Water is an essential nutrient for your cat, accounting for 60-75% of an adult feline’s body weight. Water helps your pet’s body digest food, regulate body temperature, eliminate waste (urinary issues continues to be one of the most common medical reasons pet parents take their cats to the veterinarian) and allows salt and other electrolytes to pass through the body. Encouraging a healthy daily intake of water can help keep your cat feeling and looking good.
The amount of water your pet needs depends on a variety of things such as their level of activity and environmental factors. While diet can play a significant role in helping to prevent problems like urinary tract issues, hydration or adequate water consumption are equally important. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering your cat’s hydration habits.
1. When considering the urinary system, an ideal diet for a domestic, household cat, whether it is a canned or dry recipe, should contain lower levels of magnesium and encourage an acidic urine. All Wellness® Canned Recipes for Cats are designed with these criteria in mind. Our variety of minced, sliced and cubed entrees for cats offer the hydration cats need with a savory gravy they’ll love, now available in new varieties and new larger 5.5 oz cans!
2. Along with feeding a proper diet, encouraging sufficient water intake is a major concern. Many cats love to drink running water. Re-circulating water fountains are very attractive water stations that in many cases, will stimulate a cat to drink more frequently.
3. Fresh, palatable water should always be available in more than one area in the house, especially if there are multiple cats in the family. You can also try moving the water from one location to another regularly as sometimes a new location stimulates pets to drink.
4. Canned foods are another great way to add water to your cat’s diet. If your cat has had urinary problems in the past, canned foods should be a major part of their diet. You can even add more water to your cat’s canned food to encourage increased water intake. Wellness offers numerous recipes (including grain-free varieties) in both canned and pouch options to allow for a wide variety of choices for those sometimes finicky felines.
5. Multiple clean fresh litter boxes should be placed in out of the way places, making it easy for your cat to relieve himself without interruption.
6. The most common reason for insufficient water consumption is feline stress. Usually physical stress is the culprit, although sickness and disease can surely slow or stop the intake of water and food. In North America, the average cat owner owns more than one cat. Any time you have more than one feline in a home, there will be competition for dominance. It doesn’t have to be physical aggression, although that can occur. Many times all it takes is a certain look or a particular posture and the more sensitive, least dominate pet may run and hide under the bed for the rest of the day. While avoiding the confrontation and hiding, the kitty is not eating or drinking. This can go on for hours and the longer the kitty goes without food or water, the more concentrated the urine becomes and the more likely there will be a urinary problem. Be mindful of this if you do have a multiple cat household and be sure to get your bashful cat to replenish with plenty of water and canned food under times of stress.