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Cat Drinking a Lot of Water & Meowing? Vet-Approved Advice & When To Worry

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat drinking water from fountain

Cat Drinking a Lot of Water & Meowing? Vet-Approved Advice & When To Worry


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

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

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If your cat is making more noise than usual and constantly visiting the water bowl, it might be a sign that something is wrong. They could be experiencing a wide array of health concerns, or it could be something completely benign.

It’s a lot to sift through, which is why we came up with this guide that breaks down everything you need to know with all the reasons for this behavior, serious or otherwise.

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Potential Concerning Reasons Your Cat Drinks Too Much Water & Meows

While it might be harmless if your cat is drinking too much water and meowing incessantly, there’s also a chance it’s a sign of an underlying problem. If it is new behavior for your cat, you should take them to a vet so they can properly diagnose your cat.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted five reasons for the behavior for you to consider here:

1. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that commonly affects older cats. It affects the thyroid, causing it to go into overdrive and secrete more hormones than it should, which can lead to various signs.

The common signs of hyperthyroidism include higher metabolisms, excessive energy, weight loss, and excessive thirst. Hyperthyroidism is treatable, but you should reach out to your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment options for your cat.

2. Diabetes

If your cat is overweight or you have a younger cat experiencing excessive thirst, you need to consider diabetes. However, if you have an older cat at a healthy weight, it’s unlikely that diabetes is the cause.

A veterinarian can determine if your cat has diabetes. Most cats with diabetes fall into remission with a change to a diet that is low in carbohydrates. However, some cats might need daily insulin injections to stabilize their blood glucose levels.

a vet checking a cat's lymph nodes
Image Credit: SofikoS, Shutterstock

3. Liver Disease

Your cat’s liver is an extremely important organ responsible for several functions of metabolism and detoxification. Due to the liver’s enormous reserve capacity, liver failure occurs rarely, as more than 66% of it has to be severely affected. While rare, increased thirst can be a sign of liver disease.

Other potential signs of liver disease include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach problems
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the eyes and mucous membranes

Advanced or chronic liver disease can be life-threatening, even with veterinary treatment. Fortunately, unless your cat displays additional signs, it’s unlikely they’re experiencing liver failure because they’re drinking more than they should and meowing a lot.

5. Kidney Disease

Polydipsia or increased drinking is also a sign of kidney disease in cats. Cats with kidney disease drink more water because the disease causes them to lose their ability to concentrate urine. This results in increased dilute urine production as a way of trying to compensate for the increased thirst.

CT scan of cat showing kidneys in red
Image Credit: Benny Marty, Shutterstock

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Potential Harmless Reasons Your Cat Drinks Too Much Water & Meows

Your cat might be meowing and drinking more than usual for harmless reasons. It is especially true if the behavior happens slightly more than usual. We’ll highlight several harmless reasons for these behaviors for you here, but when in doubt, play it safe and take them to the vet.

6. Hot Weather

When the weather warms up, it’s perfectly normal for your cat to drink more water to stay cool. And the reason for the meowing? They’re uncomfortable and hot! If they get too hot, they can overheat, and you don’t want to ignore it, but usually, it’s not a big deal, and when everything starts to cool down a bit, they should go back to normal.

cat drinking water
Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

7. New Drinking Vessel

Sometimes, your cat drinks more because they like the source of the water! Perhaps it’s a leaking sink, a new water bowl, or something else entirely. They’ll drink more from it because it’s interesting to them, and they’re meowing more because they want you and everyone else to check it out, too!

8. Rehydrating

If your cat was recently sick or just came in from a hot summer day, they might be drinking more to rehydrate themselves. If that is the case, it should only last a little while before your cat fully recovers, and the excessive meowing and drinking should stop.

cat drinks water
Image Credit: AltamashUrooj, Shutterstock

9. Dietary Changes

If you recently switched your cat from wet food to dry food, it could be why they’re drinking a bit more. Wet food gives them the water they need, so if they switch to dry food, they’ll need to drink more water to make up the difference.

Meanwhile, they could be meowing a bit more because they like or don’t like the change, and they’re trying to tell you about it!

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If you can’t figure out why your cat drinks so much water and constantly meows, take them to the vet. Your veterinarian can run all the necessary tests to help you determine what’s going on, and from there, you can take the necessary steps to try and get everything under control and back to normal!

Featured Image Credit: Daria Kulkova, Shutterstock

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