Most cat owners know that their feline friends can be very particular about water. Although your cat might steer well clear of the swimming pool and get into a clawing frenzy if you try to wash her, she will happily play with water flowing from a tap or dip her paws into your bath
Cats have a unique relationship with water, and to ensure your feline gets enough to drink during the hot summer months, it is useful to know why.
Cats prefer running water.
The reason why your kitty will leave her water bowl untouched but will lap at water flowing from a tap or fountain can be attributed to her wild DNA. In an interview with VetStreet, renowned veterinarian Dr. Deb Greco explains that cats might instinctively know to be wary of still water, knowing that stagnant water may contain bacteria and other harmful contaminants.
Further to this, your cat may feel vulnerable drinking from a still water source if their back isn’t against a wall or closed area. After all, how can they protect themselves from danger if they can’t see it?
There are two more potential reasons why your cat prefers running water – temperature and oxygenation. Cats are very sensitive to taste and running water simply tastes better.
Cats don’t like to eat where they drink.
Our furry felines get even more intelligent and instinctual (and fussy!) when it comes to this. In the wild, cats would keep their food away from their water sources. Keeping their food close to their water runs the risk of food falling in and contaminating the water with harmful bacteria.
How to ensure your cat gets enough to drink.
Because most of their ancestors lived in the desert, cats have a very low thirst drive. This, coupled with their naturally concentrated urine, means that they are at risk of developing urinary tract infections. Make sure your cat gets enough water to prevent UTIs and dehydration:
- Feed your cat canned food. In the wild, felines eat animals that have a high percentage of water in their bodies. Most canned foods contain about 75% water as opposed to dry foods that only contain about 10% water. By feeding your cat canned food as often as possible, you are helping her get enough hydration.
- Use a shallow, wide, glass water bowl. Cats’ whiskers are incredibly sensitive to help them feel whether they can fit through small spaces. If their water bowl is too narrow, it will irritate their whiskers and make them more hesitant to drink.
- Place water bowls throughout your home. Accessibility will encourage your cat to drink more water. Try putting their water bowls in out-of-the-way places so that they feel safer when drinking.
- Keep the water levels consistent. Cats like routine and will prefer to know what to expect of their water levels. If the bowl is too full, your cat may start pawing at it to determine the water level.
A hydrated kitty is a happy kitty. Make sure your cat gets enough to drink and in the event of UTIs or other ailments, ensure she has health insurance. Get in touch with Oneplan Pet today.