If your cat suddenly drinks a lot more water than usual, it could indicate an underlying health problem like diabetes or kidney issues. While drinking more water can sometimes be normal, it’s best not to ignore this change.
Consult your vet to determine the cause and decide on the right course of action. Continuing to monitor your cat’s water intake and seeking professional guidance is important for their well-being.
Why is Cat Drinking so Much?
When your cat starts drinking more water suddenly, it’s essential to consider potential underlying issues. While not all cases indicate a severe problem, it’s crucial to explore various possibilities to determine the cause accurately.
Here are some common reasons why your cat might be drinking more water than usual:
- Dehydration: In some cases, cats may increase their water intake to compensate for dehydration. This can occur due to hot weather, increased physical activity, or insufficient water intake from their food.
- Dietary Changes: If you recently switched your cat’s food to a dry kibble or introduced a new diet, they may consume more water to help digest the food or to compensate for the reduced moisture content in dry food.
- Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common condition in older cats and can lead to increased thirst. As the kidneys lose their ability to filter waste products efficiently, they produce more dilute urine, prompting the cat to drink more water.
- Diabetes Mellitus: Diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, and the excess sugar in the bloodstream can cause increased thirst and urination. If your cat has diabetes, they might drink more water to help flush out the excess sugar.
- Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid gland, or hyperthyroidism, can lead to increased thirst and urination in cats. It’s a common condition in older cats and should be diagnosed and managed by a veterinarian.
- Urinary Tract Issues: Cats with urinary tract infections or other urinary tract problems may drink more water to alleviate discomfort or to help flush out bacteria or crystals from the urinary tract.
- Medications: Some medications can increase a cat’s thirst as a side effect. If your cat is on any medications, consult with your vet to see if this could be the cause.
- Environmental Factors: Changes in temperature, humidity, or increased physical activity can lead to increased water consumption. Cats may also drink more when stressed or anxious.
- Other Health Conditions: Several other medical conditions, such as liver disease, certain cancers, and hypercalcemia (high calcium levels), can cause excessive thirst in cats.
- Behavioral Issues: In some cases, cats may start drinking more due to behavioral issues, such as marking their territory or responding to changes in their environment.
Should I Be Concerned If My Cat Drinks a Lot of Water?
It depends on a few factors, such as how much water your cat is drinking, their overall health, and any other symptoms they may be having.
In general, it’s not a cause for concern if your cat drinks a little more water than usual, especially if it’s hot outside or they’ve been exercising.
What Does It Mean When a Cat is Very Thirsty?
When a cat is very thirsty, it may indicate underlying health issues. Common causes include dehydration, kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or urinary tract problems. Increased thirst should not be ignored.
Consult a veterinarian if your cat drinks excessively or shows other concerning symptoms like weight loss, changes in appetite, or altered behavior. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for your cat’s well-being.
How Much Should Cats Drink?
Cats’ water intake can vary based on factors like age, weight, diet, and environmental conditions. Here’s a general guideline for daily water intake for cats:
|Daily Water Intake
|Kittens (up to 6 months)
|3-4 ounces (90-120 ml)
|Adult Cats (7 months to 6 years)
|5-10 ounces (150-300 ml)
|Senior Cats (7 years and older)
|5-7 ounces (150-210 ml)
Keep in mind that these are approximate guidelines, and individual cats may have different needs. Wet food provides some of their daily water requirement, while cats on dry food diets may need to drink more water.
Also Read: How Long Can a Cat Survive Without Water?
What should I do if my cat is drinking a lot of water?
If your cat seems to be drinking more water than usual and doesn’t exhibit any other concerning symptoms, consider the potential causes. You can take some simple steps to improve their water-drinking experience:
Is your home particularly warm, or is it summertime? Sometimes, excessive drinking can be attributed to environmental conditions.
In such cases, closely monitor your cat’s overall well-being and behavior.
Ensure they have access to fresh water, and as long as your cat remains healthy, happy, and hydrated, there may be no cause for immediate concern.
Make a note of their increased water intake and discuss it with your vet during their next check-up to alleviate any worries.
Check the quality of the water and the condition of your cat’s water bowl. Cats are finicky about their water source and prefer clean, fresh water. Ensure the bowl is clean and free of residue that might deter them from drinking.
Consider your cat’s diet. If your cat recently switched from wet food to dry kibble, increased thirst can be a normal response. Cats on dry food diets may need to compensate by drinking more water to stay properly hydrated.
Keep an eye on this, but remember it’s a common adjustment for cats transitioning to dry food.
Is It Bad If My Cat Drinks A Lot Of Water?
It is not necessarily bad if your cat drinks a lot of water, but it could be a sign of an underlying condition such as diabetes or kidney disease. If your cat is drinking more water than usual, it is important to consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Water For Cats?
Water is essential for all cats, as it helps to keep them hydrated and prevents dehydration. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems such as kidney disease, so it is important to make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water at all times.
How is the cause of polydipsia determined?
Certainly, your vet will conduct comprehensive blood and urine examinations to assess kidney function and screen for conditions like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and liver disease.
Additionally, a complete blood count will likely be performed to detect anemia and infections. Specialized laboratory tests for other hormonal disorders and the possibility of radiographs or ultrasonography might also be advised for a more thorough evaluation.
Always provide access to clean, fresh water and monitor your cat’s hydration, especially in hot weather or if they have specific health concerns. Next, see our guide on what to do if kitten does not drink water.
His professional interests include humane education, ethics, small animal behavior, and veterinary. As a pet lover from school life, having grown up with two cats and a dog. If he isn’t spending time with his friends and family, Justin enjoys traveling. Learn more about Justin here.