How Do You Get A Sick Cat to Drink?

How do you get a sick cat to drink

Most cats do not drink enough water. Since cats are very self-sufficient, we can assume that they already know what is really best for their health – believe it or not, many times, cats really do. However, as a cat owner, you should learn the importance of getting your feline friend to drink more liquid. So, is your cat drinking enough water? We have outlined the things you should know about how to get your feline friend to drink more water.

What Causes Feline Dehydration?

Dehydration usually occurs when levels of fluid drop to a lesser value. This is because of increased fluid loss or reduced water intake. In addition, increased activity, diarrhea, vomiting, or overheating in hot weather can also lead to fluid loss in cats. A lot of cat owners do not see their feline friend drinking water so they assume that cats are not very sensitive to loss of fluid. However, the truth is that cats need water too. This is why it’s important to provide your cat easy access to water all the time in order to maintain good hydration.

Ways to Get Your Cat to Drink Water

One in three cats will possibly experience kidney failure in their lifetimes. A lot of cat owners have had to face with this problem at some point, and might already be knowledgeable that dehydration can eventually lead to chronic kidney disease. Because of that, we listed on ways on how to encourage your feline friend to drink more water.

The Location of Water Bowls Matters

You’ll surely be amazed to know how sensitive cats are to the location of their water bowl. This is why it’s best that you place water bowls everywhere. Keep clean water bowls in different spots in your home in order to maximize the comfort of your cat.

Feed Your Cat Wet Food

When there’s any change in your cat’s diet, make sure that you discuss it with your vet, but wet canned food can really be a good way to give more liquid to your feline friend. It’s always more essential that your cat eats, than he eats what you want. And it’s also surprising that not all cats like wet food, most especially as their only daily diet. Thus, keep the preferences and needs of your ca in mind and ensure that he eats a good amount of his new diet in order to maintain his weight and energy level.

Adding Flavor or Water to Your Cat’s Food

You can consider adding a low sodium chicken broth or water to canned food. To get more creative with your cat’s diet, discuss other flavorful options with your vet. Try to find something that’s appealing and healthy for your cat. Bear in mind that every cat is different, and even the food’s texture and flavor can make a difference for every cat.

Adding Flavor to Your Cat’s Water

You can try adding clam juice or low sodium tuna juice ice cubes to the water of your cat. The ice won’t only keep the water cold for a longer period of time, but it can also add a very tasty flavor. You can also use these juice cubes as something to play with or as a treat.

Utilize Drinking Fountains

The use of drinking fountains at home are not only an enjoyable way to encourage your feline friend to drink – they can also make an appealing addition to your home.

Testing Different Bowls

Bear in mind that your feline friend does not want to share the giant bowl of your dog. As a matter of fact, the best way to know the preference of your cat is to simply swap out different water bowls at times. Or, you can keep a few water bowls all the time and see which bow drains the fastest. As a cat owner, consider broadening your own definition of “water bowl”. For example, other cats even like to drink water from a clear glass. So, find out what your cat prefers to use.

Encourage the Drinking Quirks of Your Cat

Lots of cats embrace less conventional ways of getting water. For example, some cats would rather drink from a faucet than an open bowl. The moment you notice that your cat is behaving this way, let your feline friend have some drips before you turn off the faucet.


Common Questions About How to Get Your Cat to Drink

Can I Force My Cat to Drink Water?

As we have mentioned above, cats are primarily used to getting most fluid from their food. However, you can also add more water to their canned food in order to make it have a gruel consistency but make sure you don’t make it very soupy or watery. You can also place ice cubes in your cat’s bowl to chill the water and encourage him to drink.

How Do I Rehydrate My Cat?

Adding a small amount of low-sodium, low fat broth of beef or chicken to the water bowl of your cat in an occasional manner can tempt him to drink more. If your feline friend enjoys to play with ice cubes or likes to drink cold water, then you can also freeze diluted broth by pouring some into an ice cube tray.

How Can I Tell if My Cat is Dehydrated?

Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes and tacky, dry gums, panting, refusal to eat, and listlessness. A good test to know if a cat is dehydrated is through skin tenting. Simply pinch her skin around your cat’s shoulders and then pull it up gently. If your cat is hydrated well, his skin should ping back into its place.


The tips we have listed above can surely help encourage your cat to drink more liquid. However, if you have any important concerns or questions that may be related to your cat’s health, you should always consider to call or visit your trusted veterinarian first. They are your best resource in making sure that your cat is always health. If your cat needs medication, give your cat proper medication at the frequency and dose prescribed by your vet, and make sure to complete the treatment’s full course.

How do you get a sick cat to drink

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