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How Do I Get My Cat to Drink More Water?

Q: Dear Nora,
My cat ‘s water bowl rarely needs re-filling and I’m concerned that she’s not drinking enough water. How can I get her to drink more? 

iamthegreatwent @ instagram
iamthegreatwent @ instagram

A: Is your cat’s only water bowl near her food dish? Cuz that’s gross. Us cats think of our food (even if you buy it for us from the store, and even if it’s dry and super processed) as being our prey. As prey, our instincts tell us that our water may be contaminated with bacteria if it’s close to our food, so we will often avoid it.

We’ll seek out fresh water elsewhere– that’s why you may see your cat lapping up water from the faucet, or dipping her paw into your own glass of fresh and cool water (in fact, that’s my favorite place to drink from!).

You can encourage your cat to drink more water by providing more water bowls or cat water fountains throughout your home– located in many spots far from her food bowl. Clean the bowls and add fresh water daily for maximum water consumption.



  1. Rachel | | Reply

    I had no idea! Thanks Nora!

  2. Cathryn | | Reply

    Hi Nora,
    I’m so glad you told my mom about the extra water bowl. I love it! First I played in it, but then I decided it was okay to drink. Now I mainly use my old water bowl for wet storage of my toys. I like to see what floats.
    Your friend,

    • andeebingham | | Reply

      I’m glad you found this useful, Annebelle! I like to see what floats too. I especially enjoy dragging my mom’s socks into my bowls and pawing at them until they sink. Try it! –Nora

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