Friends and furiends, today I want to talk to you about a very important subject: water. It is second in importance to our survival only next to oxygen, yet many of us don’t drink much of it. We just don’t seem to have a strong drive to drink. Why is that, you wonder? It is because, in nature, we would get most of our water from our food. If we got our water from our food, we wouldn’t need to drink much water. Cats drinking water — it’s just not in our nature. Quite a conundrum, isn’t it?Cats drinking water -- it's just not in our nature! #hydration #water Click To Tweet
Cats and Water
I know there are some outdoor kitties who do hunt for their own food, but that is not the case for most pet cats and especially for those of us who are pampered, indoor kitties. I, for one, wouldn’t know what to do with a real, live mouse. I mean, I could hunt it and play with it, but eat it? I just don’t know.
Get cats to drink more water
So, how can you get more water in to us kitties? Here are a few ways mom has tried and one she hasn’t. We need a fountain!
- Put extra water in wet food. Some cats, including me, like it pretty soupy. Have you noticed your kitty licking off the gravy?
- If you must feed dry food, try adding water or broth to it.
- Make sure the water bowl is always clean and full of fresh, cool, filtered water.
- Keep multiple bowls around the house.
- Keep your water bowls away from the litter box.
- Put some ice cubes in the water.
- For an occasional treat, offer tuna juice or chicken broth. (Oh, boy, do we love that!)
- Try a fountain – some cats like running water and fountains stay cool and fresh.
So, what’s all the fuss about water anyway? Why do we need it? Our kitty bodies are about 80% water, even more than humans at 60-70%, so it is especially important for us to get enough water. We lose water when we potty and through our paws when we sweat. If we don’t replenish it, we can get dehydrated.
Mom explained all this to me and I still didn’t get why it was so important, so she told me this story.
Water: Vital to Cat Health
Many years ago, she had a male kitty named Chelsa. One day she came home from work and he didn’t come to greet her as usual. She found him under a chair and when she went to pick him up, he let out a blood-curdling scream. His abdomen was very distended and he was really angry. Mom right away took him to the emergency vet. He had a urinary obstruction and was in the hospital for several days. He was very lucky and fully recovered. In those days, mom didn’t know any better and fed a completely dry diet. The vet told her that was very likely the cause!!! Mom immediately switched to a combination wet and dry diet with a dry food low in ash.
Wow, who knew lack of adequate water could lead to serious health problems? And to complicate the issue even more, according to Jean Hofve, DVM, at Little Big Cat, not all water is the same. She says, “Municipal water generally contains chlorine by-products, fluoride, and harmful contaminants such as bacteria, arsenic, toxic pesticide residues, heavy metals, and even rocket fuel.” Using a filter, even a faucet-mounted one like we have, will remove many of these impurities, making the water safer for us.
So, kitties, drink your water — stay hydrated, stay healthy!
Bonus idea from Playful Kitty: Flavor your water with catnip. Click here for a recipe for catnip tea. It’s good for humans, too. Who knew?