How to make cat drink water

Why doesn't the cat drink?

Many cat owners struggle with the problem that their cat won't drink water. Just as feeding your cat is a skill, there are also tricks to keeping your cat hydrated.

Reasons for why a cat won't drink water

The cat's fluid intake must come mainly from food, as the cat naturally drinks little and has weak feeling of thirst. Hence, this is often the reason why the cat won't drink water but eats wet food. In the summer heat, your cat's ability to drink can be even weaker, but it is even more important to recognise dehydration in time and react quickly.

Did you know that the mouse, one of the most common prey animals for cats, can contain up to 80% water? Learn more about the cat's natural diet.

Cats have adapted to a low water intake and they can, if necessary, concentrate their urine in order to maintain the body's fluid balance. However, your cat needs to stay hydrated, as too little water dehydrates the body and can cause urinary problems such as idiopathic cystitis or urinary stones.

A cat's poor hydration and dry food based diet, for example, can also predispose the cat to constipation, which is one of the most common stomach problems in cats. Does your cat often suffer from constipation or other stomach problems? Read our tips for preventing the cat's constipation and how to feed a cat with sensitive stomach.

The cat's daily water requirements depend on its weight and activity level. A cat needs about half a deciliter of water per kilogram of weight per day, which means, that a cat weighing 5 kg needs about 2.5 dl of fluid per day.

The location of the water bowl matters

Naturally, cats eat their food separately from where they drink, as the carcass of the prey may have contaminated the nearby water. This is why you should not place your cat's water bowl next to the food bowl. Cats also like to drink in a place where they can observe their surroundings.

Tips to increase your cat's drinking:

  • Place water bowls in different places. Cats may remember to drink when they spot a water bowl along their path.
  • Try bowls of different materials and shapes. Some cats like to drink from a small bowl, while others prefer a flat glass container with low edges.
  • Avoid water bowls where the cat's whiskers touch the sides of the bowl. On the other hand, some cats may specifically like a tall, tumbler-like bowl.
  • A water dispenser can be a good option, as cats like flowing water. This is why many cats also like to drink directly from the tap.
  • Change the water often and keep the water bowl full. A cat won't drink water if it has been standing for a long time, and the cat may start to ration its fluid intake if there is not enough water in the bowl.
  • In the summer heat, you can put a piece of ice in your cat's water bowl or offer it as it is.

You can get help for your cat's hydration from PrimaCat Fillets and Soup supplementary foods.

PrimaCat Fillets wetfood in use


A cat won't drink water: How to feed your cat for adequate hydration

Especially if your cat eats mostly dry food, it is important to ensure that the cat gets enough water, as kibble does not provide the cat with fluids, unlike wet food. In PrimaCat cat foods you will find several options to support your cat's fluid intake, for example, on a dry food-based diet:

  • The supplementary foods PrimaCat Soup and PrimaCat Fillets are ideal for maintaining your cat's fluid balance.
  • Prima Cat Soup wet foods are juicy soups that contain either chicken or tuna, but also plenty of delicious broth.
  • Prima Cat Fillets cat food contains tasty fillet meat in either jelly or water to increase both palatability and fluid intake. Available in 6 different flavours.
  • For a cat weighing 5 kg, provide 1–2 Soup or Fillets portion-sized packages per day, depending on the cat's diet and activity level. Two Soup packages a day with dry food is a good option, especially if your cat won't drink water often enough.

If your cat starts drinking more than normal, you should book an appointment with your vet. Increased drinking can be a symptom of an illness that needs treatment.