If only our cats could speak and tell us when they are not feeling well, it would make diagnosing health problems a lot easier. Sadly as this is not the case we have to be vigilant towards our cats behaviour, whats normal and when they may be showing us signals that things might not be right.
Would you know if your cat was drinking more? I expect the answer maybe “no, I don’t actually see my cat drink” If your cat eats wet food then they gain a lot of their water intake through their food whereas a dry food eater will need to drink more so this might be noticed by an owner. Cats as a rule are quite lazy when it comes to finding water to drink, whereas a dog will go out of his way to find the most inconspicuous water source. So it is important to try to monitor how much your cat is drinking whether it’s with frequency of visiting its preferred water station or how long it spends there. Often I will tell owners that if they don’t normally see their cat drink and then they start to then most likely they are drinking more. They are drinking from where they always have done ie outside and now they drink inside too. Be vigilant if this starts to happen then please take appropriate action. Most of the diseases a cat can develop as they age will almost certainly give them an increased thirst; kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, liver disease but these diseases don’t always develop as they age they can start earlier. Most of the fore mentioned diseases can be managed effectively and the cats can go on and live a happy life with conservative management. However when left undetected the diseases can sadly progress to a stage where they are too far advanced and so treatment may not be an option. If you feel that your cat may be drinking more than usual then it would be wise to get them checked for any underlying disease, this can be done by having a full clinical examination and running some simple blood tests.
It is also very important that we ensure cats are drinking enough especially if they eat a dry food diet or they are older. Cats are fussy with how their water is presented and so it is vital we provide it in a way that makes it attractive to them. As a rule they don’t like water that could be potentially contaminated with food so please place their water away from food. They also prefer glass or ceramic bowls which need to be topped up so they can see the meniscus of the water. Some prefer wide-mouthed bowls so their whiskers don’t touch the sides however some like the feeling of their whiskers squashing up. Some like the feeling of running water and so if you see them hop in the sink or bath try turning the tap on slowly. There are various moving water fountains available so these can sometimes help. Cats love rain water and will often favour the stagnant bird bath to their indoor bowl. Have containers in the garden that will be collecting rain water and bring this in if necessary. Our tap water can sometimes be quite chlorinated and so cats may not like this. If you are really struggling to get them to drink then adding some drained tuna water to an ice-cube tray and popping a cube into your bowl can help. Ensure that you have water bowls in various locations so they are never far from a drink. Remember water is vital to maintain health but wanting too much could be an important sign you shouldn’t ignore.