How important is water in a cat's life
How important water is in a cat's life
Although most cats do not like bathing, water is extremely important in a cat's life. Therefore, every caregiver should learn how to effectively provide their cat with water each day. So that our cat, walking its own paths, does not avoid the waterholes prepared by us…
What is water for??
Every living organism, including cats, consists of ¾ of water. Both the daily activities that we see and those taking place inside our body cause its consumption. Therefore, the water needs to be replenished every day to ensure the proper functioning of our pet's body. Insufficient water intake can translate into dehydration which can lead to decreased immunity and increased susceptibility to disease in your cat. It is also associated with a greater concentration of urine in our cat's bladder, which translates into easier precipitation of crystals and an increased risk of lower urinary tract diseases (related or not with urolithiasis).
Why do cats drink too little?
There are many reasons why cats avoid drinking water. It is based on the desert origin of cats and the fact that the cat's ancestors took water mainly with food. As a result, cats feel less thirsty. Of course, how much a cat drinks depends also on individual issues: cat preferences and habits, incorrect water location, type of drinkers and their cleanliness. After all, we cannot expect the cat to drink water that its guardian did not give it…
First of all, the water must be fresh and the amount of it sufficient to cover the cat's needs. It is worth remembering when there is more than one pet in the house. They can often protect each other's access to the bowl and stain the water (with saliva or food scraps), which may make the cat less likely to drink e.g. from the dog bowl. So, despite the presence of a large water bowl, the cat will either walk around it in a wide arc or be unlikely to use it. On the other hand, popular small sets of cat bowls, whether made of metal or plastic, can be easily contaminated with food or bacteria living in the scratches of the bowl. Both some types of plastic and metals can change the smell of water and even its taste. For cats, we recommend glass or porcelain water bowls, possibly made of high-quality plastic, to avoid changes related to the smell of the water. In addition, the vessel should be wide enough, comfortable for the cat, and placed in a place where the cat feels safe.
Many observations indicate that cats prefer "live", ie non-standing water. For cats who prefer drinking water, it is worth buying a room fountain or leaving a dripping tap in a clean bowl in the sink (so that it does not drink water from the drain or dirty dishes). In general, however, cats should have more than one place to drink in the house. The best place is the bowl at our cat's favorite vantage point, e.g. on the windowsill or counter (not necessarily next to the food bowl). Each cat should have at least two different places to access water.
How much should the cat drink?
Even cats of a similar size may have different water requirements. This is due to many factors, not all of which we are able to clearly define. Absolute water requirements can be easily calculated from the cat's weight, as the average cat needs between 30-50 ml / kg body weight. This means that a cat of average size (weighing 4 kg) should drink about a glass of water a day. However, the cat also takes water with food, not only in the form of easily noticeable humidity, but also formed in the body as a result of changes in nutrients. It is worth knowing that eating foods containing protein and moderate carbohydrate levels results in the production of additional amounts of water in the body through biochemical processes. Diets rich in fat, in turn, reduce the formation of the so-called. metabolic water (Kurosad et al. 2013). As you can see, a cat's water requirement is a bit more complex than just how much "water was poured into the bowl".
According to the Veterinary Nutrition Handbook, it's easiest to calculate the amount of water your cat needs to consume by multiplying the number of grams of the recommended dry food x 2.5. Since most cats should consume about 70 g of dry food per day (half a cup), this translates to drinking about 180 ml (a glass) of water per day. If the cat is fed wet food at the same time, one can take into account the fact that ¾ of its composition contains water, which reduces the cat's need to drink water in direct proportion to the increase in wet food consumption. On average, one cat sachet contains 60-80 ml (depending on its size). Even if we feed only with only wet foods (daily an average of 1 sachet per 1 kg of cat's body weight), we should provide our cat with fresh water in a bowl. A cat eating wet food or domestic food will probably drink much less, but it must have a source of fresh water available and replaced daily.
How to make a cat drink more?
Many people use various tricks to encourage their cat to drink water. They also believe that it will be just as good to give the cat the broth as well as the milk to drink in return. The latter strategies are definitely not recommended, as they create abnormal habits in the cat, and at the same time increase the risk of diseases of the excretory system due to the lack of balance of minerals. Like all pups, most cats lose the ability to digest milk properly and it easily ferments in their intestines. If you want to feed your cat dairy products, you should do it regularly in small amounts to maintain the adult body's ability to tolerate it. Giving a cat milk is like a snack for people, it's a symbolic treat. Therefore, you should not give your cat more than 1-2 large spoons of dairy products (including milk) per day. When adding anything to cat water, we must bear in mind the increased risk of spoilage and the need to provide an alternative clean water source.
To begin with, carefully check the size of your cat's water and food bowls, and whether they actually get as much during the day as they should. Most cats drink properly when they have a chance: constant access to clean, fresh water in clean dishes located in safe places. In the interest of your cat's health, watch your cat drink and make changes to suit its needs.
Key water drinking considerations:
- Water bowl selection
- Choosing a place for a bowl of water
- The freshness of the water
- Movement of the water
- Controlling the amount of dry food
- Including the amount of wet food