Your cat needs water to live on, just like we humans. In fact, water is an important part of her body and is essential for her health. However, it is not always easy to assess your cat’s water needs and to know if she is drinking enough or too much. Here are our tips to achieve this and ensure the correct fluid supply of your little companion.
How is water good for your cat?
If water is vital to our human organism, it is just as important for the cat. Her body is largely made up of water, and she needs an adequate and necessary fluid supply to obtain an adequate amount. Water is involved in the proper functioning of organs, in the natural regulation of body temperature, in the promotion of good blood circulation, in better digestion, in better control of certain diseases and in a better balance of the body as a whole.
Water is therefore essential for the well-being of your cat. However, the assessment of demand is complicated, as it varies depending on the activity during the day, depending on the temperature of the environment, according to what it eats, etc. As a result, his needs change from day to day, but it is important to maintain a minimum amount to avoid the risk of dehydration, which can have dire consequences for his health.
It is also important to remember that water is the only drink that is vital for the cat. You don’t have to try to vary the pleasure by giving it something else. The cat must drink water, point. Avoid milk, which is often given incorrectly, because very few cats are able to digest it after weaning, and many will show symptoms of intolerance or allergy to milk proteins or lactose, such as bloating, diarrhea or vomiting, or much worse.
How can you assess your cat’s water needs?
As we have already said, it is not easy to assess your cat’s water needs, as this need changes every day depending on a whole range of factors. It all depends on the temperature of their environment, their daily energy consumption and, above all, their diet. A cat that is fed exclusively with croquettes must drink more, as it is a dry food. If she gets some mash, she already benefits from the water of this wet food and can reduce her absorption of pure water.
Either way, it is estimated that the average need for a cat is in the range of 40 to 60 ml of water per kilogram of its weight per day. As a result, a cat weighing 5 kg has to drink almost a quarter of a litre of water or 250 ml a day.
In any case, it is imperative that your cat always has a bowl of clean, fresh (not cold) and accessible water. In fact, your animal must be able to drink at any time as soon as it feels the need. Do not hesitate to renew the contents of the bowl several times a day if necessary, and remember to wash the bowl regularly well. When he drinks from a dirty container, he can swallow bacteria and get sick. You can give your cat tap water if it is of good quality. However, avoid it if it is very hard, and prefer bottled water. However, do not give it mineralized water to prevent it from developing crystals and urinary stones.
It is not clear whether your cat eats the right amount of water for her health every day. To do this, check the contents of his bowl; if the level does not drop, you should take action.
In addition, it is possible that your cat drinks much more water than usual on certain days. This can come from a temperature increase, a change in diet, more intense physical activity or a suckling cat. Either way, the situation should not last. If this is the case, you should consult a veterinarian to make sure that there is no disease behind this increased thirst.
How can you tell if your cat is drinking enough?
You now know what you need to do for your cat to drink when it’s thirsty. But does she really drink in sufficient quantities? If you have any doubts, fill your bowl with a measuring cup and watch the remaining amount when you refill fresh water. This will help you see if he is eating a sufficient amount during the day.
Don’t forget to consider his diet. If he only eats dried food, he has to drink more than with a wet food, which already contributes to his hydration and reduces his consumption of pure water.
The skin wrinkle pressure test
To check if your cat is well hydrated, you can rely on the elasticity of your skin. To do this, grab the skin in the neck at the level of the shoulder blades. If you release it, it should return to its original position immediately, i.e. within 3 seconds. Otherwise, if it stays loose and the wrinkle remains visible or dissolves slowly, your cat is dehydrated. In this case, visit the veterinarian immediately.
What if he doesn’t drink enough?
It is assumed that a cat does not drink enough if it consumes less than 30 ml per kilo per day. If your pet is affected, first try to make the necessary changes for their well-being. It may indeed be that he refuses to drink if the quality of the water offered does not meet his expectations, because cats are very picky!
So start by offering it a clean and well-washed bowl, preferably made of transparent glass, to avoid the water taking on an unpleasant taste and to check the good transparency of it. Also, change its water two to three times a day and make sure it is cool and not cold. Try bottled water with little or no mineralization, as tap water can have a chlorine taste that your cat doesn’t like.
Also, don’t hesitate to give in to their “whims.” Some cats like to drink from the faucet or have cone in several rooms. Do not see this as coercion. Respect his desires, which does not require any real effort, but helps to maintain his health and well-being.
After all, if he still doesn’t drink enough and the situation continues, you should see the veterinarian to make sure your pet is not sick.
What if he drinks too much?
If your pet tends to drink too much – more than 100 ml per pound per day – it may suffer from polydipsia, i.e. increased thirst over a longer period of time. While some cats simply have a habit of drinking a lot out of necessity or fear, others can be sick. In fact, this excessive thirst is often a symptom of a disease such as diabetes, a urinary tract infection or kidney failure. It is therefore essential to consult the veterinarian as soon as possible in order to carry out additional examinations in order to distinguish the pathology in question and to establish appropriate treatment. Do not wait, because the cat’s urinary tract is very sensitive and any infection can lead to a rapid death due to lack of appropriate care.