My Cat Only Eats Dry Food – How do I get my Cat to drink more water?
It is helpful to prevent urinary problems in cats that only eat dry food, and it’s crucial to ensure they’re adequately hydrated. To encourage water consumption, it is essential to consistently offer a steady source of fresh and clean water. There are factors that can influence cat water intake.
The placement of water bowls is crucial. It is advisable to have a separate water station kept from the food or litterboxes. Select a tranquil location for your cat to drink without any disturbances.
The type of water bowl you choose can also have an impact. Cats usually prefer ceramic or steel bowls because plastic bowls can leave a taste in the water. A wide, flat bowl is recommended for cats who like their whiskers not touching the sides of the container.
Multiple drinking stations can encourage water intake, especially in households with multiple cats where conflicts may limit resource access.
Add 2-3 cups of water to every 1 cup of dry food to achieve a similar moisture level as wet food.
Add chicken broth (without garlic or onion) or tuna “water” to your cat’s drinking water to encourage fluid intake.
Does Wet Food Hydrate Cats?
Cat food can be classified according to its water content. Dry food contains less than 14% water, wet food contains more than 60% water, and semi-moist food falls within the 14-59% water content range. Semi-moist food is primarily used for treats.
Wet and dry food are popular types of pet food found in stores. Wet food is cooked at high temperatures to sterilize, resulting in a longer shelf life than dry food before opening.
Wet food has several benefits
Cats concentrate their urine instead of drinking more water when they consume low-moisture meals. Feeding cats wet food with a moisture content of >60% is recommended to provide them with water instead of relying only on drinking water.
Dehydration in cats has been linked to various diseases, including kidney disease. It must be clarified if dry food causes inadequate hydration compared to wet food. Research on the impact of dry vs. wet cat food on hydration status generates conflicting results.
Wet foods aid in:
Wet foods promote diluted urine, preventing urinary tract problems. Wet food may reduce the concentration of inflammatory substances in the bladder.
Since water has no calories, wet food generally has fewer calories than dry food. This makes wet food a better option for weight management.
Dry diets typically have over 3-4 kcal/g (some even more), wet food has 0.8-1.5 kcal/g, and specific weight loss diets have even fewer calories. Wet food is bulkier, which aids in weight loss.
Dehydration raises the risk of constipation. Wet food can help; thus, it’s recommended that cats with constipation eat canned food.
How Often Do You Feed Your Cat Wet Food?
The frequency of feeding wet food to your cat can vary based on factors such as their age, weight, and lifestyle.
Experts have varying opinions on the number of meals cats should have. Some suggest three or four meals a day, while others recommend feeding one can of food for every three to three and a half pounds of body weight.
Alternatively, if you regularly feed wet food, it is advised to feed your cat at least twice a day. Kittens require more frequent feedings compared to adult cats. It is important to consult your veterinarian to ensure that you are providing the best diet for your cat.