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How can you encourage your cat to drink more water?


 Cats require plenty of fresh, clean water, especially the ones with certain health problems, like kidney disease and urinary tract disease, who need to drink more water than the average cat. There are many cats who don't drink as much as they should so here are some tips on how to encourage your cat to drink more water.

  • Place water bowls throughout the house
    Keep clean water bowls in multiple spots around the house so that your cat doesn't need to go far to find one. Place them especially in places your cat likes to spend time and in quiet locations but away from his or her litter box. This will encourage your cat to explore and remind him or her to drink water. Make sure the water is changed at least once a day.

  • Test different bowls
    You can keep several bowls out at all times and see which one drains the fastest. Find bowls of different types and materials and test a few out. In general cats prefer glass, metal and ceramic dishes to plastic ones.

  • Try running water
    Many cats would rather drink from a leaky faucet than an open bowl. Your cat may be excited and curious by the movement, making him or her want to drink. If you notice this behaviour, try running the faucet a few times a day. Make it your morning and evening routine, for example, so your cat knows when to expect it. You can also use drinking fountains. Your cat may love to stare at, play with, and drink from the fountain. Keep fountains and regular water bowls available allowing your cat to decide which one he or she prefers.

  • Consider feeding your cat wet food
    Wet food contains more moisture than dry cat food, so this is a good way of introducing more water into your cat's diet. However, you can only make this change if your cat likes this kind of food and remember to talk to your vet about any diet changes.

  • Add flavour to your cat's water
    Try adding a little water from a can of water-packed tuna, from wet cat food or adding chicken broth to your cat's bowl of water. This extra flavour may induce some cats to drink. You can also crush up catnip in the water bowl. Let your cat see you crush it so he or she knows it's there.

  • Add ice cubes to the water bowl
    Putting ice cubes in your cat's water bowl can make the water more interesting. Some cats prefer cold water and the ice cubes also give him or her something to play with. You may also use flavoured ice cubes. You can freeze broth, water from boiling meat or clam juice into ice cubes and then place them in the water bowl. The ice will not only keep the water cold longer, but can also add a tasty flavour.

  • Offer bottled water
    Try giving your cat bottled water and see if he or she prefers that to the water of the tap.

Be persistent and gradual in making these changes. Helping your cat increase his water intake can be very beneficial for a cat's health!

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Published: 10 Mar 2016

Read the previous article: Seizures (fits) in pets