My cat won't drink water!


Are you worried that your cat doesn't drink enough water? Read our advice on what you can do if your cat won't drink water.

Don't worry too much about a cat's water consumption. It's not unusual for a cat fed wet food to drink a teaspoonful of water a day or less.

The moisture content of the cat food is usually sufficient. If he ate dry food you would probably find that he would naturally compensate by drinking more.

If your cat's water intake still worries you it could be worth trying a water fountain, as some cats enjoy drinking from running water and won't drink from a bowl. Cats have also been known to drink mineral water but refuse tap water, so that's another option. If he is let outside, it may be that he drinks from ponds.


Why won't my cat drink water out of a bowl?

Is your cat more keen on drinking from the toilet and taps rather than the pristine bowl of fresh water next to his food dish?

If the answer is 'yes', then remember that fresh tap water is normally treated with chemicals and often chlorinated. The bowl itself may smell of the detergent with which it was cleaned - and therefore is an unattractive prospect to a cat. As cats are many times more sensitive to detergent contamination than humans, much more rinsing than usual is required.

You should also get into the habit of changing the water frequently to prevent bacterial build-up.


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Should I put my cat's water in a glass or plastic bowl?

Glass or ceramic bowls are preferable to plastic as they are non-porous and are easier to keep clean, they also keep the water cooler - on hot days it's worth slipping an ice cube into your cat's bowl.

Genetically cats are programmed to seek out clean water as stale, stagnant water is more likely to harbour disease, so cats learnt to avoid such sources of hydration. It's also a good thing to remember that cats do not like to bend their whiskers while eating or drinking, so ensure that your bowls are large enough.


Should my cat drink out of a water fountain?

One simple answer to the problem of providing constantly flowing water is to buy a pet drinking fountain, which you can plug into the mains.

The constant movement oxygenates the water for a fresher, cooler taste that cats will enjoy. Most fountains will have an adjustable water flow and a replaceable charcoal filter, which will remove bad tastes and odour. It's also worth checking how noisy your fountain is - especially loud ones can put off cats from approaching and drinking.