Q: My Siamese cat is almost two years old. She eats about 1 1/2 cans of food twice a day. But while I always put water out for her, she rarely touches it. My veterinarian says she is fine, but I worry that’s she’s not getting enough liquids, Am I worrying needlessly or do you think she might have a problem? Thank you.
A: In general, cats do not require as much water as dogs because of their physiology and their sedentary nature. In fact, the average cat needs only about 7 oz. of water per day. Since most canned pet foods are approximately 75% water, she is actually getting most of her water requirement from the three cans you are feeding her daily, which is why you rarely see her drink.
Believe it or not, the opposite scenario (a pet drinking more water than usual) can be more concerning, as this can be a sign of diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid problem, or many other metabolic problems.
As long as she is acting normally otherwise, I agree with your veterinarian’s assessment. Of course, if any other abnormal symptoms develop, you should schedule an office visit with your veterinarian.
Finally, there are certain medical conditions in cats that do improve with increased water intake (such as urinary stones, kidney disease, and inflammation or infection in the bladder), and in these cats a pet water fountain can be helpful to encourage drinking. These circulating water fountains are available in most pet stores. Good luck!