In nature, cats take in a large part of the liquid they need from their food, i.e. their prey. A mouse, for example, consists of around 80 percent water. Where cats originally come from, there are few options for drinking fresh water. The hawk cat from which our current pets come is originally native to Africa and the Middle East, and is used to rather barren landscapes with few water sources.
Cat is lazy to drink? Pay attention to the diet
If you feed your cat with dry food, you should consider that it is hardly possible for the velvet paw to ingest enough liquid in this case. It is simply not in their nature to drink so much water. Cats that mainly or exclusively eat dry food run the risk of getting urinary stones or kidney problems early.
We therefore recommend a diet with wet food or barf (organic, raw feeding). Some cats particularly like to lick the sauce in the wet food - you can use this to provide your fur nose with sufficient liquid. For example, add two to three tablespoons of water to the wet food to increase the sauce content. This will help your cat's natural instinct to ingest liquid through food and drink little water directly.
Cats and fluids: pay attention to preferences
Cats are peculiar, also when it comes to their drinking habits. You have probably seen cats drinking from the tap or enjoying the stale water. Some animals are also not fans of the classic water bowl and prefer to drink from the toilet, from flower pots, lick up the water drops after showering or have fun with the rainwater in the garden. Watch your cat and see what she likes best. From their habits, conclusions can then be drawn as to how you can make your velvet paw taste the water.
Caution! If your cat likes to drink from the toilet, from flower tubs or from the shower, make sure that the water is guaranteed to be free of chemicals, soap residues, fertilizers and other potentially harmful substances. However, since this is difficult to comply with, it is advisable to offer your cat other, safe water sources.
Cats and water: top or flop?
Drinking fountains can encourage cats to drink
A good alternative for notorious toilet drinkers is, for example, a drinking fountain for cats. House tigers, who like to drink from the tap, often prefer a fountain with running water to a bowl with standing water. This is because many fur noses instinctively assume that standing water is potentially contaminated with germs and other pathogens, but flowing water is safe and clean.
Therefore, try a drinking fountain when your cat makes a wide circle around its water bowl. The fountain is best made of ceramic, not plastic. Plastic can emit aromas that are imperceptible to humans, but unpleasant for cats, so that the sensitive velvet paws refuse this source.
Buy drinking fountains for your cat
If you feel that your house tiger is drinking too little, you should consider ...
The right place to drink is important
In addition, it is important to place the water bowls in the right place: they should not be placed next to the feeding place or the litter box, because cats do not like to drink in these places. It is also a good idea to provide your velvet-pawed roommates with several water bowls that you can use on your forays through the house.
Cats prefer a quiet, shady place to drink without much through traffic. Also, place a water bowl near your kitty’s favorite spots - this will always remind her to take a sip of the cool water.
Encourage cats to drink with the right bowl
However, your cat may also not like the drinking bowl, so she does not like to use it. This can be due to the shape on the one hand, and the material on the other. Cats have very sensitive whiskers and if they hit the rim of the bowl while drinking, it is very uncomfortable for them. So try it with a wide bowl, which you should fill to the brim if possible. Your kitty may shy away from drinking water from the bowl because she can't see exactly where the surface starts and how deep the water is, and finds it scary. Therefore, choose a bowl with a motif on the floor or put a clean stone or a large glass marble in it. You can place a small piece of cat grass on the surface for marking.
Cats also don't like plastic when it comes to drinking bowls. Instead of plastic, we recommend ceramic, glass or stainless steel. Make sure that you clean the bowl daily, but not with detergent or in the dishwasher. The smells of the cleaning agent residues displease the sensitive cat's nose. Hot water and a clean sponge are all it takes, especially if you change bowls every day.
Improve the taste of water
Finally, there is the possibility to make the taste of the water more delicious for your cat. In tap water an occasionally very strong smell of chlorine for cats can make the fur noses drink. In this case, allow the water to air out in a ceramic glass carafe or jug for two hours before pouring it into the bowl. In addition, sometimes a teaspoon of lactose-free milk helps to make the liquid appetizing for room tigers.
A shot of homemade chicken or meat broth without salt and without spices is also often accepted by lazy cats. You can freeze the broth in cubes and then add it to the bowl if necessary. Unseasoned, unsalted fish stock and tuna juice (no oil) usually also tastes very good on the fine cat palate.
You might also be interested in these topics related to cat nutrition:
When cats dip their paw into the water to drink
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