Bowmanville Veterinary Clinic

2826 HWY 2
Bowmanville, ON L1C 3K5


Ways to Encourage Your Cat to Drink Water


Provide fresh, cold water every day.  Cats seem to be very aware of the temperature and taste of water.


Make sure the water bowl is filled to the brim at all times.  Cats have very sensitive whiskers and do not like putting their face into a bowl.


Use a large size bowl, a size that their whiskers will not touch the edges when drinking.


Some cats do not like the taste of tap water.  You might wish to:


  • Refrigerate the tap water to improve its taste
  • Try Brita (filtered) water
  • Try distilled water
  • Try bottled water
  • Try a few types and see what your cat prefers

Some cats will drink more water if a drop or two of tuna juice (tuna in water or clam juice) is provided.  If you try this, always make sure a separate bowl of fresh water is available.


Some cats enjoy ice cubes made from flavored broth (tuna or salmon juice mixed with water and frozen).


If your cat prefers to drink from a tap, make sure it can always get to the tap (don't lock it out of the bathroom if that is where it likes to drink).  If your schedule permits, turn the tap on for the cat as often as possible throughout the day.  Water fountains can be purchased for cats that like fresh, moving water.


Keep the food and water bowls away from the litter box area.


Keep the water bowl clean (cats have a keen sense of smell and are easily turned off by odors on the edge of the bowl).  Stainless steel or ceramic dishes are easier to keep clean and odor free vs. plastic dishes.  The water dish should be washed at least every other day if possible.


Some cats seem to prefer a clear, shallow glass bowl from which to drink (experiment with different water bowls).


Canned food is an excellent way to encourage water consumption because it is high in water content and most cats love the taste.  It can always be warmed up in the microwave to enhance its smell for the fussy cat.  Try to feed at least some canned food two to three times a day.  You can also slowly add water to the canned food.