How To Get Your Cats To Drink Water

Unlike dogs, cats tend to be more particular in their daily habits, so while you may see your energetic pup slurping from the water bowl, you'll less often notice your cat drinking. Water is vital to your cat's good health, so you'll want to make sure they're getting enough each day.

As a species in the wild, cats mostly got the water they needed from capturing and eating their prey. But, as indoor house cats, they need to consume water to keep their body systems healthy. Just like in humans, drinking enough water has health benefits for cats, from keeping digestion running well to helping absorb nutrients. In addition, if cats have any urinary issues or problems with their kidneys or bladder, they will need to consume more water than usual, which will help flush out bacteria and help reduce inflammation (via Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University). In fact, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, dehydration can even mimic kidney disease in cats.

Keep in mind that while it's a common myth that cats love to drink milk, dairy from cows isn't something that cats should have. Many cats may seem like they enjoy drinking milk, but the lactose in it can cause diarrhea and pain (via VCA Hospitals). This stomach upset occurs because, by 12 weeks of age, most kittens can longer digest lactose.

Tips to get your cat to drink more water

While training dogs can usually be done with some ease, it can be more difficult to get your cat to do what you want. Start out by finding a good water bowl. Hills Pet Nutrition recommends trying to find a drinking bowl that your cat likes since some cats won't enjoy drinking from a plastic water bowl and others won't like a metal or glass bowl. You may have to try a few options!

Also, know that location is key. The type of bowl usually isn't as important as where you place the bowl. Keep a water bowl next to your cat's food bowl so they get into the habit of eating and drinking at the same time. It also helps to keep the water bowl in the same spot.

In addition, there are ways to incorporate water at mealtime. Dr. Beth Turner at Preventive Vet says to offer your cat wet food which contains some added water. If your cat eats dry food exclusively, try adding a few drops to their kibble. Even better, add a few drops of chicken stock to further entice them.

You can also spark your feline's interest with a water fountain. Use your cat's natural curiosity to encourage them to get closer to fresh water. Water fountains supply just enough intrigue and that will hopefully result in your cat grabbing a few sips.

Finally, keep it cool. According to Dr. Turner, cats like cold water, so if the weather is warm, try adding a couple of ice cubes to your cat's water bowl.