I never see my kitten drink water

Luvyna

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I've had my 6-month old kitten for a few weeks now and I think I've only seen him drink water twice. He has a whisker-friendly drinking bowl that I refill every day but I can't tell if he has touched it at all.

He eats raw food and canned food on rotation and I always add water to the food so that there's a meaty "broth" in the plate and he will drink all of that when he eats, but outside of that I don't see him drink water at all - the two times I saw him drink water were on his first day when he had just come home and hadn't eaten or drank anything for a while.

Is this an issue and would he get enough moisture from the food and the water I add to the food, or should I be trying to find ways to get him to drink more? How can I tell if he is getting enough water? I know that kidney and urinary issues can be a big issue with cats because most cats don't get enough water so I want to make sure I'm on top of this.
 

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I don't know how to tell how hydrated a cat is (other than this, from pet.webmd;
Skin tenting is a good test to help you determine if your cat is dehydrated. To do this, gently take a small portion of your cat’s skin around their shoulders, pull it up, and then let go.
If your cat is hydrated, the skin will snap back into place quickly.)
... but you could experiment with tempting things such as tall water glasses or mason jars, and place the water sources in different areas. Fresh and clean daily, and see what he thinks. He might not take advantage right away but leave one or two sources out for him.
 

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I didn't see my girl eat or drink for nearly 2 years. Even now at 7 years old I still rarely see my girl eat or drink and she usually stops once she notices me in the room. Some cats can feel uncomfortable eating or even just drinking when there is someone nearby. From their evolutionary stand point, when they are eating or drinking they are vulnerable to predators. More so when drinking since water is found a predictable points and strong ambush risk. If it is driven by this instinct, he should become more comfortable and start drinking more around you as time passes.

It could also just be that you are feeding such a moisture rich food that your kitten has very little thirst drive. Which is a good thing. It means that his diet is meeting his nutritional needs. Just pay attention to litter box and make sure there is a good output.
 
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Luvyna

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I don't know how to tell how hydrated a cat is (other than this, from pet.webmd;
Skin tenting is a good test to help you determine if your cat is dehydrated. To do this, gently take a small portion of your cat’s skin around their shoulders, pull it up, and then let go.
If your cat is hydrated, the skin will snap back into place quickly.)
... but you could experiment with tempting things such as tall water glasses or mason jars, and place the water sources in different areas. Fresh and clean daily, and see what he thinks. He might not take advantage right away but leave one or two sources out for him.
Thanks for this tip! I checked the fur on his scruff but I'm not sure what level of hydration he's at - he's definitely not severely dehydrated because the skin goes back pretty quickly but without a frame of reference it's hard to say if he's slightly dehydrated.

I will try having different sources of water out! That's a good idea to see if he has a preference.

I didn't see my girl eat or drink for nearly 2 years. Even now at 7 years old I still rarely see my girl eat or drink and she usually stops once she notices me in the room. Some cats can feel uncomfortable eating or even just drinking when there is someone nearby. From their evolutionary stand point, when they are eating or drinking they are vulnerable to predators. More so when drinking since water is found a predictable points and strong ambush risk. If it is driven by this instinct, he should become more comfortable and start drinking more around you as time passes.

It could also just be that you are feeding such a moisture rich food that your kitten has very little thirst drive. Which is a good thing. It means that his diet is meeting his nutritional needs. Just pay attention to litter box and make sure there is a good output.
Your girl sounds like a ninja! Makes total sense that cats feel vulnerable when eating. My Zephyr eats in front of me but I never see him drink or even show interest in his water bowl.

That's good to know about the food! I will keep generously adding water to his meals, maybe he just likes his water with some meat flavouring. For the litter box I feel like I find lots of pee but I haven't had a cat in a long time so I've also kind of lost a frame of reference at this point.
 

Antonio65

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If your cat only eats wet/raw food to which you add some water, it can be normal for him not to touch the water in the other bowl.
Canned food contains up to 85% moisture, that is water. If you add extra water, you can easily calculate how much water your cat takes in a day.
By knowing your cats weight, you could know if he drinks enough.
Daily water intake for a cat is 1 to 2 ml/kg/h. For instance, if your cat is 4.5kg (10 lbs), he should drink 108 to 215 ml a day (4.5kg x 1ml x 24h = 108ml).

An easy way to check if your cat is drinking when you don't see him, is to fill his bowl with fresh water, then weigh the bowl as it is (you can write it down for reference), then weigh it again 24 hours later.
This is what I usually do to keep the water intake under control, especially in summertime.
 
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Luvyna

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If your cat only eats wet/raw food to which you add some water, it can be normal for him not to touch the water in the other bowl.
Canned food contains up to 85% moisture, that is water. If you add extra water, you can easily calculate how much water your cat takes in a day.
By knowing your cats weight, you could know if he drinks enough.
Daily water intake for a cat is 1 to 2 ml/kg/h. For instance, if your cat is 4.5kg (10 lbs), he should drink 108 to 215 ml a day (4.5kg x 1ml x 24h = 108ml).

An easy way to check if your cat is drinking when you don't see him, is to fill his bowl with fresh water, then weigh the bowl as it is (you can write it down for reference), then weigh it again 24 hours later.
This is what I usually do to keep the water intake under control, especially in summertime.
These numbers are helpful, thank you! I think I will just try to make sure the right amount of water is in his food since that seems to be where he drinks the most reliably. For weighing the water, I think evaporation needs to be factored in as well, especially in the summer.

Kittens tend to pee much more and more often than adult cats, so this isn't a reliable measure 😊
This is good to know, thanks! I didn't know this 😮
 

Antonio65

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These numbers are helpful, thank you! I think I will just try to make sure the right amount of water is in his food since that seems to be where he drinks the most reliably. For weighing the water, I think evaporation needs to be factored in as well, especially in the summer.
Yes, evaporation must be taken into account, but I believe that the amount that evaporates is minimum comapred to what a cat could drink

This is good to know, thanks! I didn't know this 😮
I learned it "the hard way", I mean, I fostered so many kittens in 2018 and 2019, and they all used that litter box up to 15 times a day. I spent lots of money in useless visits and tests for those kittens, only to learn that it was normal...
 
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Luvyna

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I learned it "the hard way", I mean, I fostered so many kittens in 2018 and 2019, and they all used that litter box up to 15 times a day. I spent lots of money in useless visits and tests for those kittens, only to learn that it was normal...
Wow, 15 times! It makes sense though since they are smaller and everything passes through them quicker. I think my kitten probably uses the litterbox close to that many times a day as well.

Also, I tried different containers for water and it turns out he will drink from plates (with a rim)! He still doesn't drink much water outside of his food but it's good to know what he prefers. In any case, I'll always make sure he has plenty of water added to his food as he drinks that very enthusiastically.
 

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My cat adores water. She likes to bath, she likes sitting in a sink and play with water drops, she likes to even swim. We even bought her a water fountain after having read about them at https://www.cаtfoodpoint.com/best-cat-water-fountains/. So now, she often plays with it, not only drinks. She also likes to sit near the window when it's raining.
 
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Luvyna

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My cat adores water. She likes to bath, she likes sitting in a sink and play with water drops, she likes to even swim. We even bought her a water fountain after having read about them at https://www.cаtfoodpoint.com/best-cat-water-fountains/. So now, she often plays with it, not only drinks. She also likes to sit near the window when it's raining.
Aww that's so cool! It's hard to find a water-loving cat. What is the maintenance like for the fountain and are they hard to clean?
 

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My two eat canned food exclusively. I see William drink from the bowl on occasion, his brother Elliott I have only seen drink twice in the three years we have had them.
 
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