Cats and water are antagonistic to each other. Either you believe it, or not, water aversion is not out of the norm for cats. You might be shocked to know that your cat hates the fundamental need of life-water. Although it's not true for all cat breeds, some cats are strongly inclined to dig into water tubs to cool off. Turkish Van is so fond of swimming in water that it has achieved the title of "Swimming cat." Maine Coon and Abyssinian are also hydrophilic cat breeds. But a majority of cats have water phobia.
Why Do Cats Hate Drinking Water?
Inherited from their ancestors
The rationalities behind cats' aversion to water may date back to their dry, arid, and deserted ancestry. They used to nourish themselves by hunting hydrated prey like mice and rodents. Water bodies in the wild were scarce, and cats had to face many obstacles to drink water. There was always a risk of getting injured or killed by other predators, so cats evolved to store and preserve water to the maximum.
Domesticated cats are descendants of wild cats, and they have retained these water storage and preservation abilities. This is one of the reasons your cat won't drink water much.
Minor water loss from their body
The furry-fluffy and dense coat in cats acts as a barrier to prevent water loss from their body. So, why a kitty should bother drinking water when its thick furry coat is always there to prevent water loses. Drinking 3.5-4.5 ounces of water is enough for a 5-5.5 pound weighing cat, so cats can easily manage this little requirement by drinking a small amount of water.
Aqua-phobia by nature
Cats have to drink less water by instinct. Maybe because it can ruin their shiny furry coat, and it will weigh them down. Imagine cotton soaked in water; it's loathsome to imagine. Right? The same is the case with cats; if their dense coat is once wet, it seems daunting to dry it off soon. The intense smell power of cats makes them hate the smell of chemicals in household water. Wetting the furry coat means they have to bear that smell until their skin is dry, and they hate it.
Remember, your feline friend will never gulp the water like your four-legged canine friend. Cats drink enough water to barely brush their tongue by taking four sips in a second, speedily.
What Happens If a Cat Doesn't Drink Enough Water?
A study has revealed that almost every fifth cat suffers from dehydration, which can cast harmful effects like loss of energy, heatstroke, kidney disease, lethargy, sticky gums, loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, panting, excessive pulse rate, and less urination.
Due to its hydrophobic nature, your cat won't drink enough water for its metabolic needs. So, being a responsible feline owner, you must pay attention to your cat's water intake. A little attention can save your cat from the adverse effects of dehydration.
Tips to Get Your Cat to Drink Water
To persuade your cat to drink some sips of water is a daunting task, but you can try the following tricks to help your cat stay hydrated and safe.
You might be surprised to know that cats spend 50% of their time grooming themselves. So, if a pet likes cleanliness so much, how can it drink water full of dust bunnies, food crumbs, hairs, and debris?
It's a must-adopt habit to keep your cats' water bowl clean. Trying different food and water bowls is a positive step to enhance their temptation towards the drinking water. Chilling water with some ice cubes is also fascinating for cats.
Try cat fountain
Cats love to enjoy running water from a cat fountain instead of stagnant water. Still, water does not attract cats. A cat fountain can increase your cat's water intake because it has splashing, crystal clear, and running water. Cats are enticed to cat fountains because this seems a playful activity as well.
- Multiple colorful bowls
Keeping multiple colorful water bowls at different spots at home will make cats curious to discover what's there in those colorful bowls, and there are more chances they'll bother to dip their tongue into those bowls. Most pet owners have acknowledged it as a working trick in their tenure with their feline friend.
- Try large bowl
Cats' whiskers are the most sensitive part of their body, and they care about it the most. Damaged whiskers in cats can lead to blindness, loss of navigation, and sensory ability. So, they try their best to avoid rubbing their whiskers against the walls of a small bowl, and it's irritating for them to drink from a small bowl. Using a large bowl can save your cat from this irritation, and it will drink water comfortably.
- Wet cat food
Replacing cats' dry food with wet food is one of the most promising tricks to fulfill their body requirement. Hydrated canned food with a gruel consistency can help your cat meet 70% of its water requirement, unlike dry food that meets 5-10% of its water requirement. Milk can be the best choice to keep cats hydrated as it contains 87% water. The Milkaholic and meat-loving nature of cats are the major perks for feline owners as cats love to eat both, and it's also safe.
Cats Need to Be Hydrated
Tons of issues can be caused by dehydration, especially for feline friends, who don't enjoy drinking water as much as other animals do. So, as pet parents yourself, take good care of your cat's daily water take-in, always keep an eye on your feline's daily water consumption, and take immediate actions if dehydration happens.