The weather may be warming up for summer or drying out for winter, but regardless of the season, keeping our feline friends hydrated is something to think about. They may not need much, but there are occasions when we may want to encourage more water intake. For example, kitties with kidney or bladder problems, infections, or high stress levels, will need more water than the average cat. But how can we get our Mr. Socks to drink more water? The answer is in listening to our fur-baby and adjusting the way present water to him or her.
Have fresh, clean water available at all times. Suffice it to say, if the water is stale or dirty, it won’t be of any interest. And if it’s stored in a place that hasn’t been cleaned in a while or isn’t clean smelling, like the corner of the garage or next to the litter box, we may want to change the location so the water will be in a clean, fresh environment.
Make small changes, like the bowl size and shape. Cats are curious creatures. They love exploring new things and playing with new toys. Varying the size and shape of the water bowl can actually encourage water intake. We might try a big dog water bowl for a few days, then a cup or water, followed by a deep glass bowl and then a small, shallow metal bowl. If we vary the depth, material, shape, and size, our kitties are more likely to be interested.
Location, location, location. We should make sure water bowls are in a clean place and that the water is fresh, but we can also add water accessibility throughout the house. We don’t have to make it like the house from M. Night Shyamalan's thriller, Signs, where glasses of water were all over the house. A cup at the bedside dresser, a bowl near a favorite window, and maybe a dripping tap can all remind Ms. Kitty Fantastico that water is readily available.
Add a little flavor to the water. As humans, we love our flavored water. From cucumber water at the local spa, to workout water in every color and flavor imaginable, we get that a little flavor can go a long way to encourage hydration. Adding a little tuna water from the can, some chicken broth, or some of the juice from our cat’s canned food can do a lot to encourage more drinking. We just need to remember that food does go bad and we’ll have to clean the water bowl more often to keep it fresh.
Try filtered water. Yes, we spoil our cats, but what’s the point of being a cat-guardian otherwise? Many people give their cats tap water, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If the tap water is safe for human consumption in the area, it’s safe for kitty. But as we all know from “How Do Cats Taste Food?” their taste buds are different from ours. They perceive their food and water differently. That means they may be picking up on the chlorine or other solvents in our tap water. Try offering filtered water. Also, offering cold and room temperature options will help us get to know our cat’s preferences. Chilled water may not always be on the menu if that ends up being a preference, but we’ll remember the option for a future date when our fur-baby is sick and needs encouragement to drink water.
Try more wet food. Many of us emphasize kibble with just a little canned food to add texture and moisture. Adding a little more moisture to mealtime can help with hydration. If it won’t significantly affect calorie intake, adding a little extra wet food is fine. Otherwise, just mix a little broth or water into the kibble. Or exchange a little less kibble for more wet food. Either way, the added liquid in Sergeant Fuzzy Boots’ dinner could make all the difference. We just need to remember to watch the appetite. Altering a cat’s food consistency is tricky business for picky eaters. This option won’t work for everyone.
Cat’s don’t need a lot of water, but any kind of deficit in their water intake can have significant dehydrating effects. And it can make it difficult for them to heal infections or keep their immune system healthy. EcoImmune Support & Booster Supplement is an all-natural mix of immune enhancers and powerful antioxidants that even the most finicky eaters will love. A little goes a long way, and it’s a pantry staple for guardians of dogs and cats of all ages and all levels of health.
What’s your best tactic to get your cat to drink more water? Send pic. Write a story. Tell us what works and what doesn’t. We would love to hear from you on Facebook or Instagram. Just use #VetOrganics.