How to Increase Your Cat's Water Intake


This article is written by Pet Circle's qualified veterinarian, Dr Teagan Lever, BVSc (Hons).

Keeping your cat well hydrated helps to support kidney function and maintain bladder health. Whether your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease, a lower urinary tract disease, or you just want to keep them in tip-top shape, there are some things you can do to encourage your feline friend to drink more.


1. Feed Wet Food

2. Provide Running Water

3. Offer Flavoured Water

4. Consider Different Bowls

Further Reading

Feed Wet Food

One of the easiest ways to increase your cat's water intake is to feed wet foods from cans or pouches. The water content of commercially prepared wet foods can be upwards of 60% to 80%. While this makes them a less cost effective way to feed your pet, it does mean that your cat is consuming a lot more water without much effort on your part. You can boost the moisture content of these foods even more by mixing in water prior to feeding.

Top recommended wet foods for cats

Premium wet foods contain highly digestible, top quality ingredients to help keep your cat in top condition.


Advance Wet foods come in a range of flavours and textures to suit all palates, and are made locally in North East Victoria.

Ziwi Peak

Ziwi Peak Wet Foods are very high in protein and contain ethically sourced ingredients. They are formulated for all life stages, including kittens.

Royal Canin

Royal Canin wet foods contain super premium balanced nutrition for cats, and come in a range of age, breed and lifestyle specific formulations.

Open Farm

Open Farm stews are made from sustainable, ethically sourced ingredients, with a focus on humane production animal welfare standards when formulating their foods.

Shop All Wet Cat Food

Provide Running Water

Have you ever wondered why you cat likes to drink out of the tap or shower head? Interestingly many cats have a preference for drinking running water. Rather than leave the tap running all day, a better option is a water fountain. As well as using a pump to keep the water moving through, these fountains also contain a replaceable filter to keep it nice and fresh.

Best water fountains for cats

Shop All Cat Water Fountains

Offer Flavoured Water

Another way to make the water more appealing for your cat is to add flavour. In addition to their normal fresh water bowl, try offering them some broth to drink, add some flavoured ice cubes, or a small amount of lactose free milk to another bowl of water. These products should only be given occasionally as treats and should not replace a complete and balanced diet.

Not All Water Bowls Are Made Equal

Cats can have strong preference about the size, shape and material of their water bowl. Offer your fussy feline a few different options to see what they like best, whether it's ceramic, glass, steel or plastic. It's also important to have bowls in a few locations around the house, especially for older cats with reduced mobility. If your cat knows that the water bowl is close by, he or she is much more likely to get up from that comfy spot for a quick drink.

Best water bowls for cats

Your cat's personal preference will ultimately decide the best water bowl for them. Stainless steel bowls are easy to keep clean and disinfect, whereas ceramic bowls are sturdier. Plastic bowls are generally more cost effective and durable.

Adjusting the food you feed your cat and providing some enticing drinking opportunities helps to get them drinking more. Although beneficial for all our feline friends, maintaining hydration is especially important for cats with kidney or bladder problems.

Further Reading

Want to know more?

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Flea, Tick and Worm Prevention for Cats

Dental Care for Cats

The Benefits and Risks of Raw Feeding for Pets

Exploring Grain Free Pet Food