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3 Expert Tips for Encouraging Your Cat to Drink

Published date: 08 May 2024

Cats can be a challenge when it comes to hydrating themselves. As pampered as our modern felines are, they do of course have wild roots. Did you know cats have evolved from desert-dwelling ancestors?

Our moggies have come from the North African Wild Cat, this beautiful elusive species lives in harsh dry environments. Wild cats get most of their moisture from the prey they ingest, meaning they have little drive to ingest fresh water. Our cats have retained this same habit, often ignoring their carefully filled water bowl. Unfortunately, this reluctance to drink can lead to ill health.

Lack of hydration can result in low energy, constipation, an increase in hairball problems and even contribute to the development of kidney disease. However, all is not lost, there are many tricks you can try to encourage cats to drink

Separate Food and Water Dishes

Cats dislike cross-contamination, so always keep their food, water, and litter away from each other. Keep in mind that cats have remarkably sensitive noses. Keeping dishes super squeaky clean is essential for encouraging drinking. Remember to always use a pet-safe cleaner and clean food and water dishes daily.

Try Filtered or Refrigerated Bottled Water

I know this sounds like really pampering your cat, but this can work! Typically, the fresher the water, the more likely the cat will be tempted by it.

Water that has been refrigerated is likely to smell less stale and be more enticing. Filtered water will contain less of the nasties that can be found in tap water, making it much more attractive.

Why not make water a little more fun for your feline? Try giving them ice cubes! Ice cubes are fun for cats to bat around, lick at and play with. This keeps them more hydrated and, in the summer, can be a great way to keep them cool.

Invest in a water fountain!

Cats typically prefer fresh moving water. Fresh water is less likely to be stagnated and potentially dangerous for cats to drink. Water Fountains are much fresher and cleaner than still water.

The sound of moving water is also important. Cats are not primed to seek out fresh water, so often don’t notice their water dish. The constant noise and movement of water in a fountain, allows cats to better notice the drinking resource.

For more cat support watch our Hairball Tips Video.

Written by Lucy Marcham

Lucy teaches all aspects of the Pets Corner curriculum and specialises in animal nutrition, ensuring that our staff have the right knowledge and understanding of pet diets to assist customers with confidence and care.