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Does your cat have a drinking problem?

Hi, it's KJ, your Kitty Correspondent with a question inspired once again by our chats about cats in KJ's Cat Club:

Does my cat have a drinking problem?

Now, I'm not talking about dipping her whiskers in the wine too much. I'm talking about one of the most vital necessities to your cat's health: Water intake.

Heidi wrote:

Dear KJ,

Do you know if it is true that one should feed a cat canned food along with dry kíbble? I read that if you don't do both that they will be dehydrated, because they are carnivores who, in the wild, get their majority of their water intake from raw meat.

There are a TON of opinions and recommendations when it comes to what to feed your cats. Make your decisions based on conversations with your vet and your own truths when it comes to health. Personally, we lean very heavy on the wet food side in our House of Cats.

What Heidi asked is based in the truth of our cats' DNA. In the wild they ARE getting hydrated from their food like mice and other rodents. Heading to a drinking bowl has never been instinctual for them. Wet food is 70-80% water. Dry food is 6-10% water. The math says more wet food equals more hydration.

And of course we offer them plenty of drinking options in between (still water, no wine). And lucky you, we've tested A LOT of drinking fountains. All cats are going to be different but this is the one that has been a consistent winner in our house:

As humans, we enjoy watching our cats share a drink after a long day as this particular fountain from Cat Mate has different levels so multiple cats can enjoy at the same time.

Keeping your cat hydrated provides A LOT of health benefits. According to, a dehydrated cat is more at risk of the following:

  • Diarrhea

  • Diabetes

  • Heat stroke

  • Kidney disease

  • Hyperthyroidism

And because it IS in their DNA to HIDE pain, you may have no idea that your cat is experiencing symptoms. (This is yet another reason why I laugh when people say having a cat is easier than having a dog!)

Don't freak out and start stalking your cat to see how much he's drinking. Consider adding a good wet food to his diet. Talk to your vet about how many calories your cat should have every day so you know the amount of wet food to feed. And continue to offer various options for your cat to have a drink at his leisure.

Cheers to your cat's good health! We can all drink to that!

KJ can be seen sharing positive stories about cats regularly on Pet Pals TV! She has spent her entire life "raising cats" from her beginnings on a farm to over 10 years working in a cat clinic. She now works to improve feline lives by supporting shelters, rescues and providing guidance to cat lovers experiencing behavior issues or in need of help speaking their cat's language. Want to make the story of your cat a positive one? Contact KJ here for a Kitty Konsultation OR join KJ's Cat Club for helpful information and CATastic community of cat lovers supporting each other in "raising cats."


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