Can a Cat Drink Too Much Water?

Yes, it can. A cat can drink too much water during hot seasons when it changes its food from canned to dry, sadly, due to an illness.  You will know that your cat is drinking too much water if you already know the exact amount of water it takes regularly.

Usually, cats are not water drinkers. They will take approximately 30ml per pound of weight per day. More interestingly, if it is getting hydration from its food, say if it feeds on fresh meat and canned food, it might not drink fresh water.

Anyway, let’s dive into cats drinking water, how much they take, and too much water to catch your attention. So, will you join the show on the road?

How Much Water Should a Cat Take?

Cats’ water intake differs by breed and individual cat, just as with humans. Cats will drink water simply because they are thirsty, though, and not because it is healthy.

Therefore, if your cat consumes more water than usual, this means that it is constantly thirsty, and this should catch your attention.

Cats’ water intake varies between 20 to 30ml in a day for each body-weight pound. How do you know how much freshwater your cat should take? You only need to measure how much your cat takes when on a dry food diet.

First off, measure the water that you put in the cat’s bowl. After 24 hours, measure the remaining water in the bowl, clean the bowl, and measure the water you put again.

Repeat the process for at least three days, and you will have an approximate measure of your cat’s intake. However, this record is short-lived for kittens and growing cats since the cat will increase the intake with increased body weight.

Remember that the cat will only take this amount of fresh water if you feed it dry cat food.

Otherwise, wet cat food, fresh meat, and hydrating foods like cucumbers will consume less freshwater. This should not surprise you, as the hydration from other sources is still okay for the cat.

Can a Cat Drink Too Much Water?

Yes, it can. If you realize that your cat is doubling or taking too much compared to its standard water rationing, this should raise a brow.

Here are signs that your cat is drinking too much water;

  • It finishes its bowl of water, which it rarely does on an average day.
  • The cat starts licking water from the bathroom, toilet, sinks, and other weird places.
  • If you have several cats, it takes water from other cats’ bowls, which it wouldn’t usually do.
  • The feline pet meows in thirst and grabs every opportunity to get something hydrating.
  • It pees more often, sometimes in areas where it is not supposed to.
  • The cat is less active, having filled its stomach with too much water.
  • It eats less food due to the water filler.

These are signs that your cat has higher water intake levels, but they are not limited to more water intake. Thus, if you want to confirm your suspicion about the excessive water intake, you can try a test;

You already have a rough idea of how much water your cat should take, right? So, put its specific amount of water in its drinking bowl and see how much time it takes to drink the water.

If it finishes the water and starts looking for other sources of water, add a little more. If it is still not enough, this will tell you that your cat has increased the water intake.

Cat Drinking a Lot of Water Suddenly?

If your cat is suddenly drinking a lot of water, this definitely raises the alarm. It could be a sign of a condition or an illness. Some of these conditions and diseases include:

  • Hyperthyroidism: This is a thyroid hormonal disorder. The thyroid fails to regulate the hydration process, hence excess drinking of water.
  • Kidney failure: kidney illness or failure leads to minimal or no water re-absorption in the body, hence dehydration.
  • Cat diabetes: when a cat has diabetes, it has more glucose in the blood. As it gets rid of the excess glucose, it takes along a lot of water through urination.
  • Fever: when a cat has a fever, it will drink more water, trying to cool its uncomfortable body that feels overheating.
  • Stomach and gut sensitivities: these can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, which dehydrate the body. The cat will drink a lot of water to re-hydrate. When the cat has stomach sensitivities, it may look for water as a filler. It may not want to take the dry food that irritates the gut, hence turning to water.

Something to cool your tension, though, excess drinking of water in cats does not have to be linked with a condition. Sometimes it is normal to drink more than the typical hydration content.

Let’s dive into exciting and less tensing reasons why your cat could be drinking too much water;

  • Your cat is running fast or over a long distance. It, therefore, drinks a lot of water to cool its body.
  • During hot summer seasons, the cat will drink a lot of water. So will everyone else, so this should not raise the alarm on the less-water-drinking pet.
  • The cat has been taking canned food or fresh meat, then suddenly changes to dry food. It will take more water to make up for the hydration provided by the previous foods.
  • If your cat takes steroids and other medicine that causes thirst, it will drink more water than usual.

You can differentiate the two because a condition leads to excess drinking of water for days. On the contrary, excess water consumption triggered by other conditions lasts for a specific duration or day.

How Much Water is Too Much for a Cat

Usually, your cat will take in a specific range of water when taking dry food and a smaller portion of water when taking wet food. As we have mentioned, you must know the usual water intake for your cat.

When this rationing changes by surprising margins, then this water is too much for your cat. For instance, your kitten could be taking 30ml of water within 24 hours. If this suddenly changes to 50ml and above, the water is too much for the little cat.

Always remember to monitor the increased water intake for more than a day. This eliminates the fact that the increase in drinking water is caused by intense activity, weather conditions, or type of food.

All conditions should remain constant for you to finally decide that the water is too much for the cat. Visit a vet to verify the exact condition, as different health conditions could cause the thirst.

Cat Drinking a Lot of Water and Gaining Weight

If a cat is drinking more water than necessary, it could end up adding weight. However, for water to impact body weight, the cat must be drinking too much water. The weight is usually short-lived, as the body system will get rid of the excess water.

In most cases, though, a cat that is drinking too much water will not gain weight. On the contrary, it loses body-weight. Besides, drinking too much water minimizes its food and fat intake, which helps more with weight gain.

More than that, as we have seen, your cat could be having an illness that leads to excess water drinking. It loses the water through urine, diarrhea, or vomiting; hence, it will not contribute to body weight.

Cat Drinking Too Much Water and Vomiting

If your cat is drinking too much water and vomiting, then drinking the water is not voluntary. It must be having a condition that forces it to drink a lot of water, such as cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure.

The cat drinking a lot of water and eating less is a sign that your cat has an underlying condition. It causes loss of appetite while causing excess thirst.

What if the cat drinks too much water and meows? The cat still wants more water. The thirst is unquenchable, a sign that the cat has a severe condition that needs immediate attention.

Therefore, you should see a vet have your cat tested. Early treatment can help save your cat from more complicated conditions. In any case, if your cat has no problem and drank a lot of water due to slight external changes, you will be at peace with a test to confirm it.

Is Too Much Water Bad for Cats?

Yes, too much water is bad for cats. For starters, your cat could be taking a lot of water because they have a health condition. Therefore, your cat taking a lot of water suddenly should not be taken for granted.

Other times your cat has no health condition at all. Your cat loves the taste of the water-filled cucumbers (sometimes there are afraid of cucumber, want to know why?) you give it. Or, you could be diluting your cat food with water all the time.

In these cases, you are doing your cat injustice. The excess water will act as a filler so that your cat absorbs fewer nutrients than its body requires due to the excess water.

Over time, your cat may start reducing its body weight and even turn frail and inactive due to the lack of sufficient nutrients. Drinking a lot of water exposes the cat to illnesses and vulnerabilities due to insufficient nutrient intake.

Cats don’t like taking much water, and too much water is not suitable for the cat.

Can a Cat Drink Too Much Water?

Yes, a cat can drink water beyond its limits. If you keep a cat, you must have noticed that a cat takes water sparingly. If this trend changes abruptly and by shocking margins, then the cat is drinking too much water.

The change may be a result of hotter weather, a change in cat food to dry food, or intense activity. If the condition persists, you need to see a vet for diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, or hyperthyroidism tests.

Bottom Line

A cat can drink too much water if its intake exceeds the regular intake by double or more than the average intake. This can be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as kidney failure, diabetes, or even cancer. Senior cats could be suffering from hyperthyroidism.

Nevertheless, if the sudden change in water intake for the cat is seasonal or only for a day, you should not fret. Your cat probably had a good run or play and needed some cooling. However, let the excess drinking come from the cat and not from you. Do not force your cat to drink too much water for any reason.

Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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