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How Much Water Does a Kitten Need Per Day? Vet-Approved Facts & Tips

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

kitten drinking water from the water bowl

How Much Water Does a Kitten Need Per Day? Vet-Approved Facts & Tips


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


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

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If you’re a new kitten owner, you may not know that many cats drink too little water to keep themselves properly hydrated. So, how much water do kittens need? It depends on their age and size, but as a general rule, most cats need around ½ cup of water per day for every 5 pounds of body weight. Here’s what else you should know.

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How Much Water Does a Kitten Need Per Day?

The amount of water your kitten needs per day is dependent on their age and size. In kittens that are in their first few weeks of life, they don’t need to be given water. Water should always be available for their mother, but kittens receive all of the hydration they need via their mother’s milk.

As kittens begin to move around independently, they should be provided access to a shallow dish of water. As they are weaned, kittens will slowly become used to drinking more and more water. As a general rule, most cats need around ½ cup of water per day for every 5 pounds of body weight. This means that a 2.5-pound kitten needs around ¼ cup of water every day.

cat staring at water
Image Credit by: rihaij, Pixabay

How Can I Get My Kitten to Drink More Water?

The good news is that kittens don’t necessarily need to drink all of their water to meet their hydration needs. Kittens get hydration via many sources, including mother’s milk, wet food, treats, and to a lesser extent, dry food.

You should be encouraging your kitten to drink fresh water every day, but you can also support their hydration needs by feeding them wet kitten food. Wet food is usually around 75–80% water, which means your kitten will receive a decent amount of water via their food.

If you think that your kitten is still not getting enough water every day, then you may have to try a few extra things to encourage more water drinking. Moving water is appealing to many cats, so the addition of a pet fountain or dripping faucet can encourage water consumption. Giving your kitten cups and bowls to drink from across the house can also help. Many cats prefer cool or cold water to drink, and it should always be fresh and clean. Changing your cat’s water multiple times per day and cleaning their bowl daily can encourage your kitten to drink more water.

Our Favorite Cat Water Fountain

Making sure your cat drinks enough water can require a little creativity and the right fountain choice! A nicely made product like Hepper's Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain will encourage your cat to stay hydrated by providing fresh, flowing water. We particularly like this model because it's easy to clean and offers excellent triple filtration, multiple flow modes, and a large capacity.

Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain
  • Premium 304-Grade Stainless Steel - This metal cat water fountain is hygienic, with superior...
  • Serene & Healthy Cat Drinking Fountain Experience - With whisper-quiet pumping & an advanced...
  • Say Goodbye to Dehydration - Provide your cat with a constant source of flowing water with this...

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!


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In Conclusion

It may take some extra effort to get your kitten to take in enough water every day, but it is possible. If you feel like your kitten simply isn’t getting enough water or staying hydrated, no matter what you try, a vet visit is warranted. There are medical conditions that can impact your cat’s thirst levels, as well as their body’s ability to properly utilize water, so it’s important to have your vet rule out an underlying medical condition.

Featured Image Credit by: Sharaf Maksumov, Shutterstock

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