Keeping your cats hydrated is vital to their heath and essential for the function of organs, transport of nutrients, circulation, and digestion. It also helps the kidneys flush out toxins and decrease the likelihood of urinary stones.
It is important to monitor your cats' drinking habits, and PetMD advises to contact the vet if cats have any sudden changes including a decrease or increase in water intake.
Whiskers are super sensitive, and cats don't like when their whiskers touch their water bowl (a.k.a. whisker stress). If your cats' current water bowl is deep and narrow, try switching it to a wider, shallower bowl. Also, water should always be available immediately so that your cats can get the urge to drink. Arrange multiple bowls throughout the house to maximise your cats' comfort.
Cats prefer to drink in certain locations where they can see their surroundings and don't have to worry about anyone sneaking up behind them. Place your cats' water bowls in easily accessible areas with low foot traffic, away from their food bowl and litter box.
Feeding a wet diet is a particularly effective way to increase water intake. Wet food contains much more moisture than dry food and is very palatable and appealing to cats. A combination of dry food and canned food is an additional option. If your cats' prefer dry food, you can also add more moisture to your cats' diet by soaking their dry food. Remember to always consult with your vet before making any diet changes.
Flavouring water by adding things, such as liquidised cooked prawns or spring water from tinned tuna, may help increase water intake. Get creative and discuss other flavour options with your vet.
Cats prefer their water to be fresh. Make fresh water available at all times by washing your cats' bowls daily and refreshing their water once or twice a day otherwise, dust, dirt, hair and more can all collect in their water bowl, making them less inclined to drink from it.