My Cat Doesn’t Drink Water But Eats Wet Food – (Feline Health Facts)

Since cats are historically desert animals, they typically don’t enjoy drinking a lot of water. Therefore, we don’t see cats drinking water properly. But what if they hardly touch water like for the previous three months or drink less water? Even you noticed the cat is eating wet food. But why My Cat Doesn’t Drink Water But Eats Wet Food?

While eating wet foods, cats avoid drinking water as the food has high moisture content. Or maybe any health issue has pointed at the cat so it stopped drinking water. Therefore, you can encourage the cat by offering new foods, fresh bowls of water, changing the location, or giving them the proper quantity of water next to the food.

However, don’t worry about your cats, and follow the given tips we included below. Hope your furious cat will get back on the same track and drink water like before.

Why Is My Cat Eating But Not Drinking Water?

cat doesn't drink water but eats wet food

You have noticed the cat looking at water but not drinking. But why my cat doesn’t drink water but eat wet food? Usually, the cat stops drinking due to reasons like – 

  • For being hydrated properly
  • Giving less water made them dehydrated sometimes
  • Untreated medical conditions such as cancer, liver, kidney, gastrointestinal or dental issues
  • When you give flavorless unhealthy food
  • Giving water, not in a cat-friendly area
  • Diet changes
  • Temperature problem
  • Intensity of activity
  • New surgery
  • When Feline becomes aged.

Also, your cat might become dehydrated by not drinking enough water, but vomiting from excessive foods and urinating a lot more than they drink. Ultimately making them feel uninterested in water.

Do Cats Drink Less Water When They Eat Wet Food?

cat not drinking water but eating wet food

A cat’s body weight typically consists of 60 to 70 percent of water. When it comes to wild cats, their prey provides them with a lot of moisture. They also don’t love to drink water while consuming wet foods.

Actually, the kitten not drinking water but eating is completely OK. However, if the kitten continues to go without drinking water for a long time, it must be having health issues. 

Take an illustration. The three years old kitten and 6-month cat drinks less water and now eats wet food only. Most probably the increased amount of moisture has been taken by the cat after taking meals, so they drink less water or avoid it.

On the other hand, domestic cats love to eat dry foods so they require extra water. And it became a habit for the cat! Anyway, how about giving a google search by “my cat doesn’t drink water but eats wet food Reddit?” You’ll get more explanation regarding the sick cat not drinking but eating wet food issue.

Is It Ok If My Cat Doesn’t Drink Water But Eats Wet Food?

No, it’s not a big deal if the cat doesn’t drink because kittens who eat wet food likely have a lower risk of dehydration as we mentioned earlier. However, when the cat completely stops drinking water but eating a lot of wet food, make sure you meet the veterinarian to know the pet’s health condition.

You should also keep your eyes on the kitten’s dehydration since cats are sensitive animals. The lack of water in the pet’s body might cause severe underlying health problems such as heat stroke, dry mouth, skin elasticity, sunken eyes, constipation, panting, diabetes, or kidney diseases.

13 Risks Behind Cats Not Consuming Enough Water

cat doesn't drink water

Animals refusing water typically face dehydration. So, the cat will likely experience several health issues when the usual bodily fluids including water and electrolytes fall below the actual needs. So, since their body lacks water, they become dehydrated and possibly suffer illnesses such as:

  1. Kidney disease
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Heatstroke
  5. Regurgitation
  6. Diabetes
  7. Hepatic lipidosis
  8. Hyperthyroidism
  9. Electrolyte issues
  10. Decrease in oxygen and blood supply to the kitten’s body organ
  11. Toxic elements buildup
  12. Male cats have urethral blockage trouble
  13. Or even death can occur from not having enough water in the body.

When Should I Worry About My Cat Not Drinking Water?

Your cat suddenly stopped drinking is okay but if the kitten hasn’t drunk water for 48 or 72 hours (for 2 or 3 three days), take your cat to the vet immediately. The pet will potentially show other signs like appetite loss, lethargy, abnormalities in urination, or diarrhea. Such situations should be kept in your mind immediately for the welfare of your pet.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Dehydrated?

Dehydration has some indications such as weakness, lethargy, lack of appetite, dried mucous membranes, or eyes sunk into the sockets. However, you can lightly lift the lips of your kitten and touch its gums to know the dehydration level.

In order to find out the dehydration level, we also do the skin tenting check. Therefore, you have to grab a little patch of skin near the cat’s shoulders, then pull it and let go. The hydrated kitten will recover immediately. Alternatively, evaporation is another great consideration.

How Do You Hydrate A Cat That Won’t Drink Water – Tips To Follow

cat not drinking water but eating

The sick cat won’t drink water is quite natural but what if they have some other issues? Do we have to force the cat to water? Or if so, how to force a cat to drink water? Thousands of questions are making you anxious for your kitten. Right?

Basically, cats already hydrated require less water than dogs.  Along with this, we have some magical tips to care for your cute kitten. After reading this part, we can ensure that your cat will become a regular water consumer.

Give the Ideal Amount of Water

Cats usually consume one ounce of water for each half ounce of dry food. However, if you feed the cat less water than their requirement, they will become habituated to drinking less water. Also, they might drink water from unsanitary sources that are risky for your feline pale’s health. As a result, you should provide an adequate quantity of fresh water near the meal.

Modern culture has started to make the cat eat dry food that only contains 30% water. So, you should avoid providing them with dry food as well as wet food since it contains 70% water which is excessive. 

There is a big NO while eating wet or dry food because whether they get less water or maybe excessive water makes them dehydrated at the end of the day. Dry food made the cat thirsty whereas wet food made them uninterested in drinking water.

For instance, the cat’s everyday water intake is around one to two ml/kg/h. If the kitten weighs 4.5 kg or 10 pounds, the pet should drink 108 to 215 ml per day.

Avoid Giving Milk

why is my cat not drinking water

Milk is not the healthiest food for the feline family. Also, the cats are lactose intolerant. As a result, feeding milk for hydration is not a good option because it might cause an upset stomach and gastrointestinal difficulties such as diarrhea or vomiting.

Place The Water Bowl Next to The Food

Your kitten will possibly forget to drink water so you can place the water bowl next to the meals so they will likely drink water and eat together. A lot of felines require water especially when they eat dry foods. Having water near them will help to make them hydrated. 

Also, you can put the kibble in a controlled feeder to keep the dish nearby. Cats will wait for the food and are more likely to drink the water until the food arrives.

Wash Dishes Frequently

Cats are sensitive enough to taste and smell water. They are also choosy about water temp. Changing the water helps to keep the proper temperature and keep everything fresh. So, you should wash all bowls and food dishes and don’t forget to offer them clean water.

Actually, cleaning the water bowl on a regular basis to remove any unpleasant smells and to remove dangerous bacteria is necessary. But you should avoid using plastic dishes since they are difficult to clean and hold scents that make the cat refuse to drink water.

Change The Food Habit

Switching the food habit is beneficial at times, but sudden dietary changes are risky for your pet. You can change the dry food to wet food for more water consumption. Usually, cats get water from their food and wet food contains 70% water. Even including additional water in the cat’s canned food might offer them a more gruel-like meal.

You should always switch the food over the week’s time. For convenience, we have a food habit-changing ideal chart given below.

DaysDiet Percentage
First and secondOld diet 75% and new diet 25%
Third to fifth50/50 of both old and new diets
Fifth to sixthOld diet 25% and new diet 75%
SeventhNew diet 100%

Use Variety of Dishes

Bowls or dishes made of various materials should be placed in front of the cat to drink water along with wet food. You can serve water in a stainless steel, glass, or ceramic bowl. Additionally, the shape and size of the water bowl matter as we never know which bowl is most comfortable for the kitten to drink water from.

Make The Food Moisten

Cats avoid drinking water while eating wet food because of the water content in the meal. On the other hand, you can include warm or room temperature, or low-sodium broth chicken to their dry food since such kind of food contains less water. 

Therefore, start with a teaspoon and increase it to allow the cat to accept the food. After that, allow it to sit for some minutes so that the meal can absorb water.

RELATED: How Long Can Wet Cat Food Sit Out

Include Ice Cubes

Ice cubes can be an excellent idea to cheer up your cats where they will cheerfully jump in for a few laps. We suggest making some ice cubes out of salmon, tuna, or clam juice.

For this, you have to combine some clam juice and tuna with water. then freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray. And finally, place the cubes in the water bowl.

Cats Water Fountains

Some cats enjoy the sound of running water and the filter can keep the water fresh. So, the water fountain is a good choice to help the cat to be hydrated. You don’t even have to leave the faucet running all day. Having a water fountain is good but keeping them clean with a little brush will ensure a freshwater flow. 

Add Broth Or Flavored Water

How about giving healthy and nutritious chicken broth in front of your cat? You can give cooked chicken thigh by simmering it for one hour to ideally cook. Make sure you remove bones and then allow them to cool to serve.

Adding a little flavor to the water will increase your cat’s water intake. So, we add a little broth mix but make sure it’s garlic and salt-free. Basically, the dry meals absorb the broth and give the cat a hot meal for additional hydration.

Start with 1⁄4 teaspoon for every bowl and then increase it according to your cat’s needs. But ensure you add not more than a teaspoon each day for any average-sized bowl.

Fill up The Bowl

It is preferable to entirely fill the drinking fountain or bowl. Filling the water bowl all the way to the top will encourage the cat to drink water along with wet food. Also, you should know that kitten whiskers are sensitive to touch and some of them dislike it when the whiskers come into contact with the edge of dishes.

Modify Source

You can also filter the water or switch to bottled water. Regular use may drop the pH of the cat’s urine and make it acidic. Such conditions possibly cause urinary stones or crystals.

How Much Water Cats Should Drink?

We found 60 mls/kg of water every day is ideal for the cat. So, if the cat is about 4 kg, it should drink 240mls or one cup each day to run its body perfectly. Also, 3.5 to 4.5 ounces or approximately half a cup of water for any 5-pound body is sufficient. But if the cat is an adult, it will need 50 to 70 mL of water for every kilo of body weight.

How To Monitor Your Cat’s Water Intake?

There are numerous methods of determining the feline’s water intake. Among them, let’s talk about the easiest way to monitor water intake in 24 hours.

  1. First, fill the cat’s water bowl to the maximum.
  2. The bowl should be given to only one cat.
  3. After that, monitor the amount left over after a 24-hour period.
  4. Then, remove the leftover water from the total volume.


It’s a matter to worry about when your cat stops drinking water but eats a lot of wet food. Even after reading the entire article, your mind will ask about some unclear facts and questions. Therefore, we have included some of the queries that most pet owners ask.

1. Is it normal for a cat to not drink water?

When they eat wet foods, they refuse to drink water and it’s normal. But if they remain 48 to 72 hours without water and become dehydrated, you have to meet the vet since they might have serious health issues that made them avoid water.

2. Is it a good sign if your cat drinks more when eating dry food?

Your cat drinking water after dry food is actually a common thing. Dry food basically includes less water so the cat becomes thirsty. Especially, active or aged cats require much water after dry food. Also, the warm weather or high humidity makes the cat look for water. 

3. How long is too long for a cat to not drink water?

Generally, the cat can stay two or three days without consuming water. But dehydration takes place after 1 day or 24 hours. Therefore, we consider 2 or 3 days as a serious condition for the feline who avoided drinking water.

4. Can I give my cat milk if she won’t drink water?

You should be aware that milk, cream, or any other liquids can never be given as an alternative to water. Feline friends are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant so they face trouble while consuming dairy items.

Wrapping Up

Now, let’s come up with a brief review of the entire article. So, if my cat doesn’t drink water but eats wet food, it’s because having moisture or water in the meal may have reduced the risk of dehydration.

Anyway, if they stop drinking for too long, call the vet. Also, following the given reasons and tips we included, particularly by offering fresh bowls and water, switching food from dry to wet, and including some flavor in the water will make them drink water to be hydrated. But if the cat is eating wet food and drinks the water after a while, it’s completely fine.

Share on:

Hello, this is Frank Swanson, the owner, and operator of Pet Info Hut. I created this website as a way to share my love of pets with the world. I have over 7 years of experience working with animals, and I have a passion for helping people care for their pets. I hope that you find my website useful and informative. Thanks for visiting!

Leave a Comment