My Cat Won’t Drink Water (How To Entice Your Cat to Drink)

Although cats are self-sufficient, you should always make sure they drink enough water to keep their organs active.

If your cat won’t drink water, they can suffer from health complications, forcing you to make frequent expensive visits to your vet.

Symptoms of dehydration in cats include constipation, dry mouth, sunken eyes, poor capillary refill time, increased heart rate and lethargy. If you notice these symptoms in your feline, you should take immediate action before it is too late.

Getting your cat to drink more water takes some trial and error, but once you discover what your cat likes, you will have no problem encouraging them to drink more often.

Here are tips that you can use to entice your cat drink enough water:

cat drinking from faucet

Place Water Bowls In Several Locations Around The House

Make it easy for your cat to drink water by putting water bowls in several strategic locations in the house.

Cats have preferred locations, and if you find the right spot they will be more likely to visit and drink regularly.

For cats that love drinking from ordinary glasses, you can leave several water glasses around the house for them to dip their paws in.

If your cat drinks from a particular glass more than others, make sure to refill the glass often and don’t change its location too much.

Also, don’t put glasses or water bowls near their litter, because a cat will not drink near its toilet.

​Feed Your Cat With A Wet Food Diet

One of the easiest ways to make your cat drink adequate water is to give them wet food.

Canned wet cat food has a much higher moisture content than dry cat food, and this keeps your cat hydrated.

In case your cat does not like wet food, try adding water to their favorite dehydrated food to see if they will eat it.

Check out our reviews of some great wet cat food selections

Add Ice Cubes In Your Cat’s Food

Placing ice cubes in your cat’s food will entice them to lick the cubes and get moisture in the process.

Some cats like icy water especially on a hot day, and ice cubes make the food more attractive to eat – acting as a treat for your kitty.

Food Additive

You can encourage your cat to drink more water by adding flavors such as chicken broth to the water bowl.

In most cases, a cat that does not normally drink much water will be attracted to the chicken broth flavor drinking water in the process.

Running Water

Cats are fascinated by running water as opposed to stagnant water, helping to draw their attention.

Most cat owners report that their cats prefer drinking from the kitchen faucet and this keeps them hydrated.

Test to see if this will make your cat drink more water by turning on the faucet slightly.

Keep the water pressure low, as high pressure is likely to scare your cat, and they will not get close to the faucet.

If your cat loves drinking from the faucet, you’ll probably find them jumping up when you’re near it, asking you for a drink!

Get A Pet Fountain

Obviously you don’t want to leave your faucet constantly running, as this would waste large amounts of water, so if your cat seems to like running water, try getting a pet water fountain.

Cats can’t see the top of still water as well as we can, and you will often see them dipping a paw in to find the top of the water.

Cats are attracted to the running water of pet fountains due to the sound and movement, and allows them to easily see the water.

A fountain might look foreign to your cat initially, but they soon get curious and check them out.

Check out our ceramic pet water fountain review, they are designed to be stylish and attractive to fit well in your home.

Try Different Water Bowls

Cats are generally picky about everything, including water bowls!

Try various types of bowls built with ceramic, stainless steel, plastic, or glass materials.

Stainless steel and ceramic water bowls have high success rates.

  • Plastic water bowls tend to soak up odor and cats may not drink from them after some time.

Get inventive – a bowl could be a vase with marbles in the bottom and a plant that grows in water at the top.

Maybe even a fish bowl (without the fish!), with a small pump aerating the water like you normally would for fish.

Refill Water Bowls Regularly

Cats like fresh water and refilling the water bowls frequently will entice them to drink more water.

Make sure to clean their bowl properly before adding fresh water. Cats are picky and will not drink water from a dirty bowl.

Feed Your Cat Several Times A Day

Giving your cat smaller meals several times a day prompts thirst, and this will entice them to drink more water.

You should alternate dry and wet cat food to prevent addiction to a specific type of food.


Ensure that your cat remains hydrated at all times, especially cats suffering from renal failure or diabetes.

Prolonged dehydration shortens a cat’s life, so if your cat won’t drink enough water, try these tips to entice your feline to drink enough water.

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