Why doesn’t my cat drink a lot of water?

Why doesn't my cat drink a lot of waterWe all know cats are picky. They are known to snub their favorite food and often change where they prefer to sleep. When it comes to their water, their pickiness reaches a whole new level. Kidney disease is the number one killer of most domesticated cats. Knowing why your cat is so picky about drinking water and what you can do to get them to drink more water may help your cat’s kidney function and extend their life!

Your Cat Still Uses Its Survival Instincts

Ancient Egyptians domesticated the first cat over 4,000 years ago, but Fluffy still uses the same survival instincts that wild cats used back before Cleopatra. Those instincts kept wild cats safe and today’s modern cat is no different. To cats, a bowl of still water can be potentially dangerous. Fluffy has no idea if the water that seems to sit oh-so-quiet and still is a friend or a foe. That is because still water could be full of bacteria or could have been become stagnant and Fluffy would rather not dare to take a drink and then be sorry. Cats also cannot determine where water begins within their bowl making it too mysterious for your cat to want to take a sip. You can help Fluffy out by always keeping her water clean by washing with water and mild soap once a day before refilling. Always be sure to fill the bowl up to the same level every day, this will help Fluffy know where the water level starts, thus giving her confidence to take a drink.

Your Cat Prefers Their Water To Be Running

It shouldn’t surprise any cat owner that cats like running water. Chances are your cat has asked to take a drink from the tap at least once! To a cat, where there is running water, there is fresh water. The constant circulation of running water keeps it cool and oxygenated, which is preferred by our feline friends. Unless you want to become a slave to your kitty and turn on and off the tap all day, it may be best to invest in a cat water fountain. They come in many colors and shapes and vary in cost. Amazon has an awesome list of fountains to choose from! Our favorites are the Pioneer Rain Drop Fountain& PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain

Cats have a very keen sense of smell which does them wonder when sniffing around for bugs and other fun things to play with. When your cat is getting a refreshing drink of water, they prefer not to smell their food nearby. Unfortunately, most cat owners keep their kitty’s food & water dishes side by side. By simply moving Fluffy’s water dish across the room or into another room entirely, you may encourage her to drink more water. If you want to score extra brownie points with your kitty, place several bowls of water around the house to give her options on where she prefers to drink! ¬†Also, do not use plastic dishes!.

Your cat would prefer wet food

Most house cats are fed dry food. We get it, dry food is convenient and cost effective. Unfortunately, it does not provide nearly as much moisture as your cat requires from its diet. If Fluffy were to go on the hunt, she would be feasting on birds, rodents, and lizards which would provide her with most of the water she needs in her day. That is because birds, rodents, and lizards are made up of 70% water, unlike dry cat food which is only 20% water. To help your kitty receive most of the water she needs in a day, it is best to feed her a wet food diet. Wet food contained over 70% moisture just like a prey diet that Fluffy would eat in the wild. Drop into the Ken Caryl Pet Spa to pick up some high-quality grain-free options for your cat!

Try one or more of the above to help your kitty stay hydrated!


Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a Veterinary Technician and veterinary hospital administrator since 1997. She founded her pet sitting company, Fuzzy Friends Pet Care, at the young age of 16. She was nominated as one of Pet Sitters International’s Top 5 Pet Sitters in 2016 and is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.