by Nomi Berger
Most cats don’t drink enough water. Does YOURS? If the answer is no, consider the following suggestions.
(1) Change to a mostly wet-food diet: Since canned food has more moisture than dry food, it’s one of the simplest ways to “fool” your feline into drinking more water and to avoid the threat of dehydration. If yours isn’t fond of wet food, however, try adding water or broth to her dry food and serving her that instead. But if yours LOVES canned food, make it even wetter and soupier with added water or broth.
(2) Put an ice cube in her food: Not only does it add moisture, it’s like a treat – albeit a cold one. But because the cube takes on the food’s flavor, while she’s licking it, she’s getting more of the water she needs. Place several cubes in her water bowl as well if she, like many people, purr-fers her water icy cold.
(3) Serve her smaller, more frequent meals: Since the very act of eating prompts thirst, if your cat’s not drinking water, eating more often should make her not only need to but actually want water.
(4) Place water bowls throughout your home: It’s not easy for curious kitties to pass so many appealing sights without stopping to investigate them and – hopefully – sample what they’re offering.
(5) Location is everything: If your cat’s not drinking water, she may not like her water bowl’s location or it may not be as easily accessible to her as it should be. Take care, as well, to keep her water bowl far away from her litter box. Remember: her litter box is where she potties.
(6) Refill her water bowl regularly: Cats like FRESH water! Please change her water at least once during the day and to keep it scrupulously clean, wash the bowl thoroughly with soap and water, dry it, refill it, and put it down again at the end of the day.
(7) Think sink: If your cat’s attracted to running water, take advantage of her fascination and make drinking it a game. Turn on the cold water faucet and let it run for a few minutes several times a day. Incorporate it into your morning and/or evening playtime routine and reward her with effusive praise and some extra playing when she accepts drinking water as one of her regular activities.
(8) Flavor the water: A cat turning her paws down at drinking “ordinary” water might drink flavored water. Try flavoring your kitty’s water with some chicken broth, the liquid from a tin of tuna or sardines or some clam juice (sold in bottles at supermarkets). Make certain, though, to have at least one bowl of plain, fresh water close by at all times.
(9) Use cat fountains: Many fussy felines, once they’re accustomed to it, LOVE drinking from fountains. Not only are they intriguing to a cat because of the continuous movement of the water but the water always stays fresh.
(10) Use feline-friendly bowls: Cats have highly sensitive whiskers and may find the sensation of their whiskers touching the sides of their water bowls extremely unpleasant. They’ll often drink more water when it’s in large, shallow bowls rather than in small, deep ones.