Cats and Water

Would you want to drink water out of a boring old bowl on the floor? I’ve known dozens of cats in my life, and none would answer in the affirmative. In fact, many felines have rather peculiar preferences when it comes to the source of their liquid refreshment.

Up until two years ago, I kept a tumbler of water by the bathroom sink. Two of my cats refused to drink water anywhere but out of this vessel. The third insisted on drinking straight from the tap. Not from a stream of running water—that would be too easy—but from a precisely timed series of drips. If it dripped too fast or too slow, forget it.

Then I bought a Drinkwell fountain. It was one of the best $50 I’ve ever spent. Not only do two out of my three cats love to drink from it, but the faucet licker will do so as well on occasion—if I’m out of town or take too long to turn on the sink. It’s completely eliminated water worries in our house.

Water for cats is essential. Not only do they need water to live, but they need to remain adequately hydrated in order to avoid urinary tract infections and urinary tract crystals, as well as maintain digestive health. Unfortunately, many cats do not drink enough water.

If you worry yours aren’t getting enough, consider the following simple changes.

1. Buy a Drinkwell fountain. Not only is it convenient (you don’t have to worry about filling it every day), but many cats—like mine—are attracted to running water.
2. Switch to a wet food diet. If your cats don’t take to the fountain, consider switching them to a diet of wet cat food rather than dry. You can even add a little additional water or sodium-free chicken or beef broth to increase the moisture content.
3. Consider placement. It’s possible your cat does not like the current placement of her water bowl. Try placing several throughout your home and track which she chooses to use. You should also ensure you’re refreshing the water daily.

Does your cat drink enough water? If so, does she like to drink in crazy places? Share your stories in the comments.

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