Is your kitty drinking enough? Here's how you can help her stay hydrated.

By Claudia Guthrie
July 06, 2021
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A typical 10-pound cat should drink between 7–9 ounces of water every day, but making sure your kitty is well-hydrated can be tricky. After all, it's not like they're monitoring their H2O intake with fancy, graduated measurement water bottles.

But there are a few easy ways you can encourage your cat to drink more water. Try these tricks at home, and talk to your veterinarian if your cat still shows signs of dehydration.

1. Give Her Options

Some cats might like lapping from a bowl, while others enjoy a rippling water fountain. Try a few different kinds of dispensers placed throughout your home and see what your kitty comes back to.

For extra finicky felines, put down bowls made from different materials. Some cats might determine glass bowls are just better than plastic.

2. Keep It Fresh and Clean

If a water glass has been sitting out for days, you're not going to want to drink it. Your cat is no different; she's probably turning her nose up at her water dish because it's grimy and stale.

Clean her bowl regularly—maybe even every day—and make sure she always has freshly poured water.

3. Try Different Types of Water

No, we're not talking about sparkling vs. still—but rather what's in the water.

Fluoride is added to our tap water to help prevent cavities and dental disease, but your feline friend might think it's yucky. Try giving her fluoride-free bottled water or using a water filter (filters won't remove fluoride, but might make your tap water taste better).

Experiment with different temperatures, too. Most cats prefer their drinking water at room temperature, but some might like their H2O nicely chilled.

4. Fill 'Er Up!

Don't stop at a half-full (or half-empty, if that's how you see it) bowl. Cats can like their water to reach right up to the brim for easy lapping. (Though, this might turn their drinking area into a splash zone, so keep a towel nearby.)

Always monitor how much your cat is drinking and talk to your veterinarian if you notice any major changes—this could be a warning sign for something more serious, including kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes.