If you notice your cat drinking water from the bathroom sink or out of the toilet, don’t get angry with her. She simply is showing you how much she enjoys fresh, cool water. Perhaps you are the naughty one, not providing enough fresh water for her on a daily basis. Your cat’s nutrition and cat water availability have a key role in her overall health.
You want to be sure your cat’s nutritional requirements are met and cat water is often left out of this equation. You check the cat food labels, making sure meat protein is the first thing on the list – not all corn or soy meal. But are you as concerned with how much water your cat drinks each day?
To be sure, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and taurine are vital to your cat’s health, but don’t be satisfied that you’ve provided her a sound nutritional framework with just cat food. The one ingredient that doesn’t have to be listed in the ingredients label is the most important one of all. Water.
Think about it. You can live for years with insufficient calcium in your diet before showing any clinical signs of calcium deficiency. Try going without water for a few days and you are in big trouble.
Your Cat’s Health and Cat Water Intake
Your cat’s body can’t process all those vitamins and amino acids just by swallowing a cup of cat chow. Water acts as a solvent and help dissolve these chemicals in order for your cat to benefit. Nutrients can’t be digested and brought into the cells…waste can’t get transported out of the body…your cat’s temperature can’t be controlled because the heat his body generates isn’t dissipated…his organs start to fail.
When your cat doesn’t drink enough water his body attempts to conserve what fluids it has in it already. He doesn’t urinate or eliminate stool. His body is dying while trying to conserve his water resources.
Feline urinary tract problems, cat bladder stones and kidney problems are often linked to poor water intake. So nutrition and cat water are very much linked together.
How Much Water?
Your domestic cat’s ancestry goes way back and originates in the wild African desert. The wild cat’s body adapted to the dry, arid climate. That doesn’t mean your cat needs less water than a dog. Your cat’s water requirements depend on factors like: activity level, age, environmental conditions and air temperature.
The rule of thumb is to estimate one milliliter of water for every food calorie consumed. For an adult cat, this means about 250 – 350 ml each day or 9 – 12 fluid ounces.
Depending on your cats diet, he may get a portion of this daily requirement from canned cat food. Canned cat food typically contains 78% water. A 6 ounce can of cat food might provide 130 ml of water. So if you cat eats canned cat food, he requires less supplemental water. However, dry food contains much less water so your cat’s water intake should be more.