Cat Drinking a Lot of Water
“My cat is fine, he drinks a lot of water”. I have heard this so many times when I bring up cats and their unique need for moisture in their diet. If a cat is constantly at the water bowl, that is a pretty good indicator he is dehydrated!
Our modern house cat is a direct descendent of the African Wildcat. In fact, they have indistinguishable DNA, so we know our cats developed in a very arid climate where freshwater wasn’t easy to come by. They evolved to get their moisture needs met through diet rather than by drinking water.
How Cats Drink Water
Cats do drink and need to have fresh water available at all times, but they are not highly efficient at drinking. Unlike a dog, whose tongue curls backward to lap water into its mouth, a cat's tongue dips relatively straight down into the water and is pulled up quickly. The rough spike-like papillae on the tongue fling tiny droplets of water into the air and the cat catches them as they fall. It takes between 2200-2400 dips of the tongue for the cat to get a quarter cup of water!
Hydrate Your Cat Through Their Food
Part of the reason they didn’t evolve to be more efficient at drinking water is because they are such successful hunters. They have always been able to hunt and kill fresh prey and utilize the intracellular moisture within the prey animal. This is the most effective way of hydrating the cat, and it also balances electrolytes and aids the digestion process.
Though our house cats no longer rely on their hunting skills to secure their meals, they can still rely on the moisture of raw meat to stay well hydrated. Our Quest line of cat diets is full of the intracellular moisture cats need. Steve’s original formulas are also an excellent choice for keeping cats (and dogs) naturally hydrated. If you are primarily a kibble feeder and would like to continue being one, we have something for you as well! Our ChiaFreeze yogurt and our PurrGurt are both goat milk-based products that are sold frozen, thawed at home, and then poured over the kibble at feeding time.
Summer is hot, make sure your favorite feline is well hydrated, healthy, and happy!