Cats and water

Sall223

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How do you know whether or not your cat is getting enough water (Besides setting up a camera)? I have a bowl in one room and a fountain in another. She seems to ONLY want water if it comes directly from the faucet. Sometimes I love my cat more than my kids but, it’s becoming a pain! Help! (note: yes, she is peeing normally) 🙈
 

LTS3

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Do the skin hydration test: grab the loose skin at the back of the neck and pull it up as far as it will go. Then let go. The skin will snap back into place immediately if the cat is hydrated. If the skin slowly drops back down, the cat is dehydrated and a trip to the vet would be best to determine why and to get the cat some fluids.

Adding water to canned food is one way to ensure good water intake. It doesn't need to be soupy. A spoonful of water is plenty. Always have a bowl of fresh water available regardless of the diet. Have you tried a water fountain? Some cats prefer to drink moving water, hence drinking from faucet.

 

scarlett71177

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My vet has always suggested measuring it if you can. Measure X amount into the bowl. At the end of 24 hours, see how much is left. I know it's tough if they're a fountain/sink drinker. Just a thought. Good luck.
 

Azazel

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Cats are not meant to get water from a water hole or fountain. They are meant to obtain it from their food (raw meat is around 70% moisture). Cats that regularly drink water are usually eating dry food and are dehydrated. Cats on all wet food diets will rarely if ever drink water and this is healthy and fine. So, it really depends on what your cat is eating. If on a primarily dry food diet then it’s likely that they are not getting enough water, even if they drink water regularly. In fact, the regular drinking is a sign of dehydration as cats have naturally low thirst drives and will only drink often if dehydrated. If you want to make sure they are adequately hydrated then cut out the kibble.
 

furmonster mom

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If kitty is on a dry food diet and drinking a regular amount each day, that could be pretty normal. As others have mentioned, keep an eye out for dehydration.

However...
If kitty is on a dry food diet and their drinking has become noticeably more frequent...
OR
If your kitty is on a wet food diet, be it commercial or raw, and they are still drinking a lot... you may want to visit the vet.
Over drinking can be a sign of kidney issues.

If kitty is on a wet or raw food diet and only drinking a little from the bowl or fountain occasionally... fear not! You can check for dehydration, but that's generally pretty normal. :thumbsup:
 

Azazel

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If kitty is on a dry food diet and drinking a regular amount each day, that could be pretty normal. As others have mentioned, keep an eye out for dehydration.

However...
If kitty is on a dry food diet and their drinking has become noticeably more frequent...
OR
If your kitty is on a wet food diet, be it commercial or raw, and they are still drinking a lot... you may want to visit the vet.
Over drinking can be a sign of kidney issues.

If kitty is on a wet or raw food diet and only drinking a little from the bowl or fountain occasionally... fear not! You can check for dehydration, but that's generally pretty normal. :thumbsup:
Agree with everything you said except that it’s not normal for cats to eat kibble and drink water. This is a situation that humans put them in and completely unnatural. Very likely that the cat is dehydrated in this situation.
 

Azazel

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Here is a good informative website for folks to read: catinfo.org
Water is an extremely important nutrient that contributes to overall health in every living creature. Couple this with the fact that cats do not have a very strong thirst drive when compared to other species,and you will understand why it is critical for them to ingest a water-rich diet. The cat’s lack of a strong thirst drive can lead to low-level, chronic dehydration when dry food makes up the bulk of their diet especially if they have any level of kidney insufficiency.

A cat’s normal prey contains approximately 70 – 75 percent water. Dry food only contains 5-10 percent water whereas canned foods contain approximately 78 percent water. Canned foods therefore more closely approximate the natural diet of the cat and are better suited to meet the cat’s water needs.

I hear the reader saying: “But my cat drinks a lot of water so dry food is just fine for him!”

A cat consuming a predominantly dry food diet does drink more water than a cat consuming a canned food diet, but in the end, when water from all sources is added together (what’s in their diet plus what they drink), the cat on dry food consumes approximately half the amount of water compared with a cat eating canned food.
 

furmonster mom

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Agree with everything you said except that it’s not normal for cats to eat kibble and drink water. This is a situation that humans put them in and completely unnatural....
I never said dry food was "normal" for a cat. I was answering the question about how much water a cat might drink.
If a cat is on a dry food diet and is drinking the same amount of water on a daily basis, that might be normal for that cat.
If the same cat suddenly starts increasing or decreasing their daily water intake, there could possibly be a problem.
It is up to the pet owners to keep an eye on their animals to determine if their water intake is "normal" or not.
I am not making judgements on what people decide to feed their animals, I was simply addressing the question that was asked.
 

Azazel

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If a cat is on a dry food diet and is drinking the same amount of water on a daily basis, that might be normal for that cat.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'normal.' Does normal mean that the cat is well hydrated? Or does it mean that the cat is in a constant state of low-level dehydration and that the amount of water they're drinking every day is consistent because of that constant dehydrated state? I was saying that I believe it is the latter.
 

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We had a cat that only liked to drink out of the faucet, too. We got a fountain for her. Fortunately she really liked it and switched to that. But it sounds like you've already tried a fountain, Sall223 Sall223 , and your kitty doesn't use it?
 
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Sall223

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We had a cat that only liked to drink out of the faucet, too. We got a fountain for her. Fortunately she really liked it and switched to that. But it sounds like you've already tried a fountain, Sall223 Sall223 , and your kitty doesn't use it?
Yes, we have a fountain. We have seen her drink out of it a few times but, I guess we would need a camera to see how much she really is. 😂
 
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Sall223

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What kind of food does she eat? If mostly canned food, she may not need to drink much, as the water content in canned food is quite high.
She has eaten dry food since we got her (2 years) but recently I have started giving her wet food also. Wanted to make sure she wouldn’t have any “bathroom issues”. Never have been quite sure about the amount of wet food to give a cat. Any suggestions?
 

di and bob

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Research the different fountains and see which one more closely mimicks a running faucet. Some cats love one that is like a stream running while others prefer a water stream that drops from an opening into a basin below. There are some that 'bubble' up from below too. If you find the right one your cat will definitely be enticed and drink more.
 

rubysmama

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She has eaten dry food since we got her (2 years) but recently I have started giving her wet food also. Wanted to make sure she wouldn’t have any “bathroom issues”. Never have been quite sure about the amount of wet food to give a cat. Any suggestions?
About how much wet food to feed, you'll get many different answers to that question. Some say all wet, others will disagree. I, personally, feed my Ruby 90% wet food, with a bit of kibble a day as a treat.

You'll have to figure out calories, though, to ensure she's both getting enough, but not too many a day. Maybe this TCS article will help: How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat? – Cat Articles

Back to your original question of how to know if your cat is drinking enough water, I think as long as the pee clumps in the litter box are normal, all is good. As I mentioned upthread, canned food has a high water percentage, so the more wet food a cat eats, the less water they'll probably drink from a bowl.
 

MoonstoneWolf

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What are the alternatives to this for feral cats? Wet food freezes to the bowl. Kibble is the only option in winter time and not everyone has electric outside or trusts running heated water and food bowls especially in horrid storms.

But yes in moderate weather I have noticed that when served wet food they drink less.
 
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