All living things on earth require water to survive. Although cats’ ancestors were desert creatures, they need to drink water to maintain body functions and good health.
In the wild, cats would spray urine to mark their territories and to protect buried food. Water sources were impossible to mark, making cats very cautious when drinking. Being both predator and prey animals, cats continually checked their surroundings, especially at their water spots.
Our pet cats have no reason to be fearful about drinking. But this caution could be something instinctive and may be preventing some cats from drinking enough water.
Encouraging your cat to drink water can be done several ways.
Many cats are fascinated by running water. We had a cat that loved to sit in the sink and drink the water running out of the faucet. Today, there are different types of pet fountains available that have constantly running water (recycled) which may attract your cat.
Some cats like to drink from the toilet. Believe it or not, a flushed toilet that contains no chemicals or deodorants is a clean source of drinking water for your cat even though most of us may find it disgusting.
Canned cat food offers another source of moisture for your cat. If your cat has been eating kibble, try adding canned food to moisten. Adding a bit of chicken soup to the kibble may help too.
If your cat came from an abusive situation and is fearful, you might try placing his/her water bowl or fountain away from a heavy traffic area.
One of the number one illnesses cats suffer from is urinary tract related disorders. Making sure your cat is drinking enough water can help avoid these problems.
If your cat is not eating and not drinking, take him/her to the vet immediately for an examination as it probably means your cat is ill.