Insufficient water consumption is linked to an increase in bladder infections and crystal formation. Water helps regulate your cat's body temperature, and is necessary to aid in the digestion of dry food and the absorption of vitamins.
Your cat needs full-time access to water. But how much? A typical cat consumes approximately two and a half times the volume of dry food she eats. If, for example, she eats four ounces of dry food, she drinks about ten ounces of water. Factors such as high heat, exercise, or lactation can double or triple the amount she drinks. Thus, you should always provide more water than she actually drinks.
To ensure your cat drinks enough water, provide fresh water according to her preference. From time to time, your cat may get finicky and not drink enough. During these times, you may need to make an extra effort to persuade her to drink more. How you provide the water can be as big a factor as the quantity and quality of the water.
Running water may be the answer
Have you ever spotted your pet drinking from the kitchen faucet? The sound, coolness, and freshness of running water is preferred by many cats. Your cat may enjoy drinking from a slowly running faucet, but leaving it running all day for her is impractical. Pet owners everywhere are telling us that the Drinkwell Pet Fountain and the Westport Ceramic Waterer are effective and more economical options.
Because unwashed water bowls can harbor all kinds of bad organisms, be sure to wash them daily, and disinfect them periodically with a mild bleach solution and thorough rinsing in clean water. Untreated water from other sources such as a backyard pond can also harbor bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can make your cat ill. Providing plenty of fresh water indoors greatly reduces the chance your cat will drink from secondary sources outdoors.
Fresh, running water may be especially important for your sick or older cat
Maintaining normal water consumption helps reduce the incidence and severity of feline lower urinary tract disease and other problems. As more water is consumed, urine is less concentrated, and crystals are less likely to form. If your cat has a medical condition, your veterinarian may recommend encouraging her to drink a large quantity of clean water.
As your cat ages, she may no longer drink sufficient amounts of water, which can exacerbate constipation problems or kidney disease, and contribute to dehydration. To minimize these problems, running water in a Drinkwell Fountain may be just what is needed to attract her to drink.
Maintain awareness of your cat's water consumption and take action to ensure she always drinks enough. These efforts will help keep her healthy and well hydrated.