5 Ways to Help Your Cat Stay Hydrated

Just like all creatures, cats need water to survive and thrive. Hydration helps a cat’s body systems run smoothly, including digestion and urinary health. 

Of course, also like humans, not all cats are big water drinkers so it’s up to us to help them stay hydrated. Here are some ways to help your cat get more water every day.  

Add Canned Food to Your Cat’s Diet 

One of the easiest ways to add more water to your cat’s diet is to feed her wet food which, naturally, has more water in it than kibble. Consider mixing it up and feeding her both canned and dry, which has the added benefit of keeping things interesting if your cat gets bored of her diet easily. 

Add Ice Cubes to Food and Water 

Try adding an ice cube to your cat’s wet food, which creates some fun for your cat. She may enjoy licking the cube (which will taste like the food) and playing around with it in the bowl. Throwing a cube or two in your cat’s water bowl might also pique your cat’s interest in what’s inside the dish so try it out and see. 

Feed Smaller Meals Throughout the Day 

Depending on your feeding schedule and availability, consider feeding your cat smaller meals throughout the day rather than one or two larger meals. Eating typically creates thirst so instead of driving your cat to the water bowl after a couple of bigger meals, this might prompt her to slurp up some more water throughout the day. 

Place Water Bowls Throughout the House 

Make it easy for your cat to access water! While she may not wake up from a snooze on your bed and head downstairs to the kitchen for a drink, if she sees water available in your bedroom, she might partake in a bit.

Make Sure Water is Clean 

We get busy and it’s easy to forget to rinse out the water bowls and refill them, but it really does make a difference in your cat’s desire to drink from them (can you blame them?). Make sure to rinse and wipe out bowls daily to avoid bacteria forming. Good, clean water is always a winner! 

The bottom line is that good hydration is one key component to overall feline health, so get creative to keep your kitty slurping up the H20! 

17 thoughts on “5 Ways to Help Your Cat Stay Hydrated

  • Susan
    February 5, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Ice cubes aren’t appealing to cats who quite often do not like very cold food/water, especially during winter months. Super clean bowls (including an occasional white vinegar soak to remove any bacteria or hard water sediment, well rinsed afterward, of course) has always worked to increase our cats’ water intake. All cats are different, though, so experimentation is always necessary to find what appeals to individual kitties.

  • Pam Thronsedt
    February 5, 2019 at 6:26 am

    I also add additional water to my cats’ wet food. It is like gravy.

  • Janie Shay
    February 5, 2019 at 10:54 am

    My cat likes to drink filtered water from a short glass. It’s easier for him to reach.

  • Wendy
    February 5, 2019 at 11:00 am

    My catlets refuse to eat or drink from plastic containers! They prefer fine crystal but will settle for regular glass bowls, glasses and dishes! We have water glasses placed in different rooms for their convenience! Definitely not spoiled, just treated with the respect they deserve!

  • Loretta Collins
    February 5, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Ice cubes can cause internal bloating in animals which can be fatal

  • sandra bell
    February 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

    My kitties love the kind of food that has lots of moisture and gravy. If I give them pate’, they always get lots of gravy on top. I always serve my cats their wet food in a substantial dish instead of a paper plate because it stays in place and doesn’t move all around when the cat is trying to eat.

  • Loretta Collins
    February 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Ice cubes can cause internal bloating to animals which can prove fatal.

  • carla bond
    February 5, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Add some (warm) water to clean the foodcan and give it with the food, it’s like gravy, they like it.
    And my cats like rainwater far more than ‘ordinary’ water, so if you can get to it, give it.

  • Ellen B Miles
    February 5, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    We have two Drinkwell fountains my cats hover over constantly. Takes about an hour to clean them both each week to 10 days (we have 5 cats drooling and dropping kibbles in the fountains at times necessitating more frequent cleaning than manufacturer stated) but when they come running as I reassemble the fountains makes it all worthwhile.

  • Sue K
    February 5, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    I find my cats enjoy drinking more out of a glass versus the water bowl. I wash their bowl when I wash the dishes and make sure it is well rinsed. They do like ice cubes or crushed ice in the glass but not their bowl. They will drink directly from the glass or dip their paws in the glass and lick the water off. Sometimes there are 3 in line for the glass. And then we have Mittens who also thinks coffee with cream to be pretty good.

  • Vicki Partain
    February 5, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    I have 8 cat’s and the best thing to get them to drink water is the pet water fountains they love them and if not the water fountain they go for the faucets!!

  • Dianne P
    February 5, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    We learned the hard way. After losing one of our cats to a crystal blockage, the vet told us that MOST cats do not drink enough. My cat rescue friend NEVER feeds dry food for that reason, and she suggested that we ALWAYS add water to the wet food… to make it like a stew. Then, even cats that don’t drink enough, will. Also, we use MULTIPLE water dishes around the house, and they get CHANGED every morning & night as part of our routine–because “stale” water won’t get touched. Test for yourself: a bowl of stale water vs. a bowl “fresh” from the tap. Your cat will go for the fresh stuff every time!

  • Tricia KatWrangler Welch
    February 5, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Years ago I read that keeping food and water separate can increase a cat’s water intake. Something about cats, big and small, keeping prey away from water sources, so not to contaminate said water source. So we set up water stations in several places around our home, and it works! Our cats drink down the bowls every day – I have to make sure they’re kept filled. This is especially important for our boy-kitties.
    Food – or drink – for thought 🙂

  • Elizabeth Rupe
    February 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I am feeding her wet food 3-4 times a day and I sometimes add water to the food to make it look like more gravy which she loves but I can’t make her drink water in a bowl but I have caught her in the bathtub drinking water so I leave some in there for her.

  • sandra
    February 5, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I have a small blender that I put the canned food into plus some water and make them “soup”. they rarely leave any little pieces.. we also have a ceramic fountain that they love and any time they get up on the sink I turn on the faucet for them till they’re done.

  • sandra
    February 5, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I also read to catch the rain water so I also put bowls of snow around the house.. they play in it.. I add catnip and they get some extra moisture that way,

  • Char Cook
    February 5, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    I have put a cup in the sink filled to the brim and my cats can’t get to it fast enough.

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