Fraser Valley Animal Hospital

2633 Ware Street
Abbotsford, BC V2S 3E2


Dehydration in Cats is a Serious Medical Issue

Water is one of six essential nutrients your cat needs to thrive, though it may arguably be the most important nutrient on the list. That’s because water makes up roughly 80% of your cat’s body. Even a small deficit in the amount of water your cat consumes can make a big difference in your cat’s health.

Ways to Encourage Your Cat to Drink Water

  1. Provide fresh water every day. Cats seem to be very aware of temperature and taste of water.
  2. Make sure the water bowl is filled up to the brim at all times. Cats have very sensitive whiskers and do not like putting their face into a bowl.
  3. Some cats do not like the taste of tap water. You might wish to:
  • Refrigerate the tap water to improve the taste
  • Try Brita water
  • Try distilled water
  • Try bottled water
  • Try a few types and see what your cat prefers
  1. Some cats will drink more water if a drop or two of tuna juice (tuna in water or clam juice) is provided. If you try this, always make sure a separate bowl of fresh water is available.
  2. Some cats enjoy ice cubes made from flavored broth (tuna or salmon juice mixed with water and frozen)
  3. Hydration packs made by Purina and Grey Wolf help aid in the absorption of water at a cellular level and helps cats get the hydration they need. 
  4. If your cat prefers to drink from a tap, make sure it can always get to the tap (don’t lock it out of the bathroom if that is where it likes to drink). If your schedule permits, turn the tap on for the cat as often as possible throughout the day. Water Fountains can be purchased for cats that like fresh moving water.
  5. Keep the food and water bowls away from the litter box area.
  6. Keep the water bowl clean (cats have a keen sense of smell and are easily turned off by odors on the edge of the bowl). Stainless steel or ceramic dishes are easier to keep clean and odor clean versus plastic dishes. The water dish should be washed every other day if possible.
  7. Some cats seem to prefer a clear glass shallow bowl from which to drink (experiment with different water bowls).
  8. Canned food is an excellent way to encourage water consumption, because it is high in water content and most cats love the taste. It can always be warmed up in the microwave to enhance it’s smell for the fussy cat. Try to feed at least some canned food two to three times a day. You can always add water to the canned food (do it slowly).

 Contact us if you are concerned and are in need additonal support.