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Is My Cat Drinking Enough Water? Vet-Approved Facts & Tips

Written by: Jana Blagojevic

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cat drinking water fountain

Is My Cat Drinking Enough Water? 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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Ensuring your cat is hydrated is incredibly important for its overall well-being. Cats need to intake around 1–2 milliliters of water per kilogram of weight every hour, which for a 10-pound cat means an average of one cup of water daily.

Read more in the article below to learn how to monitor your cat’s water drinking habits, encourage them, and notice any signs of insufficient water intake in cats.

How Much Water Should a Cat Drink?

When thinking about the ideal amount of water your cat should drink, an easy general rule of thumb is that cats should drink around half a cup of water per 5 pounds of body weight, every day 1. This will vary depending on your cat’s activity levels, and whether they eat dry or wet food.

kitten drinking water
Image Credit by: AleksandarMilutinovic, Shutterstock

How to Make Sure Your Cat Is Drinking Water

Most cat parents know what it’s like to worry about their cat’s drinking habits, and there are ways you can increase the amount of water they drink during the day. Placing several water bowls around the house is a great way to promote better hydration in your cat.

You should always ensure the water is fresh, cool, and free of dust or hair particles. The best areas to place the water bowls are quiet corners around the house, where your cat will feel safest. Remember that cats adore living by a routine, so once they learn the places of the water bowls, try not to change them and move them around.

You can also add a cat water fountain in your home because moving water is more likely to attract your cat’s attention 2.

cat face divider 2

The Importance of Proper Hydration

Water is vital for our pets as much as it is for us. Water affects your cat’s whole body, ensuring healthy organ function, digestion, circulation, and proper nutrient transportation. Drinking enough water daily also ensures your cat’s kidneys run properly, flushing out toxins from the body.

Poor hydration carries many health issues with it, including urinary issues, low blood pressure, and even an increased risk for constipation.

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!

Signs Your Cat is Not Drinking Enough Water

It can be challenging to notice whether your cat drinks enough water daily. Cats tend to find other sources of water not only in your house but in the garden and the neighborhood. This can trick pet parents into believing their cat is not staying hydrated enough and become a serious cause of worry. The best way to know that your cat is not staying hydrated is to look for any minor signs of dehydration in cats.

Your cat’s appearance can tell you a lot about its hydration levels. Sunken eyes and dry pale gums can mean your cat is not drinking enough water, and another sign to look out for is “skin tenting.” The best way to check this is to take the skin on the back of your cat’s neck, just between the shoulder blades, pull it gently upward, and let go.

The skin should return quickly in normal conditions, but if your cat is dehydrated, the skin will likely remain tented.

Other signs of dehydration include:
cat drinks water
Image Credit: AltamashUrooj, Shutterstock

cat paw divider

Final Thoughts

Hydration is a significant factor in any living creature’s life. Just like humans, our pets need to stay hydrated, too, to function normally and stay healthy. Because proper hydration affects your cat’s entire life, including their physical and mental well-being, you may worry a lot about it. While we can’t know if our cats are staying hydrated enough during the day, there are ways we can promote their water-drinking habits.

We can also look out for minor signs of dehydration, such as loss of skin elasticity and dry gums and mouth. Make sure to provide your cat with enough water and ensure proper hydration before any of the more severe dehydration signs appear.


Featured Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

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