What Do Cats Drink?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their bodies are designed to digest and use only animal-based proteins. This is why commercial cat food contains meat, and why cats often don’t seem to care for plant-based foods. Raw meat – like the prey they would eat in the wild – is also an excellent source of water.
In fact, wild cats get most of the moisture they need from the prey they eat, since meat is about 75% water. Domestic cats, however, usually don’t get enough wet food to stay hydrated. This is why it’s important to offer your cat fresh water and make sure they drink it. So what do cats drink at home?
The best way to keep your cat hydrated is to offer them fresh, clean water at all times. You can find water bowls specifically designed for cats, which often have a shallow basin and a wide lip to make it easy for them to drink. It’s important to clean and refill your cat’s water bowl every day.
What Are the Benefits of Cats Drinking Water?
There are many benefits to keeping your cat hydrated by giving them fresh water, including:
- healthier skin and fur;
- reduced risk of kidney disease;
- reduced risk of urinary tract infections;
- reduced constipation;
- increased energy levels;
- overall better health.
Can Cats Drink Tap Water?
While tap water is usually safe for cats to drink, it may contain chemicals and minerals that can cause health problems. For example, fluorine can cause dental issues, while chlorine can irritate your cat’s skin and eyes. If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, you can give your cat filtered or bottled water. You can also ask your veterinarian about which type of water is best for your cat.
Do Cats Need to Drink Milk?
When wondering „What do cats drink?”, we might remember many shows and cartoons depicting cats drinking milk. But what’s the truth? Cats do not need to drink milk. In fact, milk may actually be harmful to cats because their bodies cannot digest lactose properly. If you give your cat milk, they may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive issues.
Pet stores often sell kitten milk, specifically formulated for kittens up to 6 weeks of age. You shouldn’t give it to adult cats because it’s fatty and likely to make your cat gain weight. There are also „cat milk” treats which are made with low-lactose milk, but these should be offered to cats and kittens in moderation.
Can Cats Drink Something Beside Water?
Cats can technically drink other liquids besides water, but there’s really no need. Water is the best thing you can give your cat to keep them hydrated, and other drinks like milk or juice are not necessary and may even cause digestive upset.
Broth made without salt or other seasonings is one exception. It can provide hydration and nutrition at the same time, and might encourage your cat to drink if they normally aren’t inclined to do so.
How Much Water Should a Cat Drink per Day?
This is question is a bit more complex than “What do cats drink?”, as there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The amount of water a cat requires depends on several factors, including their diet, activity level, and health. A good rule of thumb is to offer your cat about 3.5 ounces (100 milliliters) of water per 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) of body weight per day.
So, if your cat weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kg), they should have about 7 ounces (200 ml) of water a day. The easiest way to meet this need is to give them wet food every day.
Signs Your Cat Is Not Drinking Enough Water
If your cat isn’t drinking enough water, they may be at risk for dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration in cats include:
- loss of appetite;
- dry mouth;
- sunken eyes.
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately. Dehydration can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. Mild dehydration can also go unnoticed and cause kidney problems over time, so regular check-ups are important even without any symptoms.
Why Is My Cat Not Drinking?
There are many reasons why your cat may not be drinking enough water. Some common causes include:
- not having a clean, fresh water source that is separate from their food bowl;
- not liking the taste of the water (this can be due to minerals in the water, or other factors);
- not feeling well (illness can cause a loss of appetite and reduced water intake);
- age-related issues (older cats may have a reduced sense of thirst).
If you’re worried that your cat isn’t drinking enough water, talk to your vet. They can help you identify the cause and come up with a plan to get your cat hydrated.
What Are Some Ways to Encourage a Cat to Drink More Water?
You can encourage your cat to drink more water by:
- offering fresh, clean water in a bowl that’s not too deep;
- changing the water daily and washing the bowl often;
- adding a bit of chicken broth, tuna juice, or low-sodium chicken or beef bouillon to the water to make it more appealing;
- investing in a drinking fountain – they keep the water moving, which encourages cats to drink more;
- putting an ice cube or two in the water – some cats love to play with ice cubes and will drink the melted water.
Providing your cat with plenty of fresh, clean water is one of the best things you can do for their health. By doing so, you’ll help them stay hydrated and healthy overall.
What Can a Cat Eat to Help With Dehydration?
If your cat is dehydrated, they may need to be given fluids intravenously by a vet. In some cases, they may also be given subcutaneous fluids (under the skin). Your vet will likely also recommend that you feed your cat foods that are high in water content, such as canned tuna, chicken, beef, or turkey. Feeding your cat these foods will help them rehydrate and get the nutrients they need.
As a cat owner, it’s important to know what your cat can and cannot drink. Cats typically don’t need anything besides water, but in some cases, other liquids may be necessary. If you’re concerned about your cat’s hydration, talk to your vet. They can help you determine how much water your cat needs and identify any underlying issues.
Is It Good That My Cat Is Drinking a Lot?
It’s perfectly fine for cats to drink a lot of water. In fact, it’s actually a good sign that they’re staying hydrated. However, if you notice that your cat is drinking an excessive amount of water, it could be a sign of diabetes. If you’re concerned, talk to your vet. They can test your cat for diabetes and provide treatment if necessary.
What to Do If My Cat Doesn’t Want to Use the Drinking Fountain?
If your cat doesn’t want to use the drinking fountain, there are a few things you can try. First, make sure the water is fresh and clean. You should also try moving the fountain to a different location. Some cats prefer to drink in a quiet, private spot, so putting the fountain in a more secluded area may help.
Finally, you can try adding a bit of chicken broth or tuna juice to the water to make it more appealing. If your cat still isn’t interested, talk to your vet. They can help you troubleshoot the problem and find a solution that works for your cat.
What Else Can I Do to Keep My Feline Friend Healthy?
In addition to giving your cat plenty of fresh water, there are other things you can do to keep them healthy. These include:
- feeding them a balanced diet;
- providing them with plenty of exercise;
- keeping their litter box clean;
- brushing their fur regularly;
- taking them to the vet for regular check-ups.
By taking these steps, you’ll help your cat live a long and healthy life. What do cats drink? Now you know that water is the best option!