July 14, 2022 3 min read

Cats are notoriously picky about drinking water. From how it smells, to where it’s at, to what it’s in, there could be several factors as to why your cat might not drink their water. Identifying why your cat isn’t drinking their water can help you figure out what action to take next!

Reasons Why Your Cat Might Not Drink Their Water

1. Location

In some cases, the biggest reason your cat isn’t drinking its’ water in the first place is because of where it’s located. If their water is located next to their food, the smell of their food so close may make them uninterested. In addition, your cat may be more likely to drop pieces of their food into their water, making it even less appealing to drink.

2. Age and medical issues

As cats get older, much like people, their preferences and health changes. Your cat may not like drinking from their water bowl due to new changes in their environment as they age or because of more serious health issues, such as dental infections.

3. Type of dish

In the wild, many cats will often avoid stagnant or still-standing water. This is because water that doesn’t move is more likely to grow bacteria. You may find your cat preferring to drink from the faucet instead of from a bowl or a certain type of bowl.

How To Get Your Cat To Drink More Water

1. Relocate

If your cat doesn’t seem interested in drinking their water, place it in a different spot – especially if it’s currently near their food bowl or litter box. Having multiple water sources can also be beneficial if your house is a multi-cat household as it will make them feel less stressed about resource availability.

2. Introduce more wet food or watered-down dry food

For especially picky cats, introducing a more wet food-based diet or even adding some water to their dry food can help them stay hydrated. You may notice your cat drinking even less, but that just means their receiving enough water from their food that they do not need to compensate by drinking more from a bowl.

3. Feed small meals frequently

Eating helps to encourage drinking, so feeding often can help to get your cat to drink more.

4. Change water daily

Cats are picky about their water for a reason, mainly because they can taste water more so than even we can. Giving your cat fresh water at least once a day will help ensure they drink water consistently.

5. Pet fountains

Have you ever found your cat jumping up to drink the water from your sink or bathtub? Like we mentioned before, cats prefer running water to stagnant water. While many of us don’t want to have the faucet always running, a pet fountain could be a great compromise to help your cat drink more while saving your water bill.

6. Flavored water

While it may not be for every cat, some cats prefer added flavors to their water. Use a small amount of cat-safe chicken broth or other flavors to make their water extra enticing. Just remember to change out flavored water each day!

7. Fill bowls up completely

Cats use their whiskers to gather information about the world around them, making them extra sensitive. When filling their water bowl, make sure to fill it up completely so their whiskers aren’t pushed up against the sides.

Dehydration in cats is a serious issue and may go unnoticed. If you notice sudden changes in your cat’s drinking habits, contact your vet to bring them in for an exam.

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