Mindful Monday – Let’s Talk Water and Cats

Here in parts of Southern California, we’re experiencing severe drought. But the cats who live in this state don’t much care. Most domestic cats don’t typically drink a lot of water and that’s not necessarily a good thing. In the wild, cats get the water they need from eating live prey. Many of our housecats, however, live on kibbles and, if they’re not catching prey, they may not be getting enough water.

What’s the big deal? Lack of proper hydration can lead to kidney disease in cats. What’s the solution? Provide plenty of fresh, clean water for your cats. Some professionals recommend adding a little low sodium chicken broth to entice your cat to drink more water. However, I’d be concerned about the onion and garlic often present in prepackaged broth.

Use wide water bowls so the cat doesn’t feel whisker-stress—the discomfort of whiskers rubbing against the sides of the bowl. Some cats are more sensitive to whisker stress than others.

Provide several water bowls throughout the cat’s territory (inside or outside the house). We have a cat with kidney disease—it was diagnosed when she was quite young, so she may have been born with it. She loves water. She probably loves water more than she loves food. So she has a fountain where the water runs freely for her enjoyment and three additional water bowls positioned throughout the house. Plus, we have our morning and evening routines where she gets to drink out of the spigot.

Some cats are sensitive to the material in the bowl itself. We had a cat develop chin acne from his plastic water bowl. Some cats play in their water and manage to tip a tipsy bowl. We use heavy pottery bowls that do not easily tip. Here’s a site offering additional tips for getting your cat to drink more water.


What kind of water should you give your cat? Here’s a wake-up call for cat owners. And here’s a story showing that “my bad.” When we had a soft water unit put into our house, we also installed a water filter system. You don’t want to drink this chemically treated water or give it to your cats. I used the filtered water for my African violets and a couple of them started to die. I attributed their failure to the filtered water and decided, if it’s not good for the violets, it must not be good for the cats, so I continued to give them tap water from the one spigot in our house that was not part of the water softening system. After reading the following article, I’m not sure I’ve done the right thing. I suggest you read it. It’s enlightening,


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