Do cats drink water? Of course! the better question is, does your cat drink enough water?
The topic of cat hydration and why cat water fountains are the way to go, is near and dear to my heart. Losing one cat at 15 years old to Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) coupled with a few other illnesses prompted me to share my experience around this topic.
My current cat, Silvio aka (Uncle Sil) is almost 3 years old and has already had two bouts of urinary crystals and blockage. I now know that Silvio has to be on a strict high quality wet food diet for the rest of his life. All nine of my cats lives matter, and so do yours!
If your cat experiences a urinary blockage, it is considered a medical emergency. A urinary blockage occurs when there is an obstruction in the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When this happens it is difficult or impossible for a cat to empty the bladder, making it a life-threatening emergency.
If your cat can’t empty their bladder, and has become completely obstructed, they may attempt to urinate in the litter box but will produce no urine. This is what happened to Uncle Sil. He would go stand in his box and no urine would come out. Urinary crystals and obstruction tend to happen more in male and neutered male cats than females.
Your cat may cry, move restlessly, or hide because of discomfort, and eventually lose their appetite and become lethargic. This is a very serious thing for kitties. Complete obstruction can cause death of the cat in 3–6 days. When I took Uncle Sil to the vet he said that Silvio had an obstruction is his urinary tract which caused him to have a large, painful bladder that is easily felt in the back half of the belly unless the bladder has ruptured.
Cats that eat dry food are at a higher risk of having a urinary obstruction than cats that are on a wet food diet. I believe the more you know, the further your cats life will go!
After dealing with various cat illnesses, I became slightly obsessed with doing extensive research on a number of topics. Cat hydration and having a cat water fountain are just two of the things that I think you deserve to know the importance of.
Importance of Cat Hydration
Water makes up about 80% of your cats body. It is one of six essential nutrients your kitty needs to feel and be their best. Even a tiny lack of water consumption can make a distinct impact on your cats overall health and well-being.
It is imperative a cat consume enough water to help avoid kidney disease and lower urinary tract disease, obstructions, circulation and digestion.
Cats can be finicky creatures, so it may take some trial and error for you to find the best way to keep your cat hydrated and healthy.
5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Hydrated
- Cat Water Fountain. Cats in the wild drink fresh free flowing water, as it contains fewer bacteria and keeps them from getting sick. By nature cats don’t prefer drinking still water, that just sits in a dish. Has your cat ever jumped on your counter and started drinking from you faucet? This is why! Your cat is telling you they want fresh flowing water. A cat water fountain is the best way to quench your cats thirst, in a way that is instinctual for our furry felines.
- WET FOOD WET FOOD WET FOOD!! – I can’t stress this enough. My cat Uncle Sil struggles with urinary blockage which is VERY serious. See your veterinarian immediately if your cat is having urinary problems. If your cat has similar struggles, avoid dry cat food at all costs. Wet cat food contains the moisture your cat needs in his or her diet to stay properly hydrated.
- Water bowl. Place it in the right location – Cats don’t like to have their water by their food dish due to cross contamination. This is an instinct from cats in the wild. Try not to place the water bowl in a corner as cats like to feel safe and have a view of all of their surroundings.
- Faucet. If you love to spoil your kitty the way I do, I let my cat indulge by taking a drink from my faucet, especially on really hot days. After all it’s the cats house, he or she is entitled to this luxury!
- Ice Cubes. This may seem strange but my cats love iced water! The “cat” days of summer are approaching, and adding a few ice cubes to your cats water fountain or water bowl is a great way to entice them to lap it up!
Signs of Cat Dehydration
As a cat parent you know your kitty best, and usually know if something is off with them. If your cat isn’t drinking enough water he or she could become dehydrated. This is very dangerous as it affects various organs in your cat and can lead to serious complications like Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) and urinary crystals.
Signs of dehydration in cats include:
- Sunken eyes.
- Loss of appetite.
- Dry mouth.
- Elevated heart rate.
- Decreased skin elasticity.
My first cat Mr. Grey suffered from dehydration one blazing hot summer when my AC was down. He was showing signs of dehydration, by panting and elevated heart rate. I took him to the emergency vet right away, and they promptly gave him subcutaneous fluids. He perked back up, the AC was fixed and Mr. Grey was re hydrated and happy!
The solution to keeping Mr. Grey hydrated was to invest in a cat water fountain, and put him on a wet food diet. It truly made all the difference in his overall health and well-being.
One tip I would suggest to see if your cat is dehydrated is to conduct the “skin tenting” test. Simply pinch the skin around your cats shoulders and pull it up gently, if the skin falls right back into place your cat is hydrated. If the skin sinks back down to the normal position slowly – your cat is dehydrated.
So, please do as I did with Mr. Grey. If you notice any signs of dehydration in your cat, call your veterinarian. If your vet is closed or unavailable, take your cat to the emergency vet to get checked out. They can give your cat proper fluids, examine for any potential illnesses and offer information on preventing dehydration in the future.
Benefits of Wet Cat Food
I am VERY passionate about this topic, as I have personal experience with feeding my cats both wet and dry food. Both of my all Grey male cats health improved ten fold after I went on a strict wet food diet with them.
I started off feeding Silvio high quality dry cat food. He eats a lot, so it seemed to be the best option for him to graze all day out of a full dish of kibble. Uncle Sil suffered two urinary blockages, one of which landed him in emergency surgery, the dry food diet played a huge part in this occurring.
Prey caught and eaten by cats in the wild is made up of 70% water. Wet cat food has a high moisture content of 75% to 78% water, so it’s optimal for helping cats meet their daily hydration needs. Dry food has only around 6% to 10% water content, which simply isn’t enough to keep your cat hydrated.
If you feed your cat dry kibble, it is ideal to make sure your kitty drinks 1 cup of water per 10-pounds of their body weight every day. Wet food is a great way to ensure your cat is getting enough water in their diet. However, if your cat eats dry food, a cat water fountain is a MUST!
Water is a universal life force so, having a cat water fountain is a REALLY good way to keep your kitty hydrated and his or her organs functioning properly.
The bottom line is, making sure your cat is properly hydrated is essential to his or her overall health and wellness. A great way to ensure your cat is getting enough moisture in their diet is to feed your cat wet food. Since Uncle Sil is prone to urinary obstruction it is imperative that he have a cat water fountain. Trust me, your cat will be so thankful for the fresh free flowing water, just like the cats are accustomed to in the wild.
Hydrate your cat because it is important, and because all nine cat lives matter!
Yours in Kitty Healthy,
Founder of The Cat Chronicles