Is Your Cat Dehydrated

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Cats are incredibly independent animals, as I’m sure you know. If they’re not feeling well, they can’t tell us about it, and even if they could, they’d probably keep it to themselves. So as cat parents, we need to observe our kitty’s behavior to keep them healthy and happy.

How much water they’re drinking is really important to watch out for. If your cat isn’t drinking enough water, they can become severely dehydrated, which can have serious health consequences. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the signs that indicate that your cat isn’t drinking enough water, and what you can do to help.

Reasons Cats Might Avoid Drinking Water

Unfortunately, a lot of cats don’t drink enough water. They can become dangerously dehydrated without their owners even noticing.

To ensure that your cat remains well-hydrated, it helps to know the reasons that they might avoid having a drink.

  • The first reason could be because they don’t like the taste of the water. Cats are very sensitive to changes in taste, especially when it comes to their drinking water. If you have recently changed your cat’s food or made other changes to the environment that could affect the taste of the water, this could be the reason your cat isn’t drinking enough.
  • If the water isn’t fresh, your kitty might take a sniff and decide to walk away. Would you like to drink a liquid that’s been sitting on the floor for the last few days?
  • Some cats may even avoid certain types of bowls if they don’t trust them, or if they aren’t big fans of metal or plastic surfaces. You can try supplying multiple water sources around your home and garden and observe which container or area they seem to prefer for having a drink.
  • Cats also tend to be more likely to drink from something that has been moving or agitating in some way rather than something that is still and stagnant. Your kitty might prefer motion-activated fountains or a running tap.
  • Another potential issue that can cause cats to avoid drinking is if there are any underlying health issues present such as dental problems or digestive disorders or if your cat is having difficulty swallowing due to age or illness. This should always be checked with a vet to see if any other signs develop along with lack of appetite for fluids.
  • Your cat might be suffering from whisker fatigue. Yes, it’s a real thing. The bowls you’re using for your cat may not be the most suitable; you may need a whisker-friendly cat bowl.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Drinking Enough Water

As a pet owner, it is important to pay close attention to your cat’s health and wellbeing. One key indicator of their health is the amount of water they are drinking – or not drinking. Unfortunately, cats often don’t drink as much water as they should and this can lead to serious consequences if left unaddressed.

Fortunately, there are several easy-to-spot signs that your cat isn’t drinking enough water.

  1. The first clue is lethargy or low energy levels. If your cat seems to lack their usual enthusiasm for playtime or just generally appears tired all the time, it could be because they are dehydrated.
  2. A decrease in appetite can also mean that your pet isn’t getting enough fluids.
  3. Another sign is a change in their regular consumption pattern of water; either drinking more than usual or less than usual could point towards dehydration.
  4. Dry and cracked noses are an indication that something might not be quite right with your feline friend’s hydration levels. Their noses are normally wet so you will notice any significant changes here easily.
  5. Decreased urine output is another sign that your cat isn’t consuming enough water. Monitor their urine output in the litter box. Low levels or no urine at all could point to dehydration and should be addressed immediately by a vet.
  6. Bad breath may also indicate dehydration.
  7. Weight loss due to lack of nutrients can be a symptom of dehydration.
  8. Increased panting or breathing heavily when at rest can also be caused by dehydration so make sure you keep an eye out for this too.
  9. A simple way to check for dehydration is by using the “skin turgor” or tenting test. Lightly pinch your cat’s skin between two fingers and release it; if the skin remains tented (raised) for more than a few seconds rather than springing back quickly into place then this can be an indication that your cat is dehydrated. (By the way, this test also works for humans.)

This video demonstrates how to check for dehydration:

What To Do If You Think Your Cat Is Dehydrated

The first step in treating dehydration is to encourage your kitty to drink more. You can do this by providing fresh, clean water at all times. Additionally, try adding wet food to their diet or offering them canned tuna or another type of wet food with additional liquid content.

If they are not interested in drinking from a bowl, try getting a pet fountain that adds some noise and movement which often entices cats to drink more.

If your cat still isn’t drinking enough water, contact your veterinarian for further advice about what you should do next. Your vet may suggest trying treats that contain high amounts of moisture such as freeze-dried meats or treats specifically made for cats with kidney problems.

In addition, there are specially formulated supplements available that contain electrolytes and other added nutrients which help with hydration and will aid in restoring lost fluids in your pet’s body quickly and safely.


If you think that your cat is dehydrated, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Dehydration can be a serious condition and can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated.

Monitor your cat’s behavior closely during this time. Look out for any signs of dehydration as listed above or any changes in their normal behavior.

If you think something might be wrong with your pet’s health, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian right away so they can provide further guidance on how best to treat the dehydration before it becomes a serious problem. Your observations will assist your veterinarian with a diagnosis.