Is it Normal for Cats That Eat Wet Food to Not Drink Water?

Cat drinking water

As cat owners, we all know how important water is for our furry friends. However, have you ever noticed that your cat who eats wet food doesn’t seem to drink as much water? Is this normal? Let’s take a deep dive into the topic and explore why cats need water, the difference between wet and dry food, and the reasons why cats eating wet food may not drink as much water as they should. But first…

Is it Normal for Cats That Eat Wet Food to Not Drink Water?

It’s normal for cats that eat wet food not to drink as much water. This is due to the water content of the food providing some of your kitty’s hydration needs. Cats will naturally compensate for needing more or less water. If they eat a lot of wet food, they’ll drink less and if they eat a lot of dry food, they’ll drink more.

Why Do Cats Need Water?

Water is an essential component of a cat’s body, just as it is for humans. It helps regulate body temperature, aids in digestion, and is essential for healthy kidney function. Without enough water, a cat can become dehydrated, which can lead to serious health problems such as urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and even death.

How Much Water Do Cats Need?

Cats should drink about 3-4 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day. However, this can vary depending on a cat’s diet and activity level. Outdoor cats may need to drink more water, especially in hot weather. Older cats may also need more water because they are more prone to dehydration.

Wet Food vs. Dry Food

The water content of a cat’s food is a significant factor in their water intake. Wet food typically contains around 70-80% water, while dry food contains only 5-10% water. This means that cats eating wet food are getting more water from their food than cats eating dry food.

Wet food also has other benefits for cats. It is easier to digest, which is especially important for cats with digestive issues or dental problems. Wet food can also be more palatable for cats who are picky eaters or have a decreased appetite.

Do Cats Need to Drink Water If They Have Wet Food?

Yes, cats still need to drink water if they are eating wet food. Although wet food contains a higher amount of water than dry food, it may not be enough to keep your cat hydrated. Depending on your cat’s activity level and other factors, they may still need to drink water in addition to what they get from their food.

Also remember that cats have a natural thirst drive, and drinking water is part of their normal behavior. As such, it’s important to provide them with fresh, clean water at all times, regardless of their diet.

How Much Water Should Cats Drink If They Eat Wet Food?

The amount of water that cats need to drink if they eat wet food can vary depending on a number of factors, including their weight, activity level, and overall health. As previously mentioned, cats should drink about 3-4 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day.

To make sure your furball is drinking enough, you may need to do some rough math to figure out how much water is coming from its wet food. For example, let’s assume that your cat eats 3 ounces of wet food per day. You can figure out that it’s getting approximately 2-2.5 ounces of water from the wet food. Now, you can figure out the balance that your cat should be drinking based on its weight.

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How Can You Tell If a Cat Is Dehydrated?

There are several signs that you can look for to determine if a cat is dehydrated. Some of the most common signs of dehydration in cats include lethargy, decreased appetite, sunken eyes, dry mouth, and decreased skin elasticity.

You can check for dehydration by gently pinching the skin between the cat’s shoulder blades or on the back of its neck and then releasing it. If the skin takes longer than usual to return to its original position, or if it remains “tented” for more than a few seconds, this can be a sign of dehydration. Other signs of dehydration can include constipation, urinary tract infections, and kidney problems.

If you suspect that your cat is dehydrated, encourage them to drink more water and consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Joey drinking water

Ugh, being a kitten is so tough sometimes. I mean, I’m cute and all, but seriously, the thirst is real. #WheresTheWater #FillUpMyBowl #IDemandRefreshment #ThirstyKitty


How Long Can Cats Go Without Water?

Cats can survive for several days without water, but it’s not healthy or recommended for them to go without water for an extended period of time. The exact amount of time that a cat can go without water depends on several factors, including their overall health, age, activity level, and environment. However, it’s important to note that even short periods of dehydration can have serious consequences for cats, including kidney damage, urinary tract infections, and other health issues.

Encouraging Water Intake in Cats

Encouraging your cat to drink more water can be challenging. However, there are several things that you can try to get them to drink more.

  1. One of the most effective ways to encourage cats to drink more water is to provide them with fresh, clean water in a location that is easily accessible to them.
  2. Some cats prefer to drink from running water, so you may want to consider using a fountain-style water bowl. This can help make the water more appealing.
  3. You can also try adding a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth to your cat’s water, as this can make it more enticing to drink.
  4. Another option is to offer your cat a variety of water sources, such as a bowl of water and a small fountain.
  5. You can also try placing water bowls in different locations around your home. Some cats prefer to drink in private or in a quiet location.

If your cat is still reluctant to drink water, you may want to consider adding a small amount of wet food to its diet. This can provide them with additional hydration.


Cats need water just as much as humans do. While cats eating wet food may not drink as much water as those eating dry food, it’s still important to ensure that they are getting enough water to prevent dehydration and keep their bodies functioning properly. If you notice that your cat isn’t drinking enough water, there are several things you can do to encourage them to drink more.

By providing fresh, clean water in an easily accessible location, offering different types of water sources, and monitoring your cat’s water intake, you can help ensure that your feline friend is staying hydrated and healthy. If you have any concerns about your cat’s water intake, be sure to consult with your veterinarian, as they can provide tailored advice and recommendations for your individual cat.

Should Your Cat Drink More Water?

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