Your Cat Needs Less Water Than You Think She Does

Water is an essential part of every living organism’s life. Human beings, animals and plants can’t survive without it. Nearly all of the major systems in the body depend on water. Water serves many physiological functions: it transports nutrients and oxygen through the blood stream and into the cells, moisturizes the air in the lungs, regulates body temperature, protects and moisturizes the joints and internal organs, and helps eliminate waste products of metabolism through the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.

Cats do not normally need to drink very much water. They have evolved to obtain their water requirements almost entirely on the moisture content in their food. In the wild, cats obtain most of their water from eating their prey.

Cats can be fine for long periods without drinking any water as long as they receive canned food containing 67 to 73 percent water. Still, they will become dehydrated when the water content of the food drops to less than 61 percent. House cats eating canned-only foods may obtain enough water in their diets so that extra drinking water may not always be needed.

The amount of water that a cat should drink depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the cat, her activity, the whether, the cat’s diet – wet food or dry food only . Factors such as high heat, exercise, or lactation can double or triple the amount a cat drinks. Of course, diseases like hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and diabetes will all greatly increase the cat’s daily requirement of water.

How much should our cats drink? A normal cat’s daily water requirement ranges from 5 to 10 fluid ounces per day (an average of 60 ml/kg/day). Cats eating wet food will receive much of their daily water requirement from the food, since wet food is about 70 to 80 percent water. In contrast, dry food is only 7 to 10 percent water. Cats eating canned food may need to drink less than 1 ounce of additional water per day, cats eating only dry food may need to drink over 7 ounces per day to be enough hydrated. This big amount of water can be sometimes difficult to achieve because cats are not prone by nature to drink large amounts of water.