Is Your Cat Not Drinking Water?

Is Your Cat Not Drinking Water?

Posted by Minna cui on

Have you realized that your cat is not drinking water? If that's the case, you should address the issue since this could reveal a serious health problem—or your cat's water drinking bowl could be dirty. In such cases, you have to know what to do and identify why your cat is not drinking water.

Like humans need to drink enough water, your cat must stay hydrated. Your cat may not be drinking water because of illness or injury. That's why you need to address any changes in your cat's water intake habits. Whatever the reason, cat owners should try to fix the problem at home. However, you should contact the veterinarian if your cat goes for over two days without drinking water, and worse, if unusual symptoms accompany this.

In this article, we'll delve deeper into why your cat is not drinking water and what you need to do to address the issue:

Why is my cat not drinking water?

While doctors emphasize the necessity of human beings drinking enough water, cats need to stay hydrated. Let's take a look at what could be causing your cat not to drink water:

Serious Health Issues

Specific health issues could cause discomfort, resulting in your cat's refusal to drink water. The health concerns include dental infections, gastrointestinal disease, or inflammation in the mouth. You should keep these health problems in mind whenever you realize your cat avoids drinking water. Also, if your cat has underlying health issues such as diabetes, kidney issues, hyperthyroidism, and some cancers, she is likely to become dehydrated.

Even more, hot weather, intense activity, diarrhea, and more could lead to dehydration. So cat owners should watch for signs of dehydration resulting from the above health issues and address them immediately.

Odd Behavior

Cats are famous for developing certain water drinking habits. That means cats may avoid still water sources because they could contain bacteria. Also, cats may prefer to drink water elsewhere, especially from moving water sources such as dripping faucet—or even licking the bathtub. So, if your cat likes spending time outdoors, she could be drinking from outdoor water sources.

Cats also are used to specific feeding and hydration routines. Any change to the routine could cause them not to drink water, resulting in dehydration. Cats may avoid drinking water if they're consuming new types of food. With this in mind, gradual transition while maintaining your cat's routine is necessary.

Another critical point to note is that your cat may reduce water consumption if there's another feline friend at home. In such a scenario, the best thing to do is to provide various dishes in the house to avoid conflict for food and water.

There's moisture in the food your cat is consuming

Note that cats are well-known for drinking less water. Most times, it's because the food they consume contains enough water. If your cat's usual diet is kibble—and you decide to switch to fresh foods—your cat may drink less water because the food contains a considerable amount of moisture.

Signs Indicating that your cat is dehydrated.

If your cat is not drinking water, you should check for symptoms such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sunken eyes
  • Elevated skin elasticity
  • Decreased appetite

Most cat owners check their cat's skin elasticity to ascertain whether or not the cat is dehydrated. It's known that this is the most reliable method of checking for dehydration.

TIP: Lift the skin near the shoulder blades to check whether or not your cat is dehydrated. If the skin falls back quickly, your cat is drinking enough water. However, if the skin takes a few seconds to return to its normal position, you should address the causes of your cat's dehydration.

What to do to address your cat's dehydration

You must ensure your cat drinks enough water because water is necessary for your cat's overall health and well-being. So what should you do when you realize your cat is dehydrated? Before tackling this question, we need to know the amount of water your cat should drink.

Often referred to as " Dr. J, " Jason Nicholas reveals the cat's water intake requirement to be about 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight.

Now that we understand the amount of water your cat should drink, we can delve into what you can do to address your cat's dehydration issue. Cats must be well hydrated to stay healthy and fit.

Dr. Mahoney provides some tips cat owners can adopt to meet their cats' hydration needs. They include:

  • Switch to a more moist diet: Fresh foods and other wet foods provide an ideal amount of water. Consider ditching kibble for foods such as stews and canned foods to keep your cat hydrated.
  • Prepare tuna cubes for your cat: Squeeze the fluid from canned tuna and freeze it to make tuna cubes. They're a wonderful treat for your cat and improve the taste of water that your cat will always enjoy.
  • Consider flavored choices: If your cat is not drinking enough water, you can consider other flavorful choices such as low sodium beef broth, bone broth, or low sodium chicken broth. Fortunately, these options can be served alone or with other foods.


Doctors often indicate that human beings should drink enough water. In the same vein, cats should drink enough water too. That's why it's necessary to check for various symptoms to ascertain whether or not your cat is dehydrated. Water intake is critical for your cat's overall health and well-being. Sometimes it can get worse—your cat may go for 48-72 hours without drinking water. When you realize this, you should address it immediately. You could even consider performing the skin elasticity test to be sure about your cat's hydration. Dehydration could also come with severe symptoms such as lethargy, decreased urination, and loss of appetite. You should contact the veterinarian immediately you realize such symptoms. Nevertheless, we hope that you can address your cat's dehydration issues at home using our well-researched tips.

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