Healthy and Hydrated: Water Bowl Tips

Healthy and Hydrated: Water Bowl Tips

Did you know that cats should generally consume around four ounces of water per five pounds of body weight per day? If you notice that your cat doesn’t seem to drink much water, it’s natural to feel concerned. However, depending on diet and other factors, they may be consuming plenty without you even noticing.

Here are some considerations to help you ensure that your cat is staying healthy and hydrated.

1. What kind of food does your cat eat?

If your cat eats wet food, chances are that they get a significant amount of their daily water from their diet. Wet cat foods are generally around 70-80% water, so it’s possible that your cat may be getting 25%-50% of their recommended daily intake from food alone! If your cat eats a dry food diet, they will need to drink more water in order to meet their recommended daily intake.

2. Where is your cat’s water bowl located?

If your kitty has a water bowl that is housed near their food or litter box, they may avoid drinking out of it due to perceived contamination of the water. In nature, cats consume their prey away from their water source in order to avoid polluting the water. This instinct is thought to be biologically hardwired in domestic cats. Try experimenting by placing several water bowls around the house to see which location your cat prefers.

3. What type of bowl does your cat use?

As with food bowls, cats tend to prefer water sources with a wide rim. This is due to the fact that bowls with narrow rims can irritate your cat’s whiskers as they drink. Plastic bowls may affect the taste of the water, so it’s generally best to stick with glass, metal, or ceramic bowls.

4. Does your cat drink still or running water?

In the wild, cats typically drink from running water sources. Running water may signify freshness to your cat since stagnant water gets stale and breeds bacteria more quickly. If you notice that your cat doesn’t seem to like their water bowl, it may be worth trying out a running water system or cat fountain.

5. How often do you refresh the water in your cat’s bowl?

Washing your kitty’s water bowl often can help keep it fresh to keep bacteria and funky flavors at bay. If possible, wash the water bowl every day with mild dish detergent. Additionally, some cats prefer cool water as a chilled temperature may indicate freshness. Try refreshing your cat’s water throughout the day by replacing the water or even just adding a few ice cubes.

6. Does your cat share a water bowl with other animals?

If you live in a household with multiple cats or other animals, your cat may be hesitant to share a bowl. If possible, set up at least one water bowl per kitty, and keep the bowls separate from other animals.


It is important to make sure that your cat has access to water in a clean, calm spot in your home. Keep in mind that your kitty may not need very much water depending on their diet. When you scoop your kitty’s litter, keep an eye on how much they are urinating. Too little or too much water consumption can be a sign of deeper health issues, so always consult with your vet if you have concerns.

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Photo by Carolien van Oijen on Unsplash

Categories: Cat Health