The Full Guide: Why Do Cats Hate Water So Much?

Written by Jennifer Pitts

Why do cats hate water and how much water do they need to drink? You might be surprised to find out they have to drink quite a lot; in fact, often twice as much as the food they eat. Though it varies for each cat depending on age, weight and health, thus it is very important to make sure your does not get dehydrated.

Cats have a very low thirst drive and this is natural as they are meant to get most of their water from the food that they eat. In the wild, the animal parts they consume provide up to 75% of their water intake, which is enough for them to get by on quite happily. The extra 25% will be provided by pools of water such as streams and lakes.

Why do cats hate water today?

However, in the modern age where dry food is an easy alternative to wet food cats will only receive up to 10% of their water intake from their food.Thus, one bowl of water a day next to their food won’t be enough to satisfy their need for water. They will need to drink much more, thus this is why cats hate water so much today.

A problem that can occur in this day and age, is due to their low thirst, drive they will often not realize they need to drink extra water to make up for what they are lacking. Add the fact that cats love to sit in warm toasty places, usually within the strips of sunlight that make it through your windows. You can now see how easily it would be for them to quickly lose more water than they consume and become very dehydrated.

Solving the water problem

One way to solve this problem is to add water into their dry food. With younger cats and kittens this is a good idea as it not only gives them extra water, but also makes it easier for their baby teeth to break up the food. Until recently, my cat loved water in his food, but now he’s an adult he hates it.Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain

If you give your cat only wet food then you won’t have this problem, however it’s still important to make sure your cat is drinking enough water. One way to accomplish this is to put their water bowl right next to their food bowl, so they are reminded to drink while they eat. Since my cat now hates water in his food, I always leave his water bowl near his food – it works a treat!

It seems that drinking while they eat is more of a natural behavior for cats today rather than drinking randomly throughout the day. This would be down to their natural habitat and environment which would give them water through the prey they catch and eat.

Another way to get your cat to drink is to provide a dripping tap or a cat water fountain outside for them to catch the water in their mouths. One excellent device comes to mind, the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain, which holds 168oz of water. Most cat owners would know how fun this is for a cat! This gadget turns their prey drive on and so they have to intercept with the water, which is far more interesting for a cat than licking it up out of a bowl.

Another thing that might also put your cat off from drinking is having a dirty water bowl. Although it may not be noticeable to us humans, cats are very clean animals and they are also very fussy, which when combined with super sharp senses makes them very aware to any dirt around them.

If there is the tiniest bit of dirt in their water bowl or if they even accidentally step in the water and taint it, they will be put off drinking all together. Thus, it’s important to always keep an eye on the water bowl and make sure they are drinking.

Make sure that as soon as you see their water bowl empty to fill it back up again, and make sure to clean it out often so that the water remains pure and great looking to your cat!

About the author

Jennifer Pitts

I love pets and I love animals. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and it's not enough for me.

1 Comment

  • Instead of leaving the tap dripping try this. I have created the ideal cat drinking fountain for cats who like to drink from faucets. I call it the AquaPurr. The cat stands on a platform that triggers the flow of water through a spigot. The AquaPurr attaches to a faucet in place of the aerator. The faucet attachment includes a quick disconnect to allow regular use of the faucet. It requires no electricity, is never empty, and never needs cleaning.

    Thanks so much and let me know what you think! Steven

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