All living organisms need water to survive. This includes our pets. However, cats seem to be more predisposed to dehydration. There are some biological/evolutionary reasons for this. Cats originate from arid environments and are used to getting most of their water through live prey, rather than drinking water on its own. Here are some tips to help them get more water in their diets.
- Pay attention to the kind of food you’re feeding them: Feeding cats dry food is fine but be aware that cats who eat dry food will have to drink more water than cats who eat wet, canned food.
- Avoid plastic bowls: Plastic absorbs smells. While we might not be able to smell them, cats can. These smells can turn them off from drinking out of water dishes. Try to use a steel or ceramic dish instead.
- Placement of the bowl can make a difference: Cat’s do not like to drink near where they eat or where they use the bathroom. Try setting different bowls throughout the house to see which areas they like the most.
- Cleanliness: Cats are particular about cleanliness. They are likelier to drink out of bowls that are washed often.
Typical signs of dehydration in cats include sunken eyes, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If you believe your pet is dehydrated, please bring him or her in for a checkup. We can assess the cat for dehydration and discuss ways to get more water into the cat’s diet.