Four easy trainer-approved tips to help keep your cat hydrated this summer

Cat drinking water out of faucet in kitchen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have a much-loved moggy as part of your family, then you don't need us to tell you how challenging it can sometimes be to keep them hydrated. Unlike dogs, who tend to drink frequently and in large amounts, cats are often very specific about when, where, and how much water they'll consume. 

Because of this, dehydration in cats is something you'll want to be aware of — particularly in the summer when a lack of fluid can lead to heat exhaustion. (You can check out our guide to how to cool down a cat in hot weather for some great cat cooling tips to see you through the warmer months)

Getting enough water is important for all cats, but especially those who are older, those who have kidney or urinary tract issues, and any cat struggling with stress. 

Thankfully, registered vet technician and certified cat behavior consultant, Tabitha Kucera, has come to the rescue with a helpful Instagram post where she shares four things you can do to encourage your cat to drink more water. Let's take a look...

1. Provide multiple and various resources: "Provide numerous water bowls," says Kucera. "Minimum one bowl on every floor. The more animals you have, the more bowls you need." Kucera also recommends you give your kitty a choice of several different kinds of bowls to begin with so that you can figure out which style best suits their drinking preferences.

2. Location, location, location: "Place water in quiet areas," advises Kucera. "Avoid water bowls near to the food bowl or litter tray — cats prefer not to drink near their feeding or toileting stations. When placing resources, remember, cats are both prey and predator animals and due to this, they are always on the lookout for predators that may attack them." 

Kucera says that a water bowl placed up against a wall where a cat would have to turn their back to the room can leave them feeling very vulnerable, so that's worth bearing in mind when you're considering where to set up your cat's water bowl. 

3. Add water to your cat's current diet: "Ideally, add water to wet cat food," Kucera says. "If your cat will only eat dry cat food, then you can still try adding water to their food as some cats will eat it. With dry foods, add the water and leave for a short period to allow the dry food to expand before offering to your cat."

According to Kucera, whether it's wet or dry food, it's always best to start by adding a small quantity of water (such as one teaspoon) and gradually increasing this over a period of several days to give your kitty time to adjust. 

4. Offer other water supplies: "Consider running water sources as some cats like to drink from moving water," Kucera explains. The best pet water fountains are ideal for this, but you can also encourage your cat with a dripping tap, or a shower tray or bath with a small amount of water in it. 

Remember, whether your feline friend is struggling to drink enough water or you have a cat not eating, we recommend you speak with your vet sooner rather than later if you have any concerns about your cat's health and wellbeing. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.