What suggestions do you have for a cat who doesn't want to drink water?

hannahgirl

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My cat recently went through three days where she refused to eat or drink, and barely moved. I took her to the Vet (after the first day of this) and they said all they could see what that she was dehydrated. I had just taken her for her annual exam and blood work two weeks ago, which showed everything was normal.  They gave her fluids and sent me home with fluids to give her. She has improved greatly, she eats a lot (I switched her food) but still doesn't find much interest in water. Through a whole day, she only sipped for a couple of minutes, making barely a dent in the bowl of water. So, I had to give her fluids again.

Does anyone have any suggestions that have worked for your cats, to drink more water, in some form? She has always loved to try to steal water from my water cup (thinking somehow it's better or fresher) so I even gave her one of my cups. That only worked for one day.

I'd rather see her drink on her own. Thanks so much!
 

Willowy

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If she'll eat canned food, that's a good way to get enough moisture into her. Canned food in itself has almost enough moisture for a cat's needs (if that's all she eats), just add another tablespoon or two and that should be more than enough.

Many cats like having a fresh glass or water or a dripping faucet to drink from. A cat fountain might help. But cats aren't big drinkers in general so the canned food is the easiest way.
 

blackcat416

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I have 6 cats with 3 water bowls and 1 tub of water for them. Here are a couple of suggestions. I use ceramic dog water bowls so they are big enough and strong enough that they can't tip over. Flimsy bowls or small bowls aren't attractive to my cats. The water is kept in bathrooms and is changed every morning and night. During hot days I will add an ice cube or two and the cats love playing with them wetting their paws then having to lick them dry. The tub I use is kept in the kitchen sink which they love. It's super wide and is nice an tall and always filled to the top. Their whiskers can't touch the sides so they tend to drink longer.

I feed my cats both soft food and always have IAM dry in again, dog bowls. Cats don't like bowls that move and the more dry food they eat the more mine drink. My cats also like eating blade grass which I buy and grow and keep all over the house. Spraying it with fresh water also adding more water to their diet. Personally I think it's the container, most cats don't like to get their whiskers wet and your basic cat bowls are small and narrow causing their whiskers to touch the side. Good luck.
 
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hannahgirl

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Thank you for this information. I switched my cat over from eating canned food and dry, to just canned food. I also added a few drops of extra water into the food, which she gobbles down, readily.
 
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hannahgirl

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Blackcat, this is great information about them not liking to get their whiskers wet! Yes, cat bowls are always small, and mugs, too. I'm going first thing tomorrow to find something larger, and much more appealing to her. Thank you!!!
 

cbreeze930

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They love the fountains, and I heard adding a bit of salt to food too.
 

betsygee

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We had a cat with kidney disease who needed a lot of water but wouldn't drink much.  I noticed she like to drink out of a running faucet so I ended up buying her one of these:  
She loved drinking the running water.
 

my2cats67

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my cat Tiger wont drink I can count on one hand how many times I have seen him drink I only feed wet food I do add water to his wet he likes it eats whole thing and I keep him and my other cat hydrated I do give him and my other cat ice cubes if it is hot out in there water.
 
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hannahgirl

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Thanks, everyone! These are great suggestions. She used to like water dripping from the tub but she is now too timid to jump in...so a drinking fountain might be ideal! Also, I switched her from a dry food/canned food diet to strictly canned food, so this might explain her decreased lack of interest in water. That article from this website that mrsgreenjeans suggested, mentioned how much moisture they can get from canned food. I checked the one I've been giving her and it says 82% water! I'm so grateful for everyone's help. I'm not so stressed about it now, and know how to do it, so that she is well hydrated. I would've switched her diet a long time ago, if I had known...and made drinking water, more convenient and comfortable for her. I will do it now!
 
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margaret decat

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I had a cat for 14 years who would not drink water without coaxing. Then the water pipes in my house froze and I had to get bottled purified water. She slurped it up. Tried switching her back in same bowl. She could tell the difference. Try bottled water.
 

savingkali

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My Kali went off food and water for 4 days after surgery and then required 6 days of hospitalization to help her kidneys recover now that shes eating normally again but not interested in drinking still I put 25ml in her food and mash it up so she has to lap up the water to get her food so thats working really well. She seems well hydrated and my vet said as long as they're eating you can just add water to their food to supplement it. :) and if they are getting enough water then they wont be interested. If you notice you cat sitting around water (sinks, bowl, toilet) but still not drinkig it, thats a sign their kidneys are going into distress and you need to go to the vet again. If shes eating then just add extra water and that should be fine. :) Goodluck!!
 
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hannahgirl

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Thanks again, everyone! I used a bigger bowl, one of my soup bowls, and let her see me put fresh water in it. I have seen her drink from it, twice so far! And, I am adding water to her food so that I know she is getting it there, what a great help you have all been. She still hides sometimes and her eating and bathroom habits are all different from normal. She seems to eat more than normal and use the litter box more often.

The Vet says to give it time, it takes longer for a senior cat to fully recover. I hope and pray that she will recover completely, and soon.

Her bloodwork came out fine, but the Vet said it could be something like irritable bowel syndrome which would not show up that way. I hate to put her through the stress of another Vet visit anytime soon...so I'm just hoping and hoping she is on the road to wellness! Thanks again for all of your support. Animal lovers are the best people on earth!
 

betsygee

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So glad to hear you've had success!  
  Keep us posted on how you're doing.
 
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