What is it with cats and water?
When it comes to drinking most dogs aren't picky, muddy puddle, river water and even out of the toilet bowl, if left open! Cats, on the other hand, are a bit more particular. Some won't drink from plastic or metal bowls, some won't drink if their water bowl is next to their food bowl and others are suspicious of still water. You provide a lovely fresh water bowl and it just sits there untouched.
Cats do have a low thirst drive and they don't voluntarily drink water like a dog does. Cats that hunt will gain a lot of water from the prey they eat (a mouse is about 70% water) and a complete kibble or wet cat food will also provide some water for them. A healthy cat will always hydrate when they need to.
Try these ideas for providing water for your cat:
- Cats like running water. It's hard for cats to see the level of still water. The dripping or running water from a tap or kitty water fountain is often cooler and more oxygenated. Plus the movement of the water is attractive to cats.
- Locate their water bowl away from their food bowl and litter tray. Cats have a strong sense of smell and many don't like smelling their food when they drink. They will not drink from a water bowl that has become contaminated with food or bits of litter.
- Cats have sensitive whiskers and if the water bowl is too narrow or too deep it will be unpleasant for your cat to drink from. Try a whisker friendly bowl.
- Have several water bowls in different locations to allow your cat to find a favourite place to drink. Cats feel vulnerable hunched over a water bowl in a corner, find a couple of good spots for their water bowls.
- Avoid metal or plastic water bowls, most cats prefer a shallow ceramic or glass bowl to drink from.
- Watch the water levels to make sure they are not too low or too high. Cats are creatures of habit and like consistency in their daily routine.