Unlike dogs, it may be rare that your cat is regularly seen drinking from its water bowl. This can be quite common with cats for different reasons, but it is still important that they are sufficiently hydrated. Cats are very particular in most aspects of their life, and the way they drink their water is certainly one of them.
Some reasons your can may not be drinking from its water bowl are, the type of bowl (i.e. metal, glass, ceramic) or the type of water (i.e. temperature, filtered, bottled). The size of their bowl may deter them from drinking, as many cats do not like their whiskers to touch the sides of the bowl. The location of the water bowl may also discourage water intake. Cats are sensitive to taste and odours, so avoid putting their food and water near their litter box. You may notice your cat prefers to drink from the tap, if this is the case, water fountains can be purchased for owners who do not want their cat on the bathroom/kitchen counter.
One of the easiest ways to encourage water intake is with canned food. Canned food contains a significant amount of water compared to dry food. It is recommended to introduce canned food to kittens, as soon as they are weaned from their mother. It can be extremely difficult to introduce wet food to a cat that has only had kibble all of its life, as most cats are picky and taste/texture preferences are established early in life. You can also try feeding smaller meals throughout the day, as this has been shown to increase the frequency of water intake as well.
Please speak to your veterinarian if you have concerns about water consumption in your feline friends. We would be happy to discuss any questions you have about this topic. Stop by or call us at 905-664-4888. Our Feline Focus promotion is on until October 15th! Bring in your cat for an exam with a doctor, and be entered to win 1 of 2 raffle baskets.
Resources: Royal Canin “Ways to Encourage Water Intake”
Written by Briarwood Animal Hospital