What Do Cats Drink - Water or Milk? | Cat Care Articles

Plants toxic to cats
Plants toxic to cats - A - Z guide to toxic plants

cat vaccinations
Vaccinating your cat - Everything you need to know about cat vaccinations.

Hyperthyroidism in cats
Hyperthyroidism - Caused by a benign tumour of the thyroid gland which produces excess amounts of hormones which increase metabolism.

Cat fleas
Cat fleas - Everything you need to know about cat fleas and how to get rid of them.

 

 

Cat World > Cat Care > More ... > What Do Cats Drink - Water or Milk?

What Do Cats Drink - Water or Milk?

what do cats drink?

  • Cats who have weaned should drink clean, fresh water.
  • Young kittens need milk, either from their mother or if orphaned/rejected, a milk supplement (if a foster mother can't be found).

Water makes up 70% of your cat's body (just like humans), and is vital for survival. Without water, a cat will quickly dehydrate and die. It is essential for proper kidney function and a healthy urinary tract. Cats from 6-8 weeks of age can drink water although many kittens are still nursing from their mother at this stage, but some young kittens have a drink of water too. It should be clean, fresh and changed daily.

Encouraging your cat to drink water:

Cats in the wild receive most of their water intake via their food (a wild rodent or bird). Many people today are feeding their cats dry food, which is easy and convenient. However it only contains 10% water. Therefore cats need to make up this shortfall by drinking more water.

On hot days, I will sometimes put a couple of ice cubes into the water bowl to cool it down further. Or you can rinse out a balloon, half fill it with water and tie a knot in the top. Freeze overnight and then place in a baking tray for your cat to enjoy during the day. Don't forget, if your cat has access to an outdoor cat enclosure, it is a good idea to provide a second water bowl out there for him to take a drink when he is playing, exploring etc. If you have multiple cats, it is a good idea to have several water dishes.

A sturdy, pottery water dish is the best type of bowl for cats as it is difficult to knock over. These type of dishes keep the water cooler for longer, which is important in the warmer months. The water bowl should be wide enough so that the cat can comfortably drink without the sides touching his whiskers.

If you are having difficulty encouraging your kitten or cat to drink enough water, here are some tips:

  • cat water fountainSome cats don't like water that is sitting in a bowl. If you have a cat who seems to like drinking from a running tap, a solution that works for many is a cat water fountain. These are electronic devices in which the water re-circulates, oxygenating it and reducing standing time, which leads to stagnation. Some water fountains will also filter the water at the same time. There are a number of popular brands of water fountain on the market.
  • Move the water bowl. Some cats don't like their water bowl too close to the food bowl, so try moving it a little further away. Also, make sure it isn't too close to the litter tray. Cats do not like to eat and drink near where they go to the toilet.

What shouldn't cats drink:

Most cats have an intolerance to the lactose in cow's milk and it can cause digestive problems. If you do want to give your cat milk, you can buy specially formulated cat milk from most supermarkets or pet shops. This should be a treat only, and not a part of your cat's daily fluid intake.

It goes without saying that cats should not be given anything to drink other than water or the appropriate type of milk. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, juice, tea, coffee etc., should never be given to your cat.

If you have a fish tank, cover it up. The chemicals in the water are not good for  your cat.

Don't let your cat drink from the toilet bowl. Not only is it at risk of falling in and drowning, but the chemicals and bacteria will make your cat sick.

Summary:

The only drinks your cat require are fresh, clean water for kittens over 8 weeks of age, or appropriate cat milk as an occasional treat. If you choose to give your cat milk, it is still important to provide him with fresh water in addition to the milk. Cat milk can go off quickly, especially in summer, and shouldn't be left sitting out all day. Put a small amount in a bowl, let your cat have a drink and discard any remaining milk after 30-60 minutes. Leave water out 24/7.

Related content:

What do cats eat?

 

 

What Do Cats Drink - Water or Milk? | Cat Care Articles
Cat Breed Profiles
Maine Coon profile Maine Coon
Affectionately known as coonies, the Maine Coon is the largest breed of domestic cat.
Bengal breed profile Bengal
Originally christened the Leopardette, the Bengal cat is a hybridization of domestic cats and Asian Leopard Cats (a small wild cat)
Ragdoll breed profile Ragdoll
The Ragdoll is an extremely laid back and placid breed of cat whose history dates back to the 1960's with a white female cat named Josephine.
Burmese breed profile Burmese
The Burmese cat is a popular breed of cat and for good reason. They are the third most searched breed of cat on this site.
Persian breed profile Persian
One of, if not the most popular breed, the Persian is one of the oldest known breeds of cat.

 

What Do Cats Drink - Water or Milk? | Cat Care Articles