Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Took a few days off of posting, but I’m back and ready to write daily again! Today I want to cover the important topic of how “long cats can survive with no water?”.
Now, you may ask yourself this question in a number of situations. If your cat is having episodes of throw up or diarrhea they will become dehydrated really quickly and you will need to make sure they have fluids to survive. We’ve already covered how long cats can survive with no food and we’ve already learned that cats can live longer without food rather than water. So, why is water so important and how long does my cat have before I need to get very worried?
A healthy cat can live between 2 to 4 days when they have not had any water, while a sick cat can survive between 12-48 hours.
How much of my cat’s body is water?
About 75% of your cat’s body is made of water.
What does water do for our cats?
- The obvious first thing water does for our cats is keep them hydrated. Since cats are fairly “regular” creatures they urinate quite a bit and it is important to keep them hydrated to make sure both their pH in their urine is kept checked and their fluids are replenished.
- Water keeps the brain healthy and active (its primary component is water.)
- Keeps cells working.
- Make sure the organs are healthy and able to do their work. Without water, your cat’s body will start shutting down and your cat will not be able to keep themselves stable.
- Helps aid with removing toxins in your cat’s body.
- Helps improve their metabolism.
- Helps improve digestion process and helps them poop & pee easier.
- Helps the process of blood circulation.
But cats are originally desert animals, how do they get enough water?
Yes, this is true, but wild cats get a lot of their water from their food. A good way to help your cat get more water is switching to an all wet diet (Some of our recommendations include Natural Balance Liver & Chicken, Natural Balance Indoor Formula, Nature’s Variety/Instinct, CARU’s Chicken & Crab Stew, or CARU’s Turkey Stew and you’re going to want to avoid lower quality foods because their sodium/other filler products are too high and can actually counter-balance the benefits of wet food. If your kitty allows you, add some extra water into their food to make sure they’re getting the amount of water they need. Your vet can tell you how much water your cat needs a day and you can make sure they get all of it without having to drink extra (which they may actually prefer if your cat isn’t a big drinker.)
Cats need to drink more as they get older!
Since cats are very susceptible to kidney failure, they are going to need to drink more to make sure their kidneys are hydrated enough. This is also true of cats with diabetes and other health issues.
What are some other ways to make sure my cat gets enough water?
- Not the most fun, but you can syringe feed your cat water.
- We do this when Beau absolutely needs it. (ie. during his recovery after his PU Surgery)
- We’ve also done this when Beau refuses to eat because he’s feeling unsettled to make sure he at least has enough fluids in him.
- Get a water fountain
- If cats hear water or see flowing water they are more likely to drink. I can personally testify that Kalista, Beau and Walker all started drinking more as soon as I put out a fountain. Sometimes they’ll be coming to bed and turn around to drink since our fountain is near the bed. Once they’re all done they hop up for cuddles!
- Cats can avoid stagnant water because they feel like it is polluted or may have rot/waste. Flowing water makes them feel like it is fresh since it’s constantly pushing germs downstream.
- Make sure you’ve properly placed your water bowls.
- You’d be surprised how many cats aren’t drinking because where the water is placed isn’t ideal. Put multiple water dishes in your home and make sure they are away from food or water. Some cats won’t want to drink water because it’s too close to their food and they instinctually understand that normally where there is food, there is rot which seeps into the water and makes it bad to drink. Hallways, bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens are ideal places for water bowls. Anywhere that’s near you, especially because your kitty will most likely follow you around the house and will notice the water bowls on their way!
Take out dry from their diet completely or mix water into it
- Kibble is a double-edged sword. It’s convenient and cheap, but it also dries out your little one and isn’t the healthiest for your cat because of the high starch (which dries up and helps absorb the water your cat gets.) Kibble is designed to expand in your little one’s stomach to make sure they feel full and it also changes the pH in your cat’s stomach causing them to be more susceptible to Urinary Tract Infections. You can moisten the dry food, tricking your little one into drinking to help avoid this problem or you can sprinkle a few pieces of kibble so they drink more water (we did this for a while with Beau, and while it was effective it didn’t work as well as wet food.)
- See if your cat likes drinking from the tap
- Tying into your cat drinking from water fountains, your cat may also be interested in drinking from the tap. It’s actually a fairly common preference. Leave your tap on slow while your cat is near and see if they drink! If so, make sure to turn on the tap a few times a day to see if your kitty will drink. It doesn’t matter as much how often your cat drinks, rather than how much. Your cat may only want to drink once a day if they drink lots and lots. (So you may not be standing at that tap too often.)
- Get cat safe liquids
- One of my absolute favourite products is Fruitables Beef Broth Bowl Pet Safe Natural Food Topper. It’s a broth that doesn’t have any salt in it and all of my cats have LOVED it! You can also substitute some cat safe milk such as WHISKAS CATMILK PLUS Drink for Cats and Kittens, Cat Sip Real Milk Treat for Cats and Kittens, KMR – Kitten Milk Replacer, PetLac Milk Powder for Kittens, and PetAg Catsure Powder.
- Try giving them ice!
- Sometimes cats prefer ice cubes. It’s odd, but Walker actually loves it. It’s especially helpful on very hot days, but you can continue to give them ice cubes during the winter.