When it comes to staying hydrated, you’ll never see your cat chug down as much water as a dog. What if your cat isn’t drinking at all, though? Why is your cat not drinking water?
Cats may abandon their water bowl if their water or bowl isn’t clean. They may also abandon their water bowl if it’s in the wrong place.
If moving the bowl and keeping the water fresh didn’t work, there may be an underlying health problem. Read on to learn more.
5 Reasons Your Cat Isn’t Drinking Water
Here are all the reasons your cat isn’t drinking enough water:
1. Your Cat Is Already Hydrated
If you’re used to feeding your cat wet food, then you should know that your cat is getting some of her daily water intake from her food.
So, as long as your cat seems happy and healthy, you shouldn’t worry about her minimal visits to their water bowl.
2. The Water Bowl Isn’t Clean
Cats are known for their cleanliness. If something isn’t clean or smells funny, they won’t go near it. That includes their water bowl.
If their water bowl has food bits, dust, bacteria, or even their own fur, they won’t drink from that bowl. That’s why it’s important to wash your cat’s water bowl and fill it with fresh, clean water at least once a day.
If your cat takes a sip after a fragrant meal, such as tuna or any other fish, it’s best to dump that water when they’re done and add fresh water to their bowl. Otherwise, their water will smell all fishy and your cat won’t go near it.
3. The Bowl’s Place Isn’t Working for Your Cat
Try not to change the place where your cat is used to finding the water bowl. Cats aren’t fans of change, and some of them won’t go to their bowl unless you put it back in its place.
Additionally, keep your cat’s bowl away from places that may trigger their anxiety. That includes anywhere next to a noisy washing machine, places with high foot traffic like the living room, or near another alpha animal at your house.
Leave your cat’s water bowl in a quiet, safe place, and most importantly, a place that the cat’s used to.
4. Your Cat Has a Dental Problem
Another reason your cat isn’t drinking water could be that her teeth hurt. Tooth or gum pain will make drinking very uncomfortable for your cat.
Other symptoms of dental pain are having a low appetite, pawing at their mouth or face, facial swelling, drooling, or dropping their food while eating.
If any of these sound familiar, refer to your local vet for help.
5. Your Cat Has an Underlying Health Condition
If everything seems fine, yet your cat still won’t drink water, then your cat might be sick.
Cats tend to reduce their water intake—or not drink at all—when there’s something wrong with their stomach.
So if their water bowl is clean and in its right spot, and if there’s nothing wrong with their teeth, contact your vet right away and book an appointment to check on your cat.
Is Your Cat Dehydrated?
If you’re not sure whether your cat is well-hydrated or not, there are a few signs to look out for:
#1. Skin Tenting
The first thing to do to check your cat for dehydration is gently pinch the skin that’s between the shoulder blades. You could also try with the top of your cat’s head.
If your cat’s hydrated enough, it should snap back to normal within a second. If the skin stays tented for any longer, then your cat is dehydrated.
#2. Dry Gums
Healthy cat gums should always be moist and pink.
Try gently pressing on their gums and then remove your finger. If it takes longer than 2 seconds for their gum to turn from white to pink, then your cat needs hydration.
Other signs to look out for are cherry-red gums and sticky gums. Both of these signs also mean that your cat is dehydrated.
#3. Sunken Eyes
In cases of moderate to severe dehydration, your cat’s eyes may appear dull, sunken, and lacking focus. If any of these apply to your cat’s eyes, rush to the vet.
If your cat’s having a hard time passing stool with nothing coming out, or even just a few little hard stool balls, then your cat’s constipated.
Dehydration is one of the main causes that your cat can’t defecate properly.
Although cats don’t drink much water, keeping them well-hydrated is crucial for their well-being. Always make sure that they have easy access to fresh water, and keep an eye out for their drinking routine.
If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, book an appointment with your local vet to check on your cat. The sooner you figure out what’s wrong, the better.