How To Force A Cat To Drink Water - (2023)

How To Force A Cat To Drink Water: Here Are 10 Things To Know

How to force feed your cat

How To Force A Cat To Drink Water, This monitoring sheds light on the feline person’s individuality. Research reveals that humans and pet dogs have two unique characters. While the character of a human can be referred to as warm as well as friendly, the character of a pet dog can be referred to as protective, leading and of course, also caring. This research suggests that proprietors of canines tend to be feline enthusiasts as well, as part of their individuality.

How Much Water To Force

Redding, CA
Redding, CA

Originally Posted bySlipstreamIs she getting wet food? Is that will have water in it. I am not an expert on force “drinking” a cat lol I would suggest to get a drinkwell fountain, our cats love it and it really encourages them to drink more.

NorthCentral USA

Originally Posted byLuv FurbabiesI have been having to force feed and water my 8 year old cat that has a URI. I have read posts that say to make sure they are being fed about the same amount that they would usually eat on their own.?> ?> ?Food, no problem, but water> ? How much water does a cat lap up per day?? I have never really thought about it.Does anyone have an idea of how much I should be forcing my cat to drink per day??? HELP

Redding, CA

Why Isnt Your Cat Drinking Water

There are many reasons why cats might not want to drink water in the first place.

Cats by nature dont drink that much water. Domesticated cats are often descended from desert-dwelling wild cats who didnt have much access to water. And due to this, dont require water as much as other animals. Wild cats actually get most of their water intake from the prey they catch.

However, many domesticated cats dont live off of fresh catch. Instead, most consume a primarily dry diet in the form of kibble. Now, there are a bunch of great reasons for this such as maintaining proper oral hygiene and proper nutrition balance but itsseverely lacking in water content.

Cats also are extremely particular about where their water comes from. Just as we dont like to eat in our bathrooms, neither do cats. If their food bowls are anywhere near their litter, theres a good chance that your cat will consider that water contaminated.

Also, your cat could just be super-finicky about their bowl,water source,or any other variable. As you know, cats are extremely picky when it comes to just about everything. But dont worry, just try out these simple tips to get your cat drinking more water.

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Simple Ways To Get Your Cat To Drink More Water

Is your kitty drinking enough? Here’s how you can help her stay hydrated.

A typical 10-pound cat should drink between 79 ounces of water every day, but making sure your kitty is well-hydrated can be tricky. After all, it’s not like they’re monitoring their H2O intake with fancy, graduated measurement water bottles.

But there are a few easy ways you can encourage your cat to drink more water. Try these tricks at home, and talk to your veterinarian if yourcat still shows signs of dehydration.

How Much Water Should My Cat Drink

How To Force A Cat To Drink Water - (1)

A cat should drink on average 60mls/kg per day of water. That means a 4kg cat should be drinking approximately 240mls a day to ensure their body functions properly.

However, when determining the volume of drinking water required under normal circumstances, we need to take into consideration your cat’s diet. Wet or canned food contains about 80% water where as dry food contains about 10%. A 4kg cat solely eating canned food may only need to drink about 30ml of water per day where as the same cat eating only dry food would need to drink more than 200ml of water per day.

If you are unsure, your veterinary health care team would be happy to provide advice on how much your cat should be drinking, taking into consideration their diet.

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Is My Cat Dehydrated

For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss more in depth,how to tell if a cat is dehydrated.

If your cat isnot drinking water but eatingyou can use this as a basis to rehydrate your cat. If your cat is not drinking but eating, we recommend offering it wet cat food, in order to replenish lost electrolytes. For more, read our article where we list the besthomemade remedies for dehydrated cats.

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Tips For Getting Your Cat To Drink More:

  • Gradually add wet food or fresh meat to your cat’s diet
  • Add a little water to your cat’s wet food
  • Keep their water bowl away from the litter box and food bowl
  • Keep several water bowls around the house in different places
  • Clean your cat’s water bowls regularly
  • Use a shallow water bowl to prevent‘whisker stress’
  • Fresh water is always best: change it every day
  • Cats love running water, so purchase a water fountain.

How To Calculate How Much Wet Food To Feed A Cat

How Do I Get My Cat to Drink Water | Chewy

Lets say your veterinarian has determined that your cat should take in 240 calories per day. In this example, you simply need to divide 240 by 73 to determine how many 3-ounce cans of the American Journey chicken and tuna recipe you should offer your cat daily. Therefore, your cat needs to eat roughly 3 1/3 cans of this food per day.

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Can I Give My Dog Milk Instead Of Water

If your dog doesnt want to drink water, you may be tempted to offer him milk instead. However, most dogs are lactose-intolerant after they leave puppyhood. After they are done breastfeeding, they typically lose the enzyme that helps decompose lactose. If you give your lactose-intolerant dog milk, he can have stomach aches, diarrhea, and flatulence and may feel generally unwell.

The Drinking Habits Of Domestic Cats

Despite numerous studies on the intake of water with food and risk factors for urinary tract disease, the authors are not aware of studies that specifically address the drinking habits or preferences of domestic cats. Various recommendations have their origin in popular literature or are derived from behaviors in the wild. The authors recently conducted a survey to document common practices in the provision of drinking water for cats and to identify preferences.

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Taking Care Of Your Cat

If your cat has stopped drinking water entirely, thats a sign that you should take them to the vet immediately.

Cats typically keep up with their water intake, one way or the other. But if days go by without drinking, this may mean that your cat is feeling sick.

Several diseases and illnesses cause an aversion to water, such as kidney disease, endocrine diseases, and cancer. So, dont take this situation lightly.

Keep an eye on your cats hydration and diet, and never hesitate to get a professional opinion if you feel that something is amiss with your cats health. Its best to be cautious now than to be sorry later.

Our resource,cat drinking a lot of water and meowinghelps you understand why your cat intakes plenty of water but still looking uncomfortable.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating

How To Force A Cat To Drink Water - (2)

Aside from beingpicky eaters, cats are also resilient and independent creatures. Without a doubt, these traits help them survive the world on their own. So, its just understandable to be curious as to how long can a cat go without eating?

Most of the time, a cat would just stop eating because they dont like their cat food. Other times, their loss of appetite can be due to an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

However, either way, they could still look perfectly fine. As such, as cat owners, we cant help but wonder how long can a cat go without eating or drinking water?

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When Should You See Your Vet After Your Cat Refuses To Eat

The reasons for your cats sudden loss of appetite can vary. And the decision to finally take your cat to the vet also depends on your cats individuality.

As a cat parent, you must know your cats unique behaviors. For some cats, not eating a meal or two may not be unusual. Other cats also have an occasional loss of appetite due to vomiting caused by hairballs, or plant ingestion.

However, whatever the reason, you have to bring your cat to the vet if he fails to eat for more than 24 hours. Like what was mentioned earlier, many of the reasons why cats wont eat are connected with their health.

As such, the best person that could help determine the exact cause and develop a treatment plan is your nearest veterinarian.

When it comes to your cats, we are sure you dont want to leave anything to chance. If you are in doubt, dont delay, and head on to your vet right away.

Why Your Cat Sometimes Stops Drinking Water

There are a number of reasons a cat may stop drinking water.Patrick Mahaney, VMD, a holistic veterinarian in Los Angeles, finds that the most common reason he sees is that a cat has an underlying illness. Theyre not feeling well enough and have no urge to drink, he explains.

Endocrine issues, such as liver disease, can cause a cat to lose their thirst. Kidney disease can initially cause cats to consume more water than normal, but when it progresses, it often causes cats to stop drinking. Cancer can suppress a cats urge to drink as well.

Its also important to consider the condition of a cats mouth. If a cat has periodontal disease, they may not be drinking because its painful to do so.

Conversely, your cat could be avoiding their bowl for other reasons, such as their personal comfort. It could be beneficial to assess how a cat feels about the condition of their water bowl, particularly if no other concerning symptoms are present. Your fur baby requires and desires clean water, so wash her bowl and replace her water at least once a day, if not more,writesChristine O'Brien of Hills.

Dr. Mahaney notes that a cats whiskers are very sensitive. When they put their face into their water bowl to drink, their whiskers could graze the side of the bowl and it could cause discomfort, he explains.

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Will A Cat Starve Itself To Death

If a cat goes longer than 2 to 3 days without food, she can go into liver failure also known as feline hepatic lipidosis a potentially deadly disease. Cats can literally starve themselves to death. The first step in treatment is being able to recognize some of the common reasons why cat just stops eating.

Introduce Wet Food Into Your Cats Diet

How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water

Water isnt the only way to keep your cat hydrated! Earlier we mentioned that cats have the habit of obtaining their liquids from food sources. Dry cat food typically contains only about 10% water whereas canned cat food has around 78% water. If your cat has been living on a generally dry cat food diet, why not switch it up a little and incorporate some wet foods into its meals?

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How To Get A Cat To Drink Water When Sick

Is your sick cat not drinking water? In the case of a sick cat, a veterinarian will often suggest offering your cat water through a needless syringe. But, how do you apply electrolyte solution for cats?

The first thing you should do is buy a syringe at a pharmacy . Make sure you have someone to help you hold the cat to avoid causing excessive stress and anxiety in your feline. If your cat is moving excessively, gently wrap it in a towel.

Then, slowly feel for your cats jaw and locate its fangs. Add slight pressure with your index finger and thumb, which should gently force your cats mouth open. From here, offer it water carefully.

Know That Overhydration Can Also Be A Problem

While dehydration is a problem in dogs, you dont want to overcorrect and end up with an overhydrated dog. This is also known as water intoxication, and it can be dangerous.

Some of the symptoms of overhydration include:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Excessive salivation

In the case of puppies, overhydration may be a sign of an underlying problem. Some examples include kidney issues, diabetes, Cushings disease, or uterine infection.

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How Do You Treat Dehydration In Cats At Home

You should never force a cat to drink water.

Always giving your cat access to fresh water and keeping them inside on hot days are just two of the ways to stop your cat from being dehydrated.

A cat mustalwayshave access topotable water, and in multi-cat households there should beat least one bowlavailableper pet. A cat will be more prone tomilddehydration inhotweather, and pets should not beshut outsideall day without sufficientaccessto water andshade.Oldercats will be atgreaterrisk of becoming dehydrated, particularly those with underlying kidney disease or hyperthyroidism. Yet cats ofany agecan suffer from lack of fluid intake or increased losses, for example due tovomitingand diarrhoea.

If your pet hasmilddehydration, you can try toencouragethem to drink more using some of the tips in this article. But if their conditionworsens, they have aknownexisting health problem or they are showing signs of moreseveredehydration, you should seek veterinary advice.

Talk To Your Cat Sitter

How To Force A Cat To Drink Water - (3)

Do you ever booka cat sitteron Pawshake? Ask your cat sitter to refresh your cat’s water every day and pay attention during the booking in case your cat’s habits change. Request that the cat sitter not only cleans and tops up all of your cat’s bowls . Some cats don’t mind exploring running/dripping water from a tap or watering can, so suggest this as a fun activity to your cat sitter.

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How Do You Rehydrate A Kitten

If akittenis dehydrated, this can indicate arange of problems. They may be struggling tosucklefrom their mother, they could have acongenital abnormalityof the tongue or mouth that makes it difficult to drink, or they may have anillness or infection. Whatever the cause, dehydration can progressvery rapidlyin kittens and it is always best to have them checked by a vet.

How Can I Prevent Dehydration In My Cat

There are a few ways that you can help prevent dehydration in your cat. Some options include:

  • Clean out and provide fresh water in water bowls every day.
  • Provide multiple clean water sources around your house for the cat to drink from.
  • Try giving your cat an electrolyte supplement or meat-flavored water from a trusted pet food store.
  • Use a cat water fountain with fresh water to encourage them to drink.

If your cat appears to be dehydrated or seems hesitant to drink, it’s important to get them to the vet right away. Dehydration in cats can lead to several serious medical concerns that should be addressed as soon as possible.

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Add Meaty Ice Cubes To Your Cats Food

Maybe your cat wont eat canned food, or maybe hes on a prescription dry food diet for a medical issue. If thats the case, you can still add water to his food by using ice cubes made from tuna juice or chicken broth.

Just get an ice cube tray and fill it with your cats favorite meaty liquid. Smaller cubes or balls are best, but if you dont have an appropriate tray, use a normal one and fill the compartments only partway up.

Make sure to label the tray so you dont accidentally toss a chicken broth cube into your morning smoothie or lemonade pitcher!

Then, when dinnertime rolls around, put one of the cubes into your cats food bowl, add the kibble and mix it up a bit. The cube will impart a little extra moisture into the kibble and your cat will enjoy licking it in between bites of food.


Can I force my cat to drink water? ›

You must get to know your cat's food and water preferences. For instance, some cats like drinking water from a water dish while some like using a cat fountain. You want to try to encourage them to drink. However, you should never force them.

How do you force a sick cat to drink water? ›

Fluids can be administered by mouth using a syringe. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions on how much and how often to administer fluids. If it is not possible for your cat to be given fluids by mouth, your veterinarian will hospitalize your cat to provide the necessary supportive care.

Should I add ice to my cats water? ›

Keep your cat's water cold by replenishing it regularly. You could even pop a few ice cubes in the bowl if the weather is particularly warm. Ice cubes in their food can also work as while they're eating, they can stay extra hydrated too.

Why wont my cat drink water? ›

Contact your vet right away if you believe that your cat isn't drinking enough water. Dehydration can be an indication of a serious underlying condition such as kidney disease, heatstroke, or diabetes. When it comes to your cat's health it is always best to err on the side of caution.

Why do cats hate getting in water? ›

Why Are Cats Afraid of Water? Cats hate water as they understand their environment through their nose and getting wet can remove their personal scent. They can also notice chemicals in the water that humans cannot sense.

What to do if cat won't eat or drink? ›

Tips to tempt your cat to eat
  1. Warm the food up.
  2. Offer strong smelling foods such as sardines.
  3. Try different brands of pet food.
  4. Try hand-feeding your cat and check their nose is clean (the smell of the food helps to stimulate their appetite).
  5. Heat up your cat's food to their body temperature (38C)
Jan 26, 2017

How long can cats go without water? ›

Yet they still need water and can't survive longer than two or three days without access to it. "Once about 24 hours pass without water, dehydration sets in," she says. "The longer this goes on, the more stress and strain is placed on their internal organs, leading eventually to failure and death."

How do I get my stubborn cat to take liquid medicine? ›

The easiest way to give your cat liquid medication is to mix it in with some canned food. To ensure that your cat swallows all of the medication, it is best to mix it into a small amount of canned food that you feed by hand, rather than mixing it into a full bowl of food that the cat may not completely eat.

Should I syringe water to my cat? ›

If your cat refuses to drink then give her a helping paw. Gently syringe water into her mouth, but take care to let her swallow after every half ml or so. Never ever squirt water in forcibly as this is liable to enter her windpipe and could cause a serious pneumonia.

Is it OK to throw water at a cat? ›

Water at a cat is absolutely fine! Chucking water at a cat that is being aggressive is harmless and the best way to deal with it.

Why won't my cat eat or drink water? ›

More serious issues that can cause and lead to a lack of appetite or drinking are intestinal issues, diabetes, kidney disease, problems with their teeth or gums, etc. Whether the cause is simple or serious, any time your cat has stopped eating or drinking for more than a day, contact your veterinarian.

Do cats prefer cold or warm water? ›

Many cats, like humans, prefer their beverages chilled. You'll promote more water consumption if you serve it cold. It's hard to keep refilling your kitty's water bowl, but luckily you can buy products that keep it chilled for hours.

Do cats hate warm or cold water? ›

Cats don't like the cold or getting wet

Domestic cats are descendants of desert creatures and have a higher tolerance for heat than humans. Many water-loving animals such as dogs have an oily, water-resistant coat so that droplets run right off.

Should I add anything to my cats water? ›

Adding Broth or Other Water

Adding broth to a diet can be a good way to add moisture for cats that need it, but check with your veterinarian before starting as some broths may have added nutrients like salt that your cat can't tolerate (or have added garlic or onion that can be toxic to pets).

Can I give my cat milk if she won't drink water? ›

Can I feed my cat milk instead of water? Cats only need one thing to stay hydrated – water. Generally, milk is bad for cats due to the fact that most are lactose intolerant and will become sick (with for example, diarrhea and vomiting) in case they drink milk.

How can you tell if a cat is dehydrated? ›

Signs of dehydration include lethargy, weakness, poor appetite, dry mucous membranes, and, in more severe cases, eyes that are sunken into their sockets. The most common causes of dehydration in cats are diseases that cause increased water loss.

Will a dehydrated cat urinate? ›

Dehydrated cats will continue to urinate, as the body has to get rid of waste products.

Are most cats afraid of water? ›

It is a common myth that cats are scared of water. This isn't actually true at all and some cats love the opportunity to stretch their sea legs and will eagerly jump in voluntarily. It's less of a fear, and more of an aversion. Cats are actually natural born swimmers.

Do most cats hate water? ›

Although most domestic cats don't like water, their wild cousins, such as tigers, happily use it to cool off or hunt their next meal. There are also a few breeds of household kitties, including the Maine coon, Bengal and Abyssinian, that love the water and occasionally enjoy a few laps around the pool.

What do cats absolutely hate? ›

As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you. They can't stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme. Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus.

Can a cat have Pedialyte? ›

Unflavored Pedialyte can be used to target dehydration in cats. As an oral electrolyte solution, the effectiveness of Pedialyte usage in cats depends on administering the proper dosage and should only be used as a remedy for dehydration. Pedialyte should not replace a cat's normal diet.

How do you feed a stressed cat? ›

To encourage a stressed cat to eat, the experts offer several strategies: (1) Novelty – To entice picky or non-eaters, Dr. Lander suggests offering a smorgasbord of gourmet foods to see which foods might tickle the stressed cats fancy.

Where should I put my cat's water bowl? ›

Where should I put my cat's water bowl? Just like their food, your cat's water bowl should be somewhere relatively quiet. A hallway, for example, may be too busy for them, even if they are very sociable. Put your cat's water bowl somewhere clean and odour-free – and far away from their litter tray!

Can you put catnip in water? ›

If the cat doesn't like drinking water, you can add some catnip to the water. Don't use too much at one time, just a small amount like a thumb nail. To prevent the cat from choking, it is best to crush the catnip in advance and add it to the cat's drinking water to attract the cat to drink.

How do you clean a cat that is scared of water? ›

Wash your cat gently and speak to him soothingly. Don't use a spray hose on your cat. Instead, dip your hand into the warm water and gently scoop the water onto your kitty. Scoop a little at a time until his fur is wet down to the skin.

Can cats drink chicken broth? ›

It's typically OK to give your cat a bit of chicken broth or baby food, but make sure it doesn't include onions or garlic (or too much sodium).


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