Cats have a naturally low thirst drive because they evolved from desert-dwelling animals who rarely needed to hydrate themselves. As a result, your cat might not always know when they are thirsty or dehydrated.

How much should your cat drink?

Whilst there is no set in stone measurement for how much each individual cat needs to drink, a healthy cat should aim to drink as many millilitres of water per day as the number of kilocalories consumed during that same day (assuming your cat is eating the correct amount).

How to spot if your cat is dehydrated:

According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, your cat could be dehydrated if they exhibit any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of energy
  • Racing heart
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Panting
  • Lessened urination
  • Dry nose
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lack of skin elasticity

How to ensure your cat is hydrated:

Ditch the dry food

Dry cat kibble contains between 7% and 12% of water, whilst canned cat food contains between 78% and 83% of water. Feeding your cat canned cat food will mean that they don’t need to drink as much water. If your cat won’t eat canned food, trying adding water or even broth on top of their kibble.

Add ice cubes to your cats' meals

Adding ice cubes to your cats’ meals will add extra moisture and trick your cat into drinking more water. The ice cube will pick up the flavours from the food and encourage your cat to consume more liquid than they realise.

Try serving smaller, frequent meals

Eating prompts thirst, so, the more meals you feed your cat, the more likely they are to help themselves to some water.

Leave water bowls throughout the house

Having multiple water bowls around the house and garden will act as a gentle reminder to your cat to drink. Your cat not drinking enough may simply be an indicator that your cat is not able to easily access its water bowls.

Refill their water bowls regularly

Cats like fresh, clean water. Some even have a preference for ice-cold water. Ensure that you are regularly cleaning their bowls and refilling with fresh water to ensure your cat keeps coming back for more.