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The Truth About Your Cat’s Water Consumption: Understanding Normal and Excessive Thirst

Understanding Normal Water Consumption in Cats

Cats are fascinating creatures, and they possess certain habits that seem peculiar to us humans. One of such habits is their water consumption.

Unlike humans and dogs who drink large amounts of water at once, cats tend to drink little sips throughout the day. This behavior can be attributed to the times when their wild ancestors had to survive in arid territories with little water sources.

To maintain your cat’s health, it is essential to understand the normal water consumption pattern in felines. In this article, we will explore the factors affecting how much a cat drinks and ways to track their water intake.

Factors that Affect How Much a Cat Drinks


The food cats consume has a significant impact on their water intake. Dry food diets contain ten percent moisture while wet food has up to eighty percent water.

Thus, cats fed a dry food diet drink more water than those fed wet food. Therefore, if your cat consumes dry kibble, it is essential to ensure they have enough water to drink.

Activity Level

Cats that play and run around consume more water than inactive cats. Hence, it is crucial to provide enough water to replace lost fluids due to increased activities.

Also, cats who live in more humid environments tend to drink less water as they lose fewer fluids.


Weather also influences a cat’s water consumption. Cats tend to consume more water in warmer climates as they lose more fluids through panting and sweating.

Hence, it’s essential to ensure your cat has plenty of water to stay hydrated during hot weather.

How to Track How Much Water Your Cat Is Drinking

Measuring Cup

This method involves measuring the water you pour into the bowl and recording it several times each day. Over time, you’ll have a clear picture of your cat’s daily water intake.

Water Bowl with Markings

You can buy or make a bowl with marked water levels for daily water intake tracking.

Pet Camera

Investing in a pet camera can help you track your cat’s drinking habits. These cameras come with features to detect how much water is left in the bowl and the time your cat drinks from it.

Litter Box Analysis

To track your cat’s water intake, an indirect way is via the litter box. When observing your cat’s stool habits, you can tell if they’ve been drinking adequate water.

If the solids are too hard and dry, it means your cat needs more water. Why is My Cat Drinking More Water?

Kidney Problems

Chronic renal disease (CRD) or chronic kidney disease (CKD) is known to cause increased thirst in cats. Kidney disease is present in approximately one-third of all cats aged over 10 years.

Other observable symptoms may include weight loss, poor appetite, and lethargy. If you notice these symptoms, visit the vet for a proper diagnosis.

Hyperthyroidism and

Liver Disease

Liver disease and hyperthyroidism are two other diseases that can cause increased thirst in cats. The symptoms may include weight loss, poor coat quality, and increased appetite.

A trip to the vet will be necessary if your cat exhibits these symptoms.


High blood sugar levels can cause increased thirst in cats. Other symptoms include frequent urination, increased appetite, and weight loss.

Diabetes is diagnosed through a blood test, and your vet will prescribe insulin to manage the disease.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in cats, and they can cause increased thirst. Symptoms of UTIs also include frequent urination, painful urination, and blood in the urine.

A trip to the vet and antibiotics will be necessary to manage the infection.


In conclusion, water consumption is vital to your cat’s health, and you should pay attention to how much they drink every day. Knowing the factors that influence their water intake and the methods to track their consumption will help you keep your cat healthy.

Since increased thirst can be a symptom of underlying health issues, it is essential to visit your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment if your cat exhibits unusual drinking habits.

When to Go to the Vet for Excessive Thirst in Cats

One of the common symptoms of illness that cat owners should take seriously is excessive thirst. If your cat appears to drink more water than usual, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms to look out for and when to take your cat to the vet.

Symptoms to Look Out For

Weight Loss

Excessive drinking is often accompanied by weight loss. This symptom can also occur with kidney disease, diabetes, and liver disease.

Ensure you keep a watchful eye on your cat’s weight. If you notice any significant weight loss, you should talk to your vet.


Your cat may sleep more and play less if they are suffering from certain health issues that cause excessive thirst. If you notice your cat is less active than usual, take them to the vet.

Changes in Appetite

Changes in your cat’s appetite are another symptom to watch out for. Cats with kidney disease, diabetes, and liver disease may lose their appetite or become disinterested in food.

Trouble Urinating

Certain health conditions such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and urinary tract infections can cause difficulty or pain when urinating. If you notice your cat frequently trying to urinate with little or no success, you should contact your vet immediately.

Diagnosing the Cause of Excessive Thirst in Cats

Blood Tests

Blood tests will help diagnose kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes, as well as other illnesses that may cause excessive thirst.

Urine Tests

Urine tests are necessary to diagnose urinary infections and diabetes in cats.


An ultrasound can reveal other diseases like liver issues as well as tumors that may be causing excessive thirst.


X-rays are useful to detect lower urinary tract diseases that may indicate the presence of stones, crystals, or tumors. Treatment for Conditions that Cause Cats to Drink a Lot of Water

Kidney Problems

Chronic kidney disease is a common cause of excessive thirst and increased urination in cats. There is no cure for kidney disease; however, the symptoms can be managed to improve a cat’s quality of life.

Controlling symptoms involves using drugs to lower blood pressure and to increase the production of red blood cells. A veterinarian may prescribe a low-phosphorus and low-protein diet to aid kidney function.

It is also crucial to maintain proper hydration and a regular monitoring of the cat’s blood pressure. The International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) guidelines will help your vet create a treatment plan specifically for your cat.

Regular monitoring of your cat’s blood and urine tests will be necessary to make adjustments to the treatment plan.


The hallmark of diabetes is high blood glucose levels. Cats with diabetes require a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, regular exercise, periodic blood glucose monitoring, and ongoing insulin injections.

It’s important to stick to a consistent schedule for feeding, administering insulin, and monitoring glucose levels. With appropriate management, diabetes can be managed, putting cats into avoidance or remission with good prognosis.


Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excess of thyroid hormone. Methimazole is used to control hyperthyroidism in cats, and this medication can cause side effects such as vomiting and lethargy.

Alternatively, radioactive iodine therapy is another option to treat hyperthyroidism and is highly effective.

Liver Disease

There is no cure for liver disease, and treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving a cat’s quality of life. Diagnostic tests like abdominal ultrasounds, blood tests, and biopsies are necessary to determine the severity of liver disease and to help draw up a treatment plan.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause excessive thirst and frequent urination in cats. UTIs are treated with antibiotics, which may need to be given for several weeks to prevent reoccurrence.

In some cases, diet changes may be recommended to help maintain urine acidity and prevent the formation of crystals or stones that can cause urinary problems.


Cat owners should pay attention to the amount of water their cats consume daily as it can indicate underlying health issues. If your cat exhibits excessive thirst in conjunction with other symptoms such as weight loss, lethargy, or changes in appetite, it’s important to make an appointment with your vet.

Early diagnosis and intervention are essential to ensure the best possible outcomes for cats with health conditions that cause increased thirst. In conclusion, excessive thirst in cats can be a sign of underlying health issues.

Cat owners should keep an eye out for symptoms such as weight loss, lethargy, changes in appetite, and trouble urinating. Visiting a vet for diagnosis and treatment is essential to ensure the best possible outcomes for cats with these health conditions.

Diagnostic tests such as blood tests, urine tests, ultrasounds, and X-rays can help pinpoint the cause of excessive thirst in cats. Management of these conditions includes dietary changes, medication administration, and regular monitoring of blood and urine tests.

Ensuring that your cat remains healthy and free from these health conditions is important for maintaining a happy household, and quick action in seeking medical attention can ensure a bright and healthy future for your furry friends.

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