Ways to Increase Your Cat's Water Intake
Keeping your cat well hydrated helps to support kidney function and maintain bladder health. Whether your cat has been diagnosed with a 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.
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.
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.
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, or add some flavoured ice cubes to another bowl of water.
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.
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.
When Teagan's not busy sharing her knowledge of all things pets as Pet Circle's resident vet, she is the human companion of two intense English staffies and a three-legged cat named Steve.
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