How Long Can a Cat Live Without Water?

4 minutes to read

Cats are very good at eating their meals. When it comes to drinking, however, it is a whole different story.

When was the last time you saw Whiskers drain his drinking bowl completely? He usually slurps at the water three to four times before moving on to something else.

This scenario plays out in every home that has a cat in it. Cats are not avid drinkers of water and this habit can have serious health implications.

But it is possible to keep your cat well hydrated and out of harm’s way. Which is why you are still on this page. We are going to tell you why cats drink less water and how long they can hold out.

You will also learn how to keep your cat hydrated even when he does not drink his water.

So read on!

 

How long can cats go without water?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, we first have to debunk this mystery.

Just how long can a cat go without water?

We know that humans can go up to 4 days without water. Is it the same for cats?

Turns out it is. Cats and humans are all mammals and they require water to survive. So a cat can up to 4 days without water. Other speculations say that cats can go up to 7 days without water.

Now we know a cat’s threshold for going without water. But are there any side effects that befall a cat if it does not drink water for a while?

 

What can happen to a cat if it goes without water?

Any cat that goes for more than four days without water will start showing the symptoms of dehydration. You can tell your cat is dehydrated if;

  • He appears lethargic – he will show little to no activity and spend most of his days sleeping or lying down. Lack of water makes his body weak.
  • He does not eat his food – dehydration leads to loss of appetite in all mammals. Your feline friend can go without food but he cannot do without water
  • He has increased heart rate – dehydration leads to reduced blood volume in the body. This causes an increase in heart rate to compensate for the gap.
  • His eyes are sunken – as the cat loses body water, the eyes appear dull and sunken. Water is vital in all mammals as it helps body cells maintain their turgidity.
  • He has a dry mouth – the lips of a healthy cat have a bright pink color. A dehydrated cat will have dried lips that are dark red.
  • He is constantly agitated – dehydration can cause depression in cats. The cat will always appear restless and hostile towards anyone who comes close to it.
  • A saggy skin – the skin needs water to remain elastic and vibrant. The coat of a dehydrated cat will be inelastic and dull.

So it is not good for a cat to go without water for long. But we also understand that cats can be quite picky about their beverages. If your cat has a poor habit of drinking water, there are other ways to ensure he remains hydrated.

 

How can I keep my cat hydrated?

Your cat does not want to drink his water? That’s okay, there are plenty of ways to keep him hydrated.

1. Use water-soluble supplements – Cats will eat or drink foods and beverages they can trust with their smell. Water has no smell, color, or texture that will entice your cat to drink. So you can add water-soluble supplements into the water. Some of the cat supplements sold in pet stores contain flavors like beef or chicken which bait your cat to drink.

2. Feed your cat milk – Cats can never say no to milk. So if your feline buddy does not want his water, replace that with milk to keep him hydrated. Milk contains proteins and soluble fats that will benefit your cat’s health.

3. Use frozen treats – Frozen treats come in handy during the hot season. These treats keep your cat hydrated and also helps cool him off. Use healthy ingredients like fruit and broth to make the healthiest treats for your cat.

4. Feed your cat watermelon – A cat will shrug at a bowl of water but will go nuts about a chunk of melon. If your cat is thirsty, let him nibble on a juicy piece of watermelon. Watermelon has enough water content to keep your cat healthy and hydrated.

 

The Takeaway

A cat can go up to four days without water. But you do not want him to stay this long because he can suffer the side effects of dehydration. If your cat won’t drink its water, you can use alternatives like milk, watermelon, or frozen treats to keep him hydrated. Also, add flavored supplements to your cat’s drinking water to entice him to drink.

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