Cats are mysterious! Even their owners can have a difficult time knowing EXACTLY what is going on in their secret lives. Do you know how much your cat drinks on average? Cats are considered poor drinkers for a few factors, and their hydration is very important to their overall health and well-being. Let’s say hello to hydration!
Your cat is the descendant of desert dwelling felines. Their bodies, like that of their ancestors, are designed to adapt to periods of scarce water intake. In the wild, a lot of felines get most of their water intake from consuming their prey. When their food source becomes a kibble with very little water content, it’s no wonder that many cats live in a constant state of dehydration. So why don’t they just drink more water? Because your cat has a hard time drinking water! Liquids with low viscosity like water prove difficult to drink for your kitty. While you may think they can lap up water just like a dog, the reality is that cats cannot create suction with their tongues, and they do not ladle water with the back of their tongue like dogs. The physics behind how cats lap water is unique, complex, and fascinating! In short, the tip of your cat’s tongue touches and retracts from the surface of the water quickly enough to create a small column of water from the surface to the mouth, seemingly defying gravity. Even with this complex method of drinking, a single lap of water only results in 3/100th’s of a teaspoon per lap. That means your cat has to lap approximately 33 times to get a mere teaspoon of water.
Your cat’s vision is also a factor in their title as world’s worst drinkers. Cats have a hard time seeing things less than about a foot in front of their face (like when they can’t see that treat right in front of their face!). Poor up close vision makes it hard for cats to see the surface of their water, and no one wants to dive face first into their bowl! Other factors such as their finicky nature on the presentation and taste of their water are also reasons why cats have a hard time staying hydrated.
What can you do to help? If you feel your cat is not getting enough water, here are our suggestions to help increase their hydration:
There are other options available to make sure your cat stays properly hydrated! If you are concerned about the amount your cat is drinking, be it too much or not enough, give us a call to schedule an appointment!