"Water is the basic necessity of life". This statement has the same importance in a cat's life as it has in human life. But how can we know how why is water a necessity to cats? To help you with this question, this article discusses multiple reasons why cats need water. Plus, we have also mentioned the drawbacks of not giving adequate water to your cats. You must give them a read to save your cat from those problems. So, without delaying any further, let's discuss the importance of water for cats.
How much water is good for your cat?
Well, there is no exact answer to this question. The appropriate amount of water required by your cat is dependent on two main things:
- Physical activity of your cat:
Cats that are more physically active require more water intake than lazy ones. This is because the water demand of metabolism in their body increases with an increase in their physical activity.
- Diet given to the cat:
Cats that are given dry food have more water demand than those given wet food. The reason behind this variation is that dry food leaves their body with a dry feeling, increasing their thirst.
Why is water important to cats?
Water is important to cats for the following reasons:
- Component of various tissues and organs:
Various tissues and organs present in a cat's body require water for normal functioning. This water is necessary for maintaining the normal shape of the tissue and organ cells. It is also required for maintaining the required fluid levels.
- Essential for life activities and nutrient metabolism:
Metabolism includes different processes required for maintaining normal body functioning. Metabolism helps cats gain energy to perform their daily activities like moving, playing, etc. For proper conduction of life activities of cats, adequate water consumption must be ensured.
- Important in regulating body temperature:
For a cat, regulation of body temperature is essential, as they are considered homeotherm. Proper temperature regulation is necessary for maintaining the cat's natural sweating and shivering ability.
- Provides good lubrication:
Water keeps cats hydrated and acts as a good lubrication source. Lubrication is required by various body sites such as the oral cavity, joints, etc. No-lubricated body areas are more likely to get damaged due to excess friction.
- Carries away toxins and other metabolic wastes:
Water also helps in excreting toxins and metabolic wastes from the body of cats. Accumulation of toxins leads to increased risks of various diseases. For this reason, it is necessary to eliminate waste from the body.
Diseases related to water intake
There are 4 common diseases caused in cats due to imbalanced water consumption, which include:
- Urinary system diseases:
Low water content in your cat's body can lead to several urinary system diseases including urinary tract infection, urinary stones, bladder stones, cystitis. These diseases are caused by improper kidney filtration, build-up of waste content, and inadequate urine flow.
- Chronic kidney disease:
Dehydration also leads to chronic kidney diseases because of inadequate fluid filtration through the kidneys, concentration of chemicals, accumulation of waste, formation of kidney stones, etc. The most significant out of chronic kidney diseases in cats is renal failure.
- Diabetes mellitus:
Diabetes mellitus is mainly caused by an increase in levels of blood glucose concentration. This happens when the water content present in the cat's body is insufficient. Diabetes mellitus results in increased thirst and frequent urination problems.
Less water content changes plasma and blood cell concentrations, which affects T3 and T4 circulation. As a result, normal thyroid functioning is also affected.
How to check if your cat is actually dehydrated?
To check if your cat is actually dehydrated, you simply have to perform a short test. Hold your cat's skin and slightly pull it upwards. If it returns to the normal position, then your cat is not dehydrated. But if it doesn't, then your cat is surely dehydrated. Some other signs to notice include:
- Lack of appetite
- Sunken eyes
- Increased lethargy
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
How to encourage cats to drink more water?
To save your cat from water-deficiency diseases, we have come up with some tips to encourage them to drink more water.
- Keep the water bowl separate:
It is advised to keep the water bowls of your cats separate from their food bowls. Cats have an instinct that the food can contaminate the water. This makes it harder for them to drink water from the bowl placed near the food bowl.
- Place the water bowl away from their toilet area:
This tip has the same concept as the first one; cats think water bowls placed near the toilet areas are most likely to get bacterial contamination. And this is why they don't prefer drinking that water.
- Keep the water bowl clean:
No human would ever want to drink water from a dirty bowl; the same is with the cats. So make sure to regularly wash and clean their water bowls if you actually want your cat to drink water regularly.
- Choose the right water bowl:
Cats do not like plastic water bowls, rather they prefer drinking in ceramic, metal, or glass bowls. Also, they don't want their whiskers to touch the bowl, so it is preferred to use wide water bowls for your cats.
- Get a water fountain:
Some cats prefer drinking running water over static water. If your cat falls in the first category, you should definitely buy a little kitty fountain for your cat. This will encourage your cat to happily drink more water.
In the end, we would suggest you try out multiple types of water bowls and different placement positions to figure out what your cat likes the most.
In A Word
"Water is everything, and water matters to cats the same way that it does to human."