Cats, water, are two words that many people are not able to put in the same sentence.
It is not a secret to absolutely anyone that cats do not like water and getting wet, it is not natural to see cats in water.
Even so, we know the importance of water for every human being, and for cats there is no exception.
Even if there is a conflict between cats and water, this is important for their bodies to function correctly, and for extreme dirt, to clean them properly.
Due to this aversion of cats towards water, it is possible that they do not hydrate in the correct way, as they tend to drink less water than they really need, which can cause them inconvenience, they can get sick.
But have you ever wondered why this happens? Why is it very rare to see cats in the water ? What consequences can this bring? Well, in the next post we will answer those questions.
Reasons why cats don’t like water
It is not that cats do not like water, they simply feel a certain rejection of water for reasons of origin and this rejection does not happen only in cats, but in most felines, something ironic since they are very good swimmers.
Well, cats are originally from the Middle East, where deserts predominate and water is not so abundant, water was something unusual in their days and therefore they distrusted it, as it was a new, strange element. This is usually related to the rejection of cats to water.
However, these began to be domesticated by humans, they became more related to water, they no longer limited themselves so much to approach it, but even so the suspicion continued. We can attribute this suspicion as an action of distrust and prudence. And this is something that cats keep from their ancestors.
It is something strange because, just as water generates distrust, water also generates a lot of curiosity in cats, so it is not strange to see them carefully observing the water. And thanks to this curiosity it is very possible that they overcome the aversion.
But, just as there are those that fear to approach the water, there are other cats that really enjoy the water, they enjoy playing with it, observing it or swimming in it. Such as cat breeds such as the Turkish Angora, the Bengal cat, the pixie bob, the Maine coon, among others.
Cats and moving water
As we mentioned before, water is something that, apart from giving cats mistrust, generates a lot of curiosity and more if they observe that it is in motion.
You will be able to realize that even if they have a bowl full of water at their disposal, they will prefer to go and drink the water that comes out of a tap.
Or it may be that before drinking from the bowl, it puts one of its legs to make the water move , even causing the bowl to tip over and drink directly from the ground.
Or that you prefer to drink the water from the sink, or simply drink from the rainwater if you have access to the outside.
It is not known for sure why they do it, there are some theories that say it has to do with that they do not like stagnant water. As a natural instinct, cats may prefer to drink moving water to avoid illness.
Or maybe the cat notices that this type of water is much cooler than the one you leave it in the bowl. Or simply taking the moving water is much more entertaining.
How to make my cat like water?
You should know that there is a way to make your cat like water, of course, it will not do it immediately, this process will take time, because it is something that must be done little by little, in addition to that it is recommended that you do it try when your cat is small. Next, we will tell you how:
As we said, you must accustom your cat from a young age to relating to water, so that in this way his aversion will gradually disappear.
You can buy a small bathtub, you can get it in pet stores, and put it there with a little warm water, wet it slowly, without it coming into contact with your eyes, ears, or with the head in general.
While you do that, keep an eye out for their reaction. You may notice him somewhat restless and stressed, if so, pamper him a little, caress him gently so that little by little his tension disappears, so that he relaxes and adapts to the situation.
At the end of this short bath , wrap him in a towel and try to wipe the moisture out of his hair . You can also use a hair dryer with care. After that you can brush it and voila, let it finish drying with the natural air.
Do this from time to time (not so often later we will tell you why) especially when summer is around. So that I lose my fear a little.
How do they drink water?
Let me tell you that seeing exactly how kittens drink water is not so easy, right off the bat we can only observe how they quickly extend and shrink their tongue over the water. But, thanks to technology, it has been possible to see what exactly they do with their tongue when drinking.
Cats form something similar to a U by curving their tongue backwards, and with this bent in this way they come into contact with the water. Just when they touch the water they pick it up quickly which causes a trickle of water to go to their mouths. This type of movement is repeated until they feel satiated and each repetition is done in less than a second.
What if my cat does not drink water?
Your cat may not even like to drink water, which can be worrying, well, it may not, it is worrying, since if it is not well hydrated it may suffer from a health problem, such as a urinary infection. If your cat does not consume water, it can become dehydrated and cause serious health problems .
Dehydration can cause certain discomforts in your cat. You can identify dehydration if you have any of these signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty or acceleration in breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Excessive tiredness
- Hollow eyes
- Very concentrated urine
- You will lose the elasticity of your skin
But what can you do in this case? What to do if your cat does not drink enough water? There are ways to help our cats with this, to help them consume the water they need to avoid any serious consequences, here are some ideas for this:
You can add extra water to their food, preferably to animal feed, which is drier than canned food.
Place some sources of water at home, these will cause curiosity in the little feline and they will come over and probably drink.
Also place bowls with water scattered throughout the house, it is a good technique, at some point you will end up drinking water from one of them.
Add some flavouring to the water, these can be purchased in specialized pet stores, they are expensive, but it is likely that your cat will like them and drink water more often.
How long can a cat go without drinking water?
As with humans, cats can go a few days without eating, but cats cannot go more than 48 hours without drinking water, in fact, not even 24 hours. It is not good at all.
How do you know how much water to drink?
Cat experts determine how much water you should drink based on your weight. It is recommended that the cat drink at least 50 ml of water daily for every kilogram it weighs, that is, if it weighs two kilos, it should drink at least 100 ml of water a day.
They also establish a maximum limit, which is 100 ml per day per kilo , that is, if cat weigh two kilos, the maximum recommended to drink is 200 ml per day. Of course, this can vary depending on the daily activity that the cat performs.
It will also depend on the temperature of the environment. If it is winter, obviously the need for hydration is less, but, for that reason, the cat’s water intake should not be neglected.
Whatever the temperature, water is necessary. Now, if it is summer, the need for water may increase, even exceed the maximum allowed limit. They themselves will find a way to drink water when they are thirsty.
You must make sure that your cat is perfectly hydrated that it drinks the amount of water necessary to be well, if it is not well hydrated it can begin to suffer from some serious disease.
NOTE: On the contrary, if you observe that your cat drinks a lot of water, more than normal, it is possible that they are the first symptoms of kidney failure. Check it quickly with your veterinarian, because it is vital to detect it early.
Health problems if you don’t drink water
If your cat is not properly hydrated, it can develop certain diseases that can be harmful in a very short time, if it is not taken into account and treated quickly and correctly. Among the problems they may present are:
- Kidney problems: such as the formation of kidney stones, kidney failure, etc., these are in fact a very common problem, especially in cats over 10 years old. That is why it is recommended after a certain age in cats to take them for periodic check-ups.
- Liver problems: diseases such as liver lipidosis and cholangiohepatitis are not a direct consequence of dehydration, but they certainly accelerate the development of these and can cause the death of the kitten.
- Hormonal problems: such as hyperthyroidism, which is much more common in cats aged 8 to eight years or more, this disease can cause weight loss in the cat, and bring other serious consequences such as kidney or heart problems.
- They should know that poor hydration in a cat can be the cause of health problems, but it can also be the consequence of others. For example, if you have poor hydration you may have kidney disease, but you may also suffer from something that leads to dehydration such as diarrhea.
Mineral or tap water?
As we already know, cats like to drink from the taps. What risks are there in this? Well, everything will depend on the quality of the water that comes out of the tap. Because there are places where the water that comes out of it contains a lot of chlorine or lime that can be harmful to the kidneys of our cats.
However, there are also few other places where the water that comes out of the tap poses no danger other than cats.
In case the water coming out of the tap is not the healthiest and cleanest for our kitten to drink from it, a good option is to buy mineral water, generally these contain less chemicals than the tap.
What should a cat not drink?
Just as water is very necessary to maintain the health of our kitten, there are also drinks that are not recommended for cats , because they can be very harmful to them, among them we have:
- Juices: cats do not digest some fruits well, so it is not recommended that you give them juices to drink, they can interfere with the proper functioning of their digestive system.
- Alcoholic beverages: they are highly harmful, affect your nervous system, causing dizziness, vomiting, disorientation and even death.
- Coffee, tea or soft drinks: this type of drink contains certain stimulants that will affect your cat’s nervous system. For nothing in the world give him these drinks.
- Pool water : this water contains a lot of chlorine, which is very harmful to the cat’s digestive system, and to the kidneys.
Is it necessary to bathe a cat with water?
The answer to this question is no, it is not necessary to bathe your cat, unless it is due to some extreme event such as, for example, if the very naughty decided to play in a mud puddle or has gotten muddy with some toxic product, or if it was a stray and you just rescued it and it is full of fleas, or if they are very small and they cannot clean themselves.
Or it may be of a breed that does need regular baths due to its skin type as in the case of the Sphynx.
For this reason, it is not necessary for you to bathe them. Why? Cats themselves are very neat animals, they are dedicated to grooming themselves for at least 8 hours a day.
These, by nature, feel the constant need to remove any type of smell from themselves, so as not to be prey to any other animal. It is a survival instinct.
Cats groom themselves with their own tongue, which is covered with conical papillae, which are a kind of spine, which allows the removal of dead skin and excess hair. Their tongue looks like a brush, and since cats are quite flexible they can reach almost any part of your body. However, it is advisable to brush your cat at least once a week .
Another reason why it is not advisable to bathe your cat is because of its pheromones, by which they can be easily recognized by other cats. If you shower frequently, these will not be easily perceived and it is as if you erase their identity.
Very well, we have reached the end of the post and hope it will be very useful for you, and you have understood a little more about cats and water.