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Why Is My Cat Drinking a Lot of Water Suddenly? 6 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat drinking water

Why Is My Cat Drinking a Lot of Water Suddenly? 6 Vet-Reviewed Reasons


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats, due to their nature and small size, don’t drink large amounts of water. The typical, healthy house cat will drink about 5 ounces of water daily, just over half a cup. Many cats drink less water, however, depending on their diet. For example, a cat that’s fed wet kibble will drink less water since there is more of it in their food. The reverse is true, also. A cat eating dry food will drink more water every day.

What happens if your cat drinks substantially more water, enough for you to stand up and take notice? That’s what we’ll discuss below while we look at six possible reasons for your cat’s increased thirst.

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The 6 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Suddenly Drinking a Lot of Water

1. The Weather Is Hot

Depending on where you live and how much your cats go outside, they may have increased thirst simply because they are hot. Remember, cats walk around all day in fur coats. They will drink more water to stay cool and comfortable in hot weather. If a cat sweats, the place you’ll see it most is its paws! If you see footprints on the floor from damp kitty feet, your cat’s been sweating, so make sure they have enough water.

kitten drinking water
Image by: AleksandarMilutinovic, Shutterstock

2. You Recently Switched to Dry Cat Food

As we mentioned earlier, when cats are given dry cat food, they usually drink more water since there’s less in their kibble. One reason your cat might be drinking more is if you’ve just changed from wet kibble to dry kibble, something you might do if your kitten is now a full-grown cat. Since their new, dry food has less water content, it makes perfect sense that they would drink more water to make up for it.

3. Kidney Disease & Chronic Kidney Failure

A cat’s kidneys play a critical role in its health. First and foremost, the kidneys filter out toxins in a cat’s bloodstream and remove them from the body. The kidneys also produce new hormones to make new red blood cells essential for maintaining your cat’s proper blood pressure. If your cat has kidney problems, their thirst level will increase substantially as their kidneys need help.

grey cat drinking water from bowl
Image by: Prilutskiy, Shutterstock

4. Diabetes Mellitus

Although it’s a long-term condition, diabetes in cats is treatable. Even better, with the right treatment, your cat might suffer very few effects of the disease. However, if left untreated, diabetes can cause increased thirst in cats. If they don’t seem to have other symptoms but start drinking more and more water, have your cat tested for diabetes. You might also notice increased urination, appetite, and weight gain.

5. Hyperthyroidism

If you notice that your feline is drinking and eating more but is losing weight rather than gaining, they may have hyperthyroidism. Feline hyperthyroidism is quite common, affecting middle and older cats more than younger ones. Caused when the thyroid produces more hormones than normal, hyperthyroidism has several symptoms. One of the most pronounced is increased thirst.

cat drinking water from fountain
Image by: Daria Kulkova, Shutterstock

6. Urinary Tract Disease

Today, certain urinary problems in cats can be implicated in cats who have increased thirst. One such condition is a urinary tract infection, which is more common in females.

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Final Thoughts

Why is your cat drinking a lot of water suddenly? As we’ve seen, there are six reasons. Two of them are easy to solve, three can be treated, and one (the worst) usually afflicts older cats. If your cat looks and acts healthy, the reason for their extra thirst is probably no cause for alarm, but keep an eye on them for 24 hours just to be sure. Then again, if it’s not hot or your kitty is showing other signs and symptoms of a health problem, a visit to your local vet is recommended. Their increased thirst might be a sign they need medical care.

Featured Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

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