Cats may be notorious for demanding behavior, but your felines are serious about drinking. Of course, we all know cats need water just like the rest of us; however, how much and why can often be confusing questions for a pet parent.
How much water should a cat drink? Generally, cats need about 60 milliliters of water per kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of body weight daily. For an average 4.5-kilogram (10-pound) cat, roughly 270 milliliters of water daily.
In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about cat hydration – from signs that indicate your cat might not be getting enough water to helpful tips on encouraging adequate fluid intake.
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How Much Water Should A Cat Drink: At a Glance
On average, cats should drink between 50-80 milliliters of water per kilogram (kg) of body weight daily. This means that the average adult cat (weighing about 4.5 kg) should drink between 225 and 360 milliliters of water daily.
However, this is just a general guideline; requirements may vary depending on your pet’s needs and lifestyle. For example, a large or active cat may need more than the average amount of water, while a smaller, less active cat may need less.
Generally, cats should drink around 4 ounces of water per 5 pounds(2.2kg) of body weight daily. It is best to consult your veterinarian to determine how much your cat needs.
In addition to their daily needs, cats may require more water if they’re ill or showing signs of dehydration. Symptoms of a cat not getting enough fluids include dry skin and coat, sunken eyes, dark-colored urine, and constipation. If you notice these symptoms in your pet, visit the vet immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
It would be best to consider your cat’s diet when determining its daily water intake. For example, wet cat food is higher in moisture content (up to 78%) than dry food (at around 10%); therefore, if your pet is eating primarily canned food, it may be getting some of its water needs met through its meals.
For instance, a 4kg cat eating wet food may need between 50 and 80 milliliters of additional water daily. Meanwhile, a 4kg cat eating only kibble (low in moisture content) may require up to 200 milliliters of extra water daily.
A Look at the Drinking Behaviors of Cats
Cats don’t usually drink large amounts of water at once; they prefer to sip throughout the day. Your cat’s drinking habits may depend on age, health, size, and environment.
For instance, kittens drink more frequently than adult cats, as they need extra fluids for growth and development. Here’s a closer look at some of the typical drinking behavior of cats:
Cats That Eat Wet Food Tend to Drink Less
As mentioned, cats that eat a combination of wet and dry food usually drink less than cats with only dry kibble. This is because wet food contains more water than dry kibble, meaning your cat has already satisfied some of its hydration needs by consuming wet food.
Wet food generally has around 80% moisture, which provides your cat with enough water to get through part of the day without having to drink from its water bowl. That said, cats still need fresh, clean drinking water – even if fed a predominantly wet diet.
Cats Drink More When It’s Hot Outside
Your cat may be more likely to drink more water when the weather is hot. Just like people, cats experience an increased need for hydration during the summer months as their bodies work to regulate body temperature.
To ensure your cat stays adequately hydrated during these times, it can help to provide multiple sources of fresh water around your home, and consider adding wet food or a moisture-rich treat to your pet’s diet.
Some Adult Cats Hardly Drink at All
It’s not unusual for adult cats to drink very little water from their bowl daily. This is especially true if the cat lives in an environment with cooler temperatures and doesn’t experience much exercise throughout the day.
If your cat is eating primarily dry food and not drinking from its bowl, it’s a good idea to speak with your veterinarian about ways you can work to increase your cat’s water intake. In the meantime, consider providing wet food options or adding tuna juice to its water bowl for some extra flavor.
When To Worry About Your Cat’s Water Intake
Measuring how much water a cat drinks on any given day is usually tricky, especially if you have multiple cats. This is why it’s so important to pay attention to any signs of dehydration, which can include lethargy, dry nose and mouth, sunken eyes, poor appetite, constipation, and a decrease in urine output.
Some of the main signs to watch out for include:
- Lack of interest in water. If your cat stops drinking, it could be a sign that it is not feeling well or may have a medical condition such as kidney disease.
- Decrease in urine output. Keep an eye out for changes in the amount of urine your cat produces, as this could indicate dehydration.
- Increase in thirst. If your cat suddenly drinks more than usual, it could be a sign of kidney disease or diabetes.
- Difficulty eating. A lack of appetite can lead to dehydration and may require medical attention.
- Vomiting. This could indicate an underlying medical condition, such as liver or kidney disease, and should be brought to your vet’s attention.
If you notice any of these signs in your cat, it’s best to take it to the vet immediately. The earlier your cat is diagnosed, the better chance it has of getting the proper treatment it needs.
Final Thoughts on Cats Water Consumption
Cats need an average of 60 milliliters of water per kilogram of body weight daily, but this may vary depending on the cat’s diet, size, and environment.
When it comes to knowing how much water your cat should drink, always consult your vet, as they can provide personalized advice about your pet’s hydration needs. Additionally, pay close attention to any signs of dehydration and take your cat to the vet if necessary.
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