How Much Water Should Cats Drink Daily?

Unlike humans or dogs, cats don’t have a strong sense of thirst. They may not realize that they’re dehydrated. That’s why it’s so important to provide fresh water, which they are more likely to drink than stale old water in a dirty bowl.

That’s why we recommend getting an automatic cat fountain, like these.

So how much water do cats need to drink daily?

The amount of water a kitty needs on daily basis depends on a number of factors, like its age, size, breed, current dietary needs, and of course, medical conditions.

Some cat breeds have different nutritional needs than others do. For example, when it comes to Sphynx cats, it’s sometimes best to stick to dry cat food. As such, the Sphynx will need more water than other cat breeds in order to stay properly hydrated.

If your cat has a medical condition, your vet will be able to determine exactly how much water your feline pal needs to drink on a daily basis, as many health-related issues, like pollakiuria, can leave your pet dehydrated.

Serving your pet only dry cat food is your personal choice, but it’s advisable to break things up with wet canned food every now and then, if not more often, to provide additional hydration.

How Much Water Does A Cat Need Per Day?

Let’s cut to the chase. Hypothetically, you own an adult domestic cat of an average size of 10 pounds. Your cat needs approximately 260 kcal of food on daily basis. Depending on the type of food you’re serving your kitty (dry or wet), the need for additional water will be different.

As a general rule…cats need the same amount of water in mL as food in calories.

So, what does this really mean? It means that if your pet needs 260 kcal per day, it will also need 260 ml of water.

Dry cat food usually contains about 10% water, whereas wet canned food can contain anywhere between 60% and 80% water, depending on its consistency and the brand you’re using.

So, if you’re serving 260 kcal of dry food, your cat will need to drink approximately 230-250 ml of water (260 x the 90% of dry food that is not water). And if you’re using wet canned food, your feline friend will regularly need around 70-80 ml of water (the 20-40% of wet food that is not water).

However, these basics can’t apply to all cats out there. Young kittens need special vitamin-packed kitten food, while adult cats need other types of food, and senior cats have different nutritional requirements. These will all affect water needs.

However, not all depends on the kitty’s age, breed, size and current medical conditions. The quantity, the type of food, and the frequency of meals also play a huge role in the amount of water the cat needs to drink on daily basis.

To sum up all of the above explanations, if you’re using mainly dry food, then you’ll need to provide additional water supplies to your furry pal, which have to measure up to the kcal of its daily meal. And if you’re using wet canned food, the food itself is moist enough to take care of nearly two thirds of the cat’s water intake needs.

Contrary to the popular belief that cats hate water, they really do need to drink water, just as they need to take a bath on regular occasions.

Truth be told, felines hate getting their whiskers dirty and wet. That’s why you need to use shallow water and food bowls. In order to prevent dehydration, lack of appetite, and malnourishment, always serve fresh water and high quality cat food on a daily basis, and clean the bowls after each meal.

In fact, we recommend using a cat fountain specifically designed to pump clean, fresh water out for your cat, ensuring it drinks enough and does not get dehydrated.

See our reviews of the best cat fountains here.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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