How long can cats go without water? Are cats able to survive a long time without it, or do they get dehydrated pretty soon? Cats are often found to drink too little water, even when they have it available, and in the long run, it can create health problems for them.
Cats survive between 1 to 3 days without water, then severe dehydration sets it causing them to get sick, and if not resolved, it can be fatal. So even though some cats have managed to survive up to two weeks without water and food, it is not always the case for all cats.
Let’s go into more detail.
WHAT HAPPEN IF A CAT DOESN’T DRINK?
Cats are not famous because of their habit of drinking water. In fact, they are most known to avoid water and not to drink too much. However, it is essential to remember that part of cats’ daily water intake comes from food. Therefore, for cats on a wet food diet, the risk of dehydration is much less than cats on dry food.
Numerous problems derive from lack of water. Some of the most evident symptoms are:
- Little appetite
- High heart rate
- Sticky gums
- Excessive urination or infrequent urination
- Weak pulse
- Sunken eyes
|Body Weight (Kg)||Body Weight(Pounds)||Water Needed (Ounces)||Water needed (ml)|
At the first symptoms of dehydration, a cat should visit the vet to find any underlying reason for it and get immediate attention, like fluid and other medications.
HOW LONG CAN CATS GO WITHOUT WATER?
Cats do not take their water only from drinking but also from food. Since they are small animals, they do not have a lot of reserves within their body that allows them to survive for a long time.
Cats can’t go for more than three days without drinking, even though some cats became known for surviving up to two weeks without water and food. Obviously, they were in horrible conditions.
But besides the extreme cases of cats who manage to survive for a more extended period smartly, typically, cats do not have that much strength. House cats are used to be fed and given water. If they escape or find themselves lost, they could survive for a while outside, living with what people give them or what they can find.
Sometimes cat owners have to leave their cats alone for a few days. If so, make sure you leave plenty of water supply around the house and food. But water is more important. They can survive longer without food than without water.
WHAT CAN I DO TO GET MY CAT TO DRINK MORE?
If your cat is not a drinker and if you are worried that he can go for days without drinking, or even a day or several hours, here are some tips for you to follow.
1. USE MORE WATER BOWLS
Cats used to roam around the house. If they find more places with water, they are more likely to drink. Give them ample choices. Maybe they do not like to drink from the water bowl near the food or like a specific bowl better. Try also to use different bowls to see if your cat prefers one instead of another one.
Cats are fascinated by running water. If you let the water run from the bathroom sink or the kitchen sink, you will find your cat looking at it intrigued. Some cats will try to drink, and some others will try to play with it.
If you use water fountains, you see that your cat will be attracted to them and drink more than usual. You can find a good selection of cat water fountains to choose from in many pet shops. The trick is to choose one that your cat may like and may find attractive.
Here are some ideas of water fountains your cat may like:
3.CLEAN THE WATER BOWL OFTEN
Cats are obsessed with cleaning and clean things. If the water is dirty or the water bowl is dirty, cats may stay away from it and not drink. Washing water often bowls, cleaning the drinking fountains, and changing water often are all things that keep cats happy and drinking.
4.USE A LOT OF WATER
Fill the water bowls to the top and if you use a drinking fountain, place a lot of water in it. Cats may not like to dig to the bottom of the bowl to drink due to their whiskers. A lot of water can also attract them toward the bowl or the drinking fountain.
5.COMPLEMENT CATS WATER INTAKE
Cats take part in their daily water intake from food. Wet food has a higher moisture level. Therefore if you have a cat not drinking much, try to switch him to a wet food diet. It can help your cat to get the water he needs to stay healthy.
6.IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
Tap water is not always the best choice. My cats drink the same water I drink. I buy bottles for them too. Tap water is chlorinated and tastes terrible. They may not like it. You could filter tap water or give them water from bottles. This alone can prompt your cat to drink more.
Adding bone broth or tuna water to your cat’s water bowl can encourage your cat to drink more. Maybe try to do this with an additional water bowl to see how your cat reacts.
Those are only a few of the things you can do. Observe your cat and see what he does and what he likes. Maybe you can come up with more tricks to get your cat to drink more.
Here are some related questions and answers:
- Can a cat go 12 hours without water?
Cats can go for 12 hours without water, but they can suffer the consequences of dehydration and feel bad. So try not to leave your cat without water for so many hours.
- How long does it take to rehydrate a cat?
It depends on how complex the situation is. If your cat is severely dehydrated, it may take several hours to get your cat rehydrated. The vet can give fluids to a cat to get him hydrated pretty quickly. Otherwise, the process is faster if a cat needs to rehydrate after a few hours of not drinking.
- How long can cats go without food but with water?
Cats can survive longer if they have water, but they do not have food. Without food, they can go up to two weeks, providing they have a water supply.
- How can you tell when a cat is dehydrated?
There is a simple method you can use to determine if your cat is dehydrated or not quickly. Try to take a portion of skin around your cat’s shoulders and pull it up and let go. If it snaps back immediately, he is fine. However, if the skin stays up or slowly returns to its original position, he is dehydrated.
- Why would a cat not drink water?
A cat can stop drinking if he is sick or there are health conditions. There could also be a problem with the water and his bowl. Maybe the water is not clean, there are hairs or dust in it, or the blow is too small. When cats stop drinking, they have to visit the vet to ensure there aren’t health problems.
I hope you found some valuable information to get your kitty to drink more. If you have any questions or want to add anything, leave it in the comments below.