumed eliminated in this way. The amount of water excreted in the urine depends on the nature of the food and its digestibility. Thus, the more fiber in the composition of food, the more water must eliminated.

For example, a 4 kg cat that eats 60 g of Royal Canin daily should drink 220-280 ml per day.

Cat drinking water from glass

Of course, these requirements may increase for various physiological or pathological reasons. Examples: during lactation, in case of fever, diarrhea, vomiting.

There is a simple trick by which you can estimate how much water a cat drinks per day. Water absorbed by all cells in the body, including the skin. In a dehydrated cat, the skin seems left with wrinkles. If the cat has enough water in the body, its skin is more elastic.

Knowing this, you can easily test if the cat hydrated: carefully pull up one of the folds of your cat’s neck and let it go at once. If the skin returns quickly, it is not dehydrated. However, if the skin recovers slowly, it is a sign of water deficiency.

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Water Sources


A cat has three sources of water available: food water, drinking water, and water produced when you use carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This “metabolic water” represents only 10-15% of the total amount of water needed. Water is also found in the composition of moist food (canned, fresh meat, or fish).

Under these conditions, the cat drinks too little or no water at all.

On the contrary, when fed dry food, the cat must drink water to cover almost 100% of its needs.

The cat is a “whimsical drinker.” It is very sensitive to cleanliness and the taste of water.

For this reason, some cats usually drink only from the tap.

Cats that walk outside can drink from ponds.

Cat drinking water from the pond

To encourage your cat to drink water, you should give him water in a very clean glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowl.

Spreading the house several bowls and / or drinking fountains with fresh water is an excellent idea.

Avoid plastic materials that keep odors. Refresh the water twice a day. The ideal water temperature is between 5-18 degrees Celsius.

If the cat does not drink enough, add a little milk to the drinking water. Thus, the animal stimulated to consume the liquid.

In fact, you can add water to dryfood Some cats may not be too excited about this idea. Others enjoy eating re hydrated dry foods.

Usually, the cat drinks water after eating. This means about 10 to 15 times a day, even if it’s only about 6-12 ml at a time.

Therefore, if the cat is often encouraged to eat small portions, the amount of water it drinks will increase.

The cat that drinks water

Other details


A high-protein diet increases urea production and, consequently, urine production. Then the cat drinks more to compensate for the water removed.

Adding salt to food will stimulate water consumption. However, you should not abuse this procedure. Too much salt can be dangerous because it speeds up the passage of water from the cells to the blood to balance the balance of minerals.

If the cat urinates a lot, the cells become dehydrated. Therefore, it is good that the addition of salt in food does not exceed 2%.

Usually, a cat fed dry food adapts its water consumption very quickly to the needs.

Due to the fact that there is a risk that the cat will not consume enough water if you change your diet (in the event of a restrictive diet), you will need to pay special attention to hydrating the animal.

It is advisable to appreciate and encourage the consumption of water by cats. In order to prevent the increase of the urine concentration and at the same time the decrease of the frequency of urine elimination. Major risks that lead to the formation of stones.

Causes of water deficit



Most cats dehydrated due to lack of drinking water. The less I drink, the less fluid there is in my body. This is especially noticeable in the hot summer months.

Dehydration is not always due to the fact that the cat does not drink water. There are other causes, which include the following symptoms or underlying diseases:

  • Vomiting (vomiting) and diarrhea (Diarrhea) due to infectious diseases or poisoning
  • Severe kidney damage
  • Adrenal insufficiency (Morbus Addison)
  • Burns
  • Treatment with dehydrating drugs (diuretics)
  • Diabetes tasteless

What can happen if the cat dehydrated?

A water deficit is often underestimated, and not just on hot summer days. Because, cats can have problems with water consumption even at low temperatures. Depending on the cause, severe symptoms may occur. A visit to the vet is essential, especially if there are massive water leaks!

Dehydrated cats can suffer from the following severe consequences:

  • Poor general condition, unconsciousness
  • Low or no urination
  • Uremia: Symptoms of poisoning due to lack of urinary excretion ( urea, uric acid or creatinine)
  • Low blood pressure (hypo tension)

Deficiency Severe water can lead to exicosis in a dehydrated body. This condition can endanger the cat’s life.

When the cat dehydrated, a visit to the veterinarian is mandatory. He can give your furry water a liquid treatment. The fluid (infusion) can give subcutaneously or intravenously.

The composition of the infusion depends on the type of dehydration.

Preventing water deficiency

Cats that fed dry food are more likely to suffer from dehydration. For a balance of water and electrolytes, it is advisable to give the cat moist food. This type of food has a high liquid content.

Cats drinking water


In order to have a healthy cat, we must pay attention, among other things, to the amount of water it drinks daily. For example, a 4 kg cat that eats 60 g of Royal Canin daily should drink 220-280 ml per day.

There is a risk of dehydration, which leads to certain diseases, specified above. If they are not treated, there is a possibility of losing your furry friend.

So it is better to prevent than to treat. You need to take Water consumption and cat health, seriously.

If you liked my post, do not hesitate to leave me a comment. Thank you. I will read it with pleasure.

I’m a big cat loving, since the young baby.   My mother was great loving cats, grandmother as well.   My daughter is coming to the end. My daughter loves cats so much that she makes a second faculty: veterinary medicine.   Four generations, what do you think?

You can now learn to communicate directly with your cat.



11 Replies to “Water consumption and cat health”

  1. Hi, Carmen!
    I’ve always been a dog lover and never thought of having a cat as a pet… and therefore I couldn’t know about all the interesting information you provide. Although it’s common sense to prevent dehydration and avoid all the diseases that outcome.
    Your post is really interesting and thorough on the topic. Thanks for sharing and keep safe!

  2. Hi Carmen!

    I really didn’t know this was the reason why cats are heavy water drinkers. I thought they just like milk. This is a really informative article for us cat owners and I really like the idea of spreading the house with several bowls. It makes it easier for us and allows our cats to stay hydrated and healthy. 

    Thank you so much for sharing this article with us and I wish you all the best!


  3. Thanks for the comment and appreciation Antonio. Cats are a wonderful universe. If you love dogs, haven’t you thought about adopting a cat? I live in an area where all the neighbors, including me lol, have more cats and more dogs. Health! Carmen

  4. Thanks for the comment and appreciation Amzy. Cats, when they stop sucking, become lactose intolerant (most). Although they still like milk, my advice is not to give them milk. Health to you and your cats. Carmen.

  5. Hey Carmen, this was a great article that meant a lot to me. As a cat owner myself, I love my cats as if they were my own children. I found it very interesting that you can figure out how hydrated your cat is by checking the folds on his skin. It does make sense that wet foods like canned, fresh meat, and fish help a cat stay hydrated. It is helpful how you pointed out the potential causes of water deficit for a cat since it can help us cat owners figure out what’s going on. Thanks for this information, I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July! 🙂 

  6. Thank you for your comment Gabriel. I am happy to help cat owners, given my experience of over 35 years of growing these wonderful creatures. Over time I have learned a lot about them and want to help cat owners not make the mistakes I made.

  7. Hi Carmen, Tank you for very interesting article. To be fair I was always focusing more on what my cat eats then how much water he drinks. But looking on your post this is very important aspect which may affect animal’s health, and I will definitely put more attention to it. Especially in summer when temperatures can be really high.

  8. I am not a cat owner due to allergies, but I was always under the impression that you gave a cat more milk than water, or is this only kittens?

    I was surprised to read how fussy they were, preferring to drink water from a tap, but they say that we should follow the example of animals and running water is always better than water that has been standing still.

    It must be difficult to judge exactly how much water your cat is getting, so I am glad you included some things to look for in case your cat doesn’t get enough.

  9. Hi Carmen, thank you for the great article about water consumption and cat health. I have a cat at home and I often wondered if she is drinking enough water. I figured she will know when she is thirsty and will get a drink when needed but after reading your article, I have realized there is more to it than that.

    The test that you suggested to check if my cat is hydrated put my mind at ease. Your article is full of very useful information that I did not know even though I had my car for many years. Thank you so much for providing such a comprehensive post that educates cat owners on very important issues.

  10. Thank you for your comment. After they finish sucking, the cats no longer need milk and we don’t have to give them. Most cats are lactose intolerant. Water, on the other hand, must be given all the time. And obviously fresh.

  11. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you got new information to help you take care of your cat. Although I have been raising cats for over 35 years, I find new and interesting things about them every day.

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