Did you know that insufficient water intake in cats often causes health problems, especially urinary problems? "My vet advised me to increase my cat's daily water intake, but how do I go about it? "
First, watch out for my whiskers!
Cats do not like their whiskers touching the edges of their bowl. Therefore, it is recommended to offer them water in a rather large and shallow bowl to prevent their vibrissae touching it. Filling the bowl with more water can also help.
But where is the water?
Cats have a hard time seeing everything close to their face. Therefore, they sometimes create movement in the water by touching it with their paws before drinking or by soaking the tip of their muzzle. The fact that the water is translucent does not help your cat to find its level and to know where to stop when he leans over his bowl. It is advisable to use a water fountain instead of a bowl, as it constantly creates movement in the water, making it easier for the cat to see it, in addition to keep it fresh and filtered.
Oh no! A kibble in my water!
Unlike dogs, most cats do not associate drinking with eating. That is why it is not recommended to offer a double bowl to your pet. Did you know that it is best to keep the food dish separated from the water, to prevent food crumbs from contaminating it? Cats tend to stay away from a bowl of water that is not clean. You can also place the two bowls on different floors, if your home allows you, thereby promoting physical activity! Always with the objective of stimulating the cat to drink more water, why not put an accessible source on every floor of the house?
Too hot! No, too cold!
To be honest, cats are sometimes very capricious! Some cats will prefer to drink warm water, and others will be attracted by cold water with even an ice cube floating in the water.
I am unique!
Obviously, do not forget to consider the specific needs of your pet. Cats are not all the same and you are in the best position to observe yours and set their preferences. A combination of several different water sources is ideal to determine the cat’s preferences. As for me, my cats like to drink in a glass, either directly in it, or by soaking a paw and then licking it. So, I have on my counter, a glass of water dedicated only to cats, in addition to my fountain. When they are in the bathroom, it's not uncommon for them to beg me to open the tap slightly to drink directly. What they prefer is when there is only a trickle of water flowing.
Yum, yum, canned food!
Finally, if your attempts to make your cat drink more water are futile, you can also offer him some canned food. This contains more water than dry food. He will consume more water without realizing it. The important thing is to make sure to choose good quality canned food. Do not hesitate to ask a member of the team at your veterinary clinic, you will be guided according to the needs of your pet. No matter how you get there, the goal is always to help your cat consume enough water, because that's what’s best for his health!
© 2018 Catherine Lapierre, Animal Health Technician and Creator of Mon Journal – Santé animale