Many cat owners perhaps don't realise that cats don't voluntarily drink water as naturally as dogs do. A cat's lower thirst drive can leave them open to conditions such as urinary tract infections and it is very important that we encourage our feline friends to drink enough water to avoid potential problems.
Apart from the natural tendency to have the aforementioned lower thirst drive, cats can display some unusual tendencies and preferences when it comes to taking in enough hydration. Understanding how cats relate to the drinking of water can help our cats immensely.
Canned Food Versus Dry Food
It may be useful to know that many canned cat foods contain about 75 percent water whilst dry food contains around 10 percent. Feeding a cat at least some canned food ensures not only better hydration but has been shown to help lower the incidence of conditions such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism and constipation too.
Change Water Regularly
Cats don't like 'old' water as it can appear stale or infected to them. Change water daily and make sure that drinking bowls are very clean.
Cats Prefer Running Water
A throwback to when still water signified potential contamination means that many cats are more comfortable drinking from a running water source. The modern cat fountains available are an excellent way for many cats to indulge in their preference and help make sure that they are motivated to drink enough.
An often overlooked factor in cats is their 'whisker sensitivity'. If a water bowl (or food bowl) is too narrow then this can affect a cat's desire to use it. It has been said that cats show a preference for shallow glass bowls.
Levels And Location
The ideal scenario for cats is that they have more than one 'drinking source' located 'out of the way' thus ensuring them choice and privacy. One factor that is often overlooked is that our sometimes finicky friends actually prefer a constant level too. If you don't use a fountain then it's a valuable tip to not over or under-fill your cat's water bowl as they prefer consistency.