You pour a glass of water for yourself, place it on the table and turn away briefly. The next thing you know, your kitty appear out of nowhere and has their head deep in your cup. If you’re a cat parent, this is probably a scenario that plays out over and over again in your home. An uncovered cup of water seems to hold endless temptations for cats. Why do they love drinking from the same cup as you? Does it actually taste better?
Upon seeing your cat drinking from your cup, your first reaction may be to stop them. But they can’t really be blamed as it is part of a feline’s nature to seek out fresh, cool water. Running water is even more irresistible to cats, which explains why your kitty sometimes stick their heads in an uncovered toilet or hover over running faucets. Of course, you should change out your kitty’s water bowl often, but, to them, it can’t compare with a freshly poured cup of water.
Another reason could be that your glass is usually placed far away from their food. For our kitties’ wild ancestors, who were hunters, proximity of water and food could mean contamination. Although domestic cats no longer have to catch their own food, it’s likely they still maintain that preference of keeping their water and food separate.
Cats can go a long time without any water intake. However, their fussy drinking habits means they are easily dehydrated, leading to kidney and urinary tract problems. Therefore, it’s very important that your feline gets enough water, especially if they are eating a dry kibble diet.
As a general rule of thumb, a cat needs about 60ml per kilogram of weight. So if your cat weighs 3 kg, then they should be getting 180ml of water. Water requirements can also come from liquid in their food. However, as moisture content varies from kibble, canned food, to fresh foods, it’s hard to keep track of exactly how much water your feline is getting.
As a cat parent, you’ll know it’s a lost cause trying to force your kitty to do anything. Instead, look for signs of dehydration by observing their litter box habits and what they leave behind. Since we know that cats love fresh, running water, we can entice them to drink more by: