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Water and Your Cat

Written by Emily Burt, Nursing Team.

The not-so-distant wild ancestors of our pet cats expected to get most, if not all, of their moisture from their prey. Because of that, cats do not have a high thirst drive. Feeding a diet high in moisture (canned foods) helps stave off long-term, low-level dehydration, whose symptoms often go largely unnoticed. Over time, this lack of hydration can contribute to serious health conditions including urinary issues, kidney problems, bladder stones, and many others.

You may have a kitty who leaps into the shower as soon as you're done to lap up the drops of water, or who insists you give her a drink each time you use the faucet. This behaviour may seem odd, but there are a number of possible explanations. In the wild, running water is generally recognized to be healthier and fresher than stagnant pools. Running water is also easier to see than a still pool (or dish) of water. The motion helps prevent your kitty from acidentally getting her face all wet if she underestimates the depth of the bowl. Some cats prefer the relative coolness of the fresh water to the room temperature water in a bowl. Also it's possible that your kitty simply doesn't like the shape or depth of her bowl and finds that her sensitive whiskers stay dry and untouched when she drinks the running water.

Whatever the reason, having access to fresh, preferably circulating (as in a fountain), water is one simple way to increase your cats' health and happiness!

Published on October 27, 2010.

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