Water is the stuff of life and a small deficit can affect your cat’s heath increasing his/her risk of kidney disease and lower urinary tract problems. We all know we can lead our cat to water but how do we get our feline friends to drink it? Well did you know how you present and serve the water can have a big influence on whether your cat actually drinks it! Here are 8 EASY steps you can take to make sure your cat is getting enough water in his/her diet.
1. CHANGE WATER DAILY
Your cat’s water should be changed on a daily basis, as cats are very taste sensitive and water that stands too long it will taste stale. Besides becoming stale, older water will have food and dirt particles accumulate which can also affect the taste and allow for the bacteria to build up. Bacteria from both food, saliva and your cat’s paw, if your cat dips his paw in the water, can accumulate in the water and also cause it to go off.
2. Did You Wash That Bowl
Don’t just refill the water each day without washing the bowl itself. Over time a red algae will form on the surface of the bowl which is 1. not healthy for the cat and 2. changes the taste of the water. As well hair, dirt, saliva and food can stick to the sides of the bowl which will also affect the water quality. I make sure to wipe my cat’s water bowl every day and also regularly wash the bowl. But make sure to thoroughly rinse all traces of soap from the bowl before refilling as traces of dish soap can irritate the cat’s mouth and will give the water an unpleasant taste.
3. That Cat Bowl Works With My Home Decor
The bowl you’ve chosen may actually be working against you and may not be cat friendly. Those long whiskers on each side of her muzzle are very sensitive and shouldn’t to have to be squished into a water bowl. If your cat tends to dunk her paw in the water and then lick it, the reason may be that she doesn’t want to have squished whiskers. Bowls that are shallow and wide tend to make our feline companions happier. As well, divided bowls, with food in one half and water in the second, may seem brilliant to our human brains but may not actually be feline friendly. Remember cats have an amazing sense of smell and prefer not to drink water water where there is the scent of food. Try changing your bowls – stainless steel, ceramic or glass and see what is your cat’s preference.
Cats like to have options! At Fraser Valley Animal Hospital our clinic cats have several water bowls around the veterinary clinic to make it very convenient for the cats.
5. Water Level
Cats are creatures of comfort and consistency. Stay consistent with their routine and with maintaining the water level in their bowls. Don’t let it go down to the last few drops one day, fill it to the brim the next, and then only mid-way the following day. Stay consistent. Some cats begin paw dipping because they aren’t sure where the top of the water is on any given day.
6. Add Canned Diet
Canned food simply has more moisture. You can even add more water to the canned diet to further increase your cat’s water consumption.
7. Water Treats
Try adding an ice cube to your cat’s water bowl as your cat may prefer the cooler water temperature, especially on hot summer days. Or why not try a little flavored water? Add some left over tuna juice the water bowl. Just make sure not to leave that bowl sitting around too long and make sure to thoroughly wash the bowl.
8. Make it Fun
If your cat likes to drink from the faucet or play with the water in his bowl, consider getting a pet water fountain. It’s a great way to encourage your cat to drink more water, it creates some extra playtime.