You do know that life is the most abundant mineral on earth. It is also one of the most important, most vital to sustaining life. Without water, cellular processes will simply grind to a halt because there will be no fluids upon which chemical reactions can effectively take place. There will also be no medium upon which nutrients and other beneficial substances are distributed to the different parts or components of the cell. So let’s get right into it and answer your the question on does your cat drink enough water?
Cellular fluids and body fluids, which is primarily composed of water, is thus very essential to maintaining life. Without it, life will simply cease to exist. There is not a single organism on earth that can survive without a single drop of water in its cell. That said, your pets do require fresh and clean water to drink as much as you do.
Unfortunately, for many pet owners, drinking water is often a neglected chore for their pets. Many think that giving pets a bowl of water should be enough to ensure they are adequately hydrated. However, there is so much more to pet water drinking than meets the eye. While dogs can readily be trained to drink from their water bowls or dispensers, cats are quite a challenge. You will rarely see your cat pawing you for a bowl of water. A dog, however, is easy to recognize if it is thirsty or not. A cat does not pant nor drop out its tongue to tell you it needs a drink. And if you are not careful enough, dehydration in your cat might result in some devastating consequences. Additionally, there is the prevailing notion that cats do not need plenty of water perhaps because of their otherwise very sedentary lifestyles.
Nonetheless, cats need water.*
How Much Water Should a Cat Drink?
Like all organisms, water requirements can come from different sources aside from water itself. One prime example is food. Food naturally contains water in the form of moisture. Now there are several online calculators to give you an idea of how much water your cat should be drinking. These tools are often based on the weight of your cat. As a general rule, however, around 45 to 60 milliliters of water is needed for every kilogram of body weight. So if your cat weighs around 5 kilograms then you can expect to give her at least 225 milliliters of water every single day.
Now, you don’t expect to give your cat this much water because water can also come from the food that you give your cat. For example, wet cat food typically contains around 60 to 70 percent moisture. So if your cat is able to consume a 100-gram wet cat food, then your cat already has consumed around 60 to 70 milliliters of water in the form of moisture. Now you have to pay particular attention because dry cat food does not contain that much moisture.
Commercially available dry cat food typically contains about 10 to 15 percent of moisture. That means that you only get around 10 to 15 mL of water or moisture for every 100 grams of the dry cat food.
How to Get a Cat to Drink Water when Sick
Sick cats require more water in order to help facilitate the different physiologic processes required for healing. Immune system cells require adequate fluid balance in order to exert their physiologic and reparative processes. Additionally, illnesses can severely disrupt metabolism which can increase temperatures leading to cellular and tissue overheating. Cells and tissues thus require additional fluids in order to help mitigate these pathologic processes and assist the body in recuperating.
Giving your cat a moisture-rich wet cat food is usually recommended. The increased moisture content of wet cat food can help increase the level of water or fluids in your cat’s body. Additionally, you can place ice cubes in your cat’s food. The flavor of the cat food can make the
whole experience more interesting. You can also try putting ice cubes in your cat’s water bowls that are strategically located all throughout your house. When placing water bowls, it is best to put them in places where your cat will mostly stay or frequently stays.
You can also try to add some flavorings in your cat’s water bowl to make her more interested in drinking. Some would recommend using cat fountains or a simple running faucet will do.
Unfortunately, these two latter methods may not be appropriate for your sick cat especially if she is too ill to even move. Some cat owners would recommend assisting your cat drink by using a medicine dropper to be placed at the tip of her tongue. It would be advisable to have the water flavored in your cat’s favorite treat. It would also make a difference if the water you are giving your cat is ice cold.
The point is, if your cat is too ill, it is always better to have her checked by the veterinarian. If
there is dehydration coupled with electrolyte losses, then the veterinarian can readily insert and start intravenous fluids. You can then ask your veterinarian about the possible ways to get your cat drink water. Chances are, wet cat food will be recommended as well as the use of water bowls and ice cubes.
How Much Water Should a Cat Drink Each Day?
You already know that your cat needs to drink at least 45 to 60 mL of water for every kilogram of body weight. And since your cat will be chowing down on its meal, you have to consider this as well. If you are feeding her exclusive wet cat food, then you have to double check your cat food’s ingredients to check the moisture or water content. You can then use this to compute for the amount of water your cat is receiving every time she feeds. You then subtract this amount from your cat’s total water intake requirement for the day to determine the amount of
water that you need to give her.
For example, if your cat weighs around 5 kilograms, you know that you have to give her at least 225 mL of fresh clean water. To make it safe, make 250 mL your target for your cat’s water needs. If you give your cat three servings of 100 grams each wet cat food with a printed moisture content of 60 percent, then you know that moisture or water from your cat’s food will already account for 180 mL of its daily water requirements. That means that your cat will still need additional 45 mL or 70 mL of water to meet its daily water requirements.
Now if you were to feed your cat dry cat food with a moisture content of 10 percent, then you are only giving your cat 30 mL of water sourced from its food. That means that you will still have to give your cat at least 195 mL of fresh clean water.
How to Get a Cat to Drink Water from a Bowl
Cats are naturally curious. That said, if you give your cat an ordinary looking bowl of water, then there is a very strong possibility that your cat might not even show interest in the bowl, much less the water it contains. This is the reason why cats are more attracted to your faucet that she is on her water bowl. Moving water, water with unusual objects, as well as flavored water all can stimulate the curiosity of your cat, enticing her to take a sip.
So, while offering your cat fresh and clean water is your priority, make sure to use a variety of bowls or glasses to stimulate her interest. From colorful ones to metal or ceramic or even plastic, the point is to make the drinking experience as stimulating for your cat as possible.
Additionally, make sure to place your cat’s water bowl away from her litter box. It is quite easy to understand why. Would you want to drink in your toilet?Now, since cats love moving water, you can try adding a mini fountain on a large bowl. You can have it designed in such a way that water gets recirculated through the system. This ensures you do not waste water. You may be addressing your cat’s water problems but it should not come at a significant cost to your monthly water utility bills. The same is true if you do decide to use your tap water faucet to help your cat drink more water.
Make her water more enticing, more flavorful. You can put a bouillon of tuna or even chicken into her bowl of water. Make sure it is properly dissolved. If your cat doesn’t like the taste of tuna or chicken in her water, maybe she will like juice instead. If this still fails, adding ice cubes might do the trick. The movement of ice cubes in her water together with the unique experience of cold while licking can make this solution quite effective.
Cats need water like all other organisms. If your cat is quite difficult to drink water, giving her wet cat food should address some of her water needs. Making her water bowl very interesting can also help her drink more water.