Do cats drink water?

Cats can be seen deftly catching water from a dripping faucet or daintily lapping water from puddles in the garden. A cat would even dip its head on a water glass to drink. Water holds a certain kind of fascination to some cats. One would think that cats are good water drinkers when the fact is that these feline friends are not really big on drinking water. Cat owners know that these animals hate water if the major struggle in bathing the pet will be considered. Cats are not inclined to drink water as well thus owners have to make the effort to entice the pet to drink this very essential life-sustaining drink.

Water is necessary for the maintenance of optimum health. Water is essential in regulating body temperature. Dehydration is a life threatening condition. Drinking enough amounts of water keeps organs and tissues healthy and well hydrated as water aids in the lubrication of tissues and ensures that salt and other electrolytes are channeled throughout the cat’s body. Water is as well necessary in the food digestion process. This life sustaining liquid helps in the elimination of body wastes. Water aids the kidneys in its all important function of eliminating toxins from the blood. These are very important reasons why cat owners should ensure that the pet would receive the right amount of water its body needs.

Cats’ ancestors have originated from arid lands. Due to the scarcity of water, cats during the ancient times have evolved into animals that have developed highly efficient kidneys. Even with very little water intake, the kidneys can rid the body of its waste products. Additionally, cats have received the body’s water requirement from its diet of rodents, birds, insects and other scurrying small animals. Moisture content of a cat’s prey is about 70%. As cat’s body tissues is about 67% water, the prey the cat eats in the wild would practically provide its water requirement.

A different situation occurs in modern day cats. These domestic animals are provided with canned and dry foods. Indoors pets are seldom given the opportunity to hunt and to eat prey thus it becomes imperative for these pets to drink water. A dry cat food diet contains about 10% water and a canned diet contains about 78% water. Cats that are allowed to hunt and provided with a wet diet would get the water requirement from its foods. Cats on a dry food diet would need sufficient amounts of water to survive. Cat owners that provide the pet with a dry food diet must ensure that the pet drinks enough water. This can be done by placing several bowls of fresh water around the house. Cats generally do not like water but some cats are actually fascinated by water especially if the water is flowing. Automatic water dispensers like a free flowing cat water fountain will urge the pet to take a drink every now and then. Owners are perplexed by the cat’s inclination to drink from stagnant puddles but not from its water bowls. Cats have sensitive scenting abilities and it is possible that it does not like the smell of chemically treated tap water and would therefore prefer to drink from rain puddles.

Cat owners must be aware that it is the nature of these animals to ignore its water bowl. Cats, unlike dogs are not water drinkers. This is why a cat owner should not ignore the pet that is suddenly drinking large quantities of water. Cats would drink more water when the weather is hot but excessive water drinking can be a sign of a health concern. Excessive water consumption can be a symptom of feline diabetes or feline hyperthyroidism. The cat owner must seek medical attention for the pet.