How much water should my cat drink per day?

Cats drink very little compared to how much water dogs or humans drink. Of course, that doesn't mean they don't need water. It is very important that they drink well and regularly. But how much should a cat actually drink? And how do you know if your cat is drinking (too) much? Or too little? In this article, we'll tell you about hydration problems in cats.

How Much Should a Cat Drink?

Cats need water. The standard guideline for the amount of water per day is approximately 1.5 fl. oz. per 2 pounds of body weight. Does your cat weigh 6 lbs? Then, in good health, it will need an average of 6 fl. oz. of water per day. But although water is indispensable for cats, they often drink it very little. By nature, a healthy cat really does not need much water. Since the ancestors of our house cats have always lived in very dry areas, their bodies are set to lose little moisture. In cats, the urine is very well concentrated, so it is not necessary for them to drink a lot of water. Under normal circumstances, your cat would rather drink too little than too much water.

Drinking too much or too little water

Hydration problems are very common in cats and there are various reasons for this. This refers to cat drinking both too much and too little water. In addition to health problems affecting your cat's drinking behavior, aging or the nutrition it receives can also play a role. Many cats are fed dry food in combination with a meal of wet food every day. Both have advantages and disadvantages and impact the cat’s drinking behavior. A big advantage of wet food is that it contributes to the daily fluid intake requirement, so it is especially recommended for cats that should drink more water.

What to do if your cats drink a lot of water?

Did you notice that your cat suddenly started drinking a lot more water? Does your cat go to the toilet more often and do you always have to change the litter box or do you even find wet spots in the house? Then it is wise to contact the vet. If your cat is not completely well and is eating less than normal, this can indicate problems with the urinary tract such as bladder stones or kidney failure. The vet can make the correct diagnosis for this and initiate the correct treatment if necessary. Switching to a different diet can sometimes make a big difference. There is good cat food that has been specially developed to keep the urinary tract healthy.

How do I know if my cat is drinking too much?

Often times, cats suddenly begin drinking a lot more water. And drinking a lot is accompanied by a lot of urination. The urine also becomes much more watery. This makes it easy to check whether your cat is actually drinking too much or whether it just seems that way. If you want to be sure about this, you can collect the urine and give it to the vet to have the concentration measured. It is important to check this because drinking and urinating too much can indicate health problems such as kidney failure, an overactive thyroid or diabetes. This does not always have to be the case. Cats that exercise a lot or are very hot will also drink more.

How do I know if my cat is drinking too little?

Drinking too little water is also common. If cats drink too little they can become dehydrated or experience bladder problems. Dehydration can be detected by lifting and letting go of the skin in the neck or on the side of the shoulders and chest with two fingers. The skin should smoothly fall back into the fold. When the skin slowly recedes or even remains upright, it can be a sign of dehydration. Bladder problems are caused by the fact that without adequate hydration, the urine will be more concentrated and crystals can form more easily. Cats that don't get enough moisture generally also have a duller coat.