In the middle of a sound sleep, I’m often rousted awake by the noise of Casey’s metal
identification tags clanging against
the stainless steel water bowl in
my bedroom. Instead of being
irritated, I smile knowing that my
orange tabby is staying hydrated
by lapping up water.
Unlike dogs, most cats are
not big gulpers or slurpers at the
water bowl. And I’ve yet to see
any feline expert consistently
train a cat to drink water on cue.
But, like dogs, cats need ample
daily supplies of water to keep
their coats shiny and their skin
and organs well-hydrated. In fact,
a cat’s body is made up of about
70 percent water.
For insights into H20 for cats,
we turned to a champion of all
cats: Ernie Ward, D.V.M., America’s
Pet Advocate and a member of
the American Association of Feline
Practitioners’ cat-friendly practice
Catster: How much water
should an adult cat drink each day
to stay hydrated?
Dr. Ward: Because cats
evolved in the desert plains of
Mesopotamia, they require a little
less than an ounce of water per
pound of body weight each day.
An average 10-pound domestic
shorthair indoor cat will typically
need to drink 7 to 10 ounces of
water per day.
Catster: Should we be concerned if our cats don’t always
drink this recommended daily
amount of water? Or if they seem
to be drinking excessively?
Dr. Ward: The biggest problem
of water consumption in pets
involves excessive drinking. If your
cat is suddenly lapping at the
water dish frequently, drinking from
unusual sources (like the toilet
bowl), or is urinating more than
normal, have him examined by your
veterinarian immediately. Diseases
that cause increased thirst include
kidney and liver disease, diabetes,
hormonal imbalances, and cancer.
One in three cats will experience
Catster: If a cat isn’t a big water
drinker, is there a Plan B to make
sure he stays hydrated?
Dr. Ward: Feeding a canned
diet is an excellent way to provide water for your cat. Canned
food is between 70 to 80 percent
water. Many cat owners who
feed a moist or wet food rarely
THE FINICKY CAT By arden moore
Serve water in wide, stainless steel bowls, as most cats do not like to have their
whiskers scrunched inside narrow food or water bowls.
put a few water bowls throughout your house, strategically placed near areas your
cat spends most of his time. and park the water bowl far enough away from the food
bowl so food pieces don’t end up as floaties in the water bowl — a big “yuck” for most
Jazz up the taste by plopping an ounce or so of low-sodium chicken broth into one
water bowl for your four-legged (meat, please) obligate carnivore. Still keep another
bowl filled with fresh water replenished daily.
provide your cat with bottled water when traveling to minimize his chance of gas-
trointestinal upset from drinking less-than-pure water from a hotel faucet.
Got a cat who loves water play? Save on your water bill by not letting the bath-
room sink faucet drip. Instead, treat your cat to a pet water fountain where he can
make a safe splash and drink clean, circulating water.