How To Encourage Your Cat To Drink More
Drink lots of Fluids
Many problems cats suffer are caused or at least made worse because cats don't drink enough. The most common problem we see is inappropriate urination, but kidney disease is also very common in older cats and constipation also occurs frequently. Simply put drinking more water rids the body of toxins, flushes away wastes and cleanses the body of some bacteria which can prevent infections.
- Place bowls everywhere
It really maters. Some cats don't like to drink near their food, others don't like to drink near the litterbox. Some cats want their water off where it's quiet and they won't be distrubed while drinking. Many cats don't like their water near the washing machine or refrigerator as these appliances can make strange noises and vibrations randomly.
- Add water to your cats food
Adding water to canned food can enhance flavors, and many cats like the gravy. Other cats like the crunch of dry food; be sure that each individual cat is okay with the texture (minced vs chunks, broth vs mush etc.)
- Add flavoring to a water bowl
Adding low sodium chicken broth or bouillon, tuna or clam juice to a single water bowl can increase fluid intake. Another idea is to make ice cubes with the broth or juice. The ice cubes will keep the water cooler while adding the tasty flavor. Some cats enjoy playing with the ice cubes, although this can be messy. Additionally you will want to give them their own regular ice cube tray.
Many cats enjoy running water. Drinking fountains are fun and encourge more water consumption. Be careful to look at the ease of cleaning before you buy as I have had cats get sick from mold growing in the fountain.
- Different Bowls
Cats generally don't want to share their water bowl with the dog. And the type and shapes of the dishes really do make a difference. Some cats are allergic to plastic. Others don't like the noise in a metal bowl or a deep dish. Cats drink by cupping the water on their tongue. Sometimes your cats tags will clang against the dish and so a plastic dish is better. Many cats like people prefer glass while others like ceramic. You just have to set out several and see which one the water goes down in faster.
- Encourage quirks
Many cats will only drink from the faucet or the tub. If you notice this, I recommend trying to develop a routine where you let them have as much as they want several times a day. Caution must be taken for cats and dogs who like to drink from the toilet, plants, standing water and pools as chemicals and bacteria can make them sick.