How to Hydrate a Cat

Cats drink little or no water by nature as they are from dry regions of the world

  • Water is essential for a healthy cat
  • There are five hacks to encourage cats to drink more often

Keep Your Cats Hydrated

Cats need one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day, and typically, felines do not drink enough water on their own. Kitties are obligate carnivores which means they need to eat meat and cannot survive on a vegetarian diet. Not drinking enough water on their own is one reason why cats require moisture in their diets. In the wild, a cat gets most of its hydration from the food they eat.

Cats Do Not Tend to Drink a Ton of Water 

Cats evolved in dry regions, and healthy cats drink little or no water by nature. If you live with cats, then you already know they don’t tend to drink a lot of water. 

The daily water requirement for cats depends on activity level, food being consumed, overall health status, and environmental temperature and humidity. The one exception is if your cat is eating only dry food. Dry food is so low in water that some cats are forced to drink a lot of water even though it is not natural. 

Water Plays a Vital Role in Overall Health

In “The Basics of Nutritional Requirements for Dogs and Cats,” written by Dr. Gary Richter, M.S., D.V.M., one of the topics is how water plays a vital role in every metabolic function of the body.

  • Lubricates joints
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Carries nutrients to cells
  • Aids the liver and kidneys by flushing out waste products 
  • It helps maintain appropriate digestion and prevents constipation 

Encourage Your Feline Buddy to Drink Water

It is essential to make sure your feline buddy is drinking a lot of water as there are some scary health issues caused by dehydration.

For example, some health problems include:

  • kidney failure
  • diabetes
  • bladder inflammation
  • hyperthyroidism

Five Hacks to Make Sure Your Cat Gets Enough Water 

Dr. Richter also recommends a few steps to ensure your cat has plenty of ways to stay hydrated.

1. Always have a bowl of water available during the day

2. Change water at least twice a day

3. Consider a water fountain or running water for felines

4. Make sure the water bowl is large

5. Change to wet food as the moisture content is much higher than dry 

Why Wet Food Versus Dry Kibble? 

Wet food is most natural for your cat, according to feline expert Jackson Galaxy. We agree! The process of making kibble or dry food breaks down a lot of the nutrients in the food, and the moisture content is less than ten percent. Wet food has a moisture content of 75 percent! 

Significant benefits of wet food:

  • Increases a cat’s energy level
  • It helps prevent health issues 
  • Adds a lot of variety to a feline’s diet 
  • Decreases hairballs 
  • Increases weight gain for skinny kitties 

Wet Food Diet Suggestions: Staff Favorites

We carry many wet food options for cats at our stores, and our staff may help pet parents with a food transition. We have options you can review online at Fang Pet & Garden Supply and Salty’s Pet Supply. There are wet foods in a variety of textures and flavors that felines enjoy!

Always consider the quality of the water too for your felines. Cats do not enjoy any type of flavored water, and the bowl may be the issue if your cat isn’t drinking as much as they usually do. A behavior change may be a direct result of a dirty bowl. Filtered drinking water may be an option for kitties, too, so consider the highest quality drinking water available. 

Pet parents may shop online!

Products are available for in-store pickup and limited local delivery only. 

If you have any questions about keeping your feline hydrated, please reach out to our staff!


  1. Julia Smith Rogers on May 18, 2021 at 5:46 am

    Hey Nancy,

    What a fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information about hydrating a cat and I love this topic. Very ingenious.