Petsitting cat

Is my cat drinking too much water?

Cats drink varying amounts of water depending on their diet. However, if you notice that your cat has increased their normal intake, it could be a clue to a number of internal disease processes. Read more in this article about how much water is normal for cats to drink and when to contact a vet.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet


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How much water do cats normally drink?

Depending on their diet, your cat will likely drink more when fed a dry food diet than a wet food diet. However, any change in their normal drinking patterns should be monitored.

You can monitor your cats water intake over 24 hours by:

  • Fill up your cats water bowl to the brim

  • Make sure only the one cat is drinking from the bowl

  • Then, Measure the amount left over at the end of the 24 hour period - subtract the remaining amount from the full volume of water in the bowl

A normal cat will drink up to 100ml/kg of their body weight per day. However, any cat that is drinking more than usual should see their vet.

What are the common causes of increased water intake in cats?

The most common causes of increased thirst in cats include:

  • Kidney disease

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

  • Diarrhoea

  • Liver disease

  • Urinary tract disease

What should I do if my cat is drinking excessively?

Increased thirst is generally a symptom of internal disease and it’s important to have your cat checked by a veterinarian to find the cause. Many of the disease processes have successful management or treatment options.

How does my vet investigate if my cat is drinking too much?

As well as obtaining a thorough history and full physical examination, your vet will use the following tests initially to get to the bottom of your cat's excessive drinking habits. Let your vet know how much they’re drinking at your visit.

  1. CBC - complete blood count to check the proportions of blood cells

  2. Serum Biochemistry - to check the organs

  3. Urinalysis - to check the urine

Additional tests may be required to diagnose certain conditions and to monitor progress after treatment has been initiated.

Is there anything that I should not do if my cat seems to be drinking too much?

Do not restrict access to water. It may result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, causing serious secondary problems.

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