Why Is My Cat Drinking So Much Water?
You'll want to keep an eye on your cat's water intake.
If you notice your cat drinking a lot of water recently, you may be wondering why. And while your cat helping himself to the glass of water you leave on your nightstand can be annoying and cute, it’s actually potentially a sign of a health problem.
The amount of water your cat should drink actually depends on how much he weighs (experts recommend 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight). Whether from a fancy cat water fountain, a simple bowl full of water or only from the faucet, it’s definitely worth it to keep an eye on how much water your cat consumes throughout the day.
We spoke with Dr. Claudine Sievert, a registered veterinarian and consultant for Stayyy, and Dr. Megan Conrad, a registered veterinarian with Hello Ralphie, to learn more about why your cat drinks a lot of water and if there should be a cause for concern.
Reasons for your cat drinking a lot of water
First, consider what you’re feeding your cat. The amount of water a cat drinks typically depends on his diet.
“Cats fed a wet food diet will drink less water than those eating dry food, as wet food is made up of almost 80 percent water,” Dr. Sievert told The Dodo.
Another plausible explanation is the weather. “Your cat may drink more water if it's hot outside,” she added. “When a cat drinks a lot of water, his body temperature regulates and he is able to cool off.”
Stress or anxiety may also be contributing factors. Drinking water can actually feel comforting to your cat, which can eventually manifest into a habit he's doing out of emotional reassurance rather than physical need.
Have you moved recently or rearranged your furniture? Is there a new baby in the house? There are many life events that can stress out a cat. “If you think stress is the issue, monitor your cat's other habits to see if they may be different,” Dr. Conrad told The Dodo.
Essentially, if you see that your cat has started drinking more than normal (and usually also urinating more than normal), Dr. Conrad suggested contacting your veterinarian. If your cat’s drinking a lot of water, it could be a sign of a significant health issue that needs addressing.
“Causes of excessive drinking can be a sign of something more serious, including diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease or a uterine infection,” Dr. Conrad said. “Diagnostics can get to the cause so your cat can receive the correct treatment.”
Can cats ever drink too much water?
Yes, according to Dr. Sievert, and if so, it’s something you’ll need to watch carefully.
“Drinking too much water is usually a sign of something wrong,” Dr. Sievert said. “If you notice that your cat is thirstier than usual and is frequently urinating, it can signify a bladder infection or other possible problems.”
Dr. Conrad agreed, saying, “Speak to a vet if you have any concerns about the amount your kitty drinks, whether you think it's too little or too much.”
You can never be too cautious when it comes to being a pet parent! As mentioned, if you notice that your cat’s drinking a lot of water (more so than he typically would), and also urinating more frequently, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian.