Why is my cat drinking so much water? If your cat is drinking too much H2O, then he may just be trying to tell you something other than that he’s thirsty. Cats who drink too much can have serious medical issues that need attention right away. Though sometimes the reason why your cat is drinking too much is due to serious problems, sometimes it can just mean he is not getting enough water from his diet. Let’s see the reasons and causes below for why some cats seem to drink way too much (and no, not the fun kind of drinking either). 😉
Recently, we began to notice how much Yoda would drink and urinate through out the day. I was cleaning and refilling his water bowl more than three times a day, which all of a sudden clicked in my brain and I thought, “Oh no..” I called our local vet in Kathmandu immediately. He gave us a little trick to do at home to see if Yoda’s drinking was actually disproportionate.
Trick you can do to see if your cat is drinking way too much water
If you believe your cat is drinking too much water, here is a simple at home trick to see if it’s very serious or not. A normal-sized cat should drink, on average, 60 ml of water per day. Sometimes, depending on whether you give your cat dry or wet cat food, the amount of liquid water needed may change. The amount can also vary depending on how much your cat weighs, too. Yoda weighs somewhere between 3.5-4.5 kg (7.5 -10 pounds, roughly). Because we feed Yoda a dry-kibble diet which contains only 10% of water, he needs most of his water to come from, obviously..his water bowl. Upon our calculations taking everything into account, Yoda should be drinking ~ 200 ml of water per day which is about the size of one small cup of water. To monitor if Yoda was drinking more than this, we filled a cup of water and emptied it into a clean water bottle. We also emptied and cleaned his water bowl and then filled the bowl with the water in the bottle. Throughout the day we would fill his bowl as needed from the water bottle. For a complete 12 hours we topped up the bowl several times. However, at the end of the day, Yoda did not come close to finishing all of the water that remained in the water bottle. We called our vet back and told him the news. Turns out, Yoda just likes to pee a lot! 🙂 That’s our boy.
5 possible causes for increased water intake
Cat’s naturally should not drink that much water. But they can if there are some underlying problems causing them to have an unquenchable thirst.
Cat’s food diet
As aforementioned above, sometimes the cause for cats drinking too much water is due to their food diet. Most dry cat foods only have 7-10% of water moisture, whereas wet cat food can have around 70-80% of water moisture. As we mention in our homemade cat food post, dry food should not be a cat’s one and only food option as it lacks much of the essential vitamins and necessary qualities your cat needs to stay healthy. The lack of water moisture is one reason. If you feed your cat(s) dry food more than wet food, make sure they always have plenty of clean drinking water to ensure they are reaching their daily required amount of water intake.
Hyperthyroidism in cats
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a glandular disorder that usually affects the older generation of cats. Early warning symptoms include:
- An unquenchable thirst and large appetite
- Weight loss
- Excessive or increased urination, panting, shedding, and hyperactivity
These are a few symptoms of hyperthyroidism in cats. If your cat fits the description for more than 1 of these, then it’s best to be safe and schedule an examination right away at your local vet’s office. To diagnosis hyperthyroidism as definitive, your vet will most likely do a urinalysis and take a blood sample.
Just like humans, cats can also get diabetes known as feline diabetes or diabetes mellitus which results when the cat’s body cannot or does not produce insulin or does not properly use it. There are four main symptoms of feline diabetes you need to watch out for: wolf-like appetite, increased urination, water consomtion, and significant weight loss even though he may be eating more. Feline diabetes mainly occurs in older, obese male cats, but don’t think it cannot happen to your cat, so a trip to the vet is the best bet! For more great information regarding feline diabetes, we recommend this thorough article from Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Urinary Tract Disease
Feline (lower) urinary tract disease can signify painful, often bloody, frequent and abnormal urination. This can be brought on my several factors such as bladder stones, urinary tract blockage, among others. If you notice your cat is licking the genitals especially after urinating, blood in the urine, straining during urination, or frequent trips to the litter box with little to no result, then it is a very serious and painful condition that must be checked immediately by your vet. Do not wait! Your cat is in great pain. Read more about FLUTD in cats here.
Chronic Kidney Disease
This is a major life risk especially for older cats. Frequent urination, particularly outside the litter box, coupled with drinking a lot of water (to make up for the kidney’s failing to retain water), is two big symptoms for feline kidney disease. While these two symptoms are possible factors, there are many more symptoms before concluding that your cat may be experiencing kidney failure. It is best to read more about this deadly disease and consult with your veterinarian immediately.
Final thoughts: Why is my cat drinking so much water ?
Hopefully your cat does not show some of these more serious symptoms, but if so do not wait to determine what is going on. However, if your cat seems to be drinking lots of water, with no other serious symptoms, it could be simply due to your cat’s diet. To ensure your cat remains in good health here are some things to keep in mind:
- Frequently clean and scrub your cat’s water bowl (bacteria and “slime” can accumulate very often, it does not suffice to just “top up” the water bowl with clean water – empty it all out and give it a good scrub).
- Observe your cat’s water intake throughout the day. Changes in eating, drinking, and urinating behavior can signify more serious health issues as mentioned above.
- Always provide clean, fresh water. If you notice your cat is drinking from other sources (sink, shower, pond, etc.) then this may signal that your cat is not getting enough water (although not in all cases, some cats are just attracted to running tap water).
Thank you for reading and following Fluffy Kitty. Let’s work together and make sure our beloved feline friends are getting (more) than the required amount of basic needs every day. See you next time on FK! Let us know if you have any questions or comments below – though we are not trained veterinarians (yet) 😉 we would be more than happy to share our experiences as experienced cat crazy owners!