Felines have a reputation of being finicky, even when it comes to their drinking water. Kitties usually like their water on the cool side, but your furry friend might have different ideas. If she doesn’t seem to be drinking enough, try altering the temp or changing her bowl.
The 'Right' Temperature
You’ll have to experiment with the temperature of Sofia’s water to figure out exactly what she likes. Unfortunately, she can’t tell you what she wants, so you’ll just have to keep close watch, and notice what she drinks readily.
During warmer months, she’ll most likely enjoy really cold water, just like everyone else. Try putting ice cubes in her water bowl, or keep a bowl of water in the freezer at all times. A couple times a day, replace her current bowl of melted ice with the frozen water bowl and put a fresh bowl of water in the freezer, so you’re always alternating. She’ll get to lick the melting ice to cool herself, and the melt water will stay chilly for hours. In the cold winter months, she might be perfectly fine with room-temperature water, or maybe even something slightly warmer.
If you live in an area where the tap water is hard or abnormally soft, your finicky feline might not like it. Although you’ve done everything in your power to get the temperature just so, she still won’t drink much. Give her bottled water instead. You might need to keep it in the refrigerator, but bottled water tends to please even the pickiest of felines.
If think she's not drinking enough water, remember cats are not great water drinkers to begin with. Feed her wet food. Many varieties of moist food in cans or pouches are more than half water. You'll be discretely boosting her hydration level while she feasts on her dinner, and this is a natural way for her to hydrate herself. Try serving wet food a little warm. Put it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for a couple seconds. It'll smell stronger, enticing her to eat.
Selecting the best bowl for your cat's water is equally important. Ceramic or stainless steel bowls have surfaces that inhibit bacterial growth and tend to keep your kitty’s water nice and cool. Some cats love to play with their water, and might knock over the bowl in the process. If Sofia constantly leaves a puddle around her bowl, replace her flimsy plastic dish with a heavy ceramic bowl or a stainless steel bowl with a wide base. She won’t be able to dump her water.
If your kitty doesn't drink water, temperature may not be the problem. Make sure you dump out and refill her water bowl several times a day, so the water always is fresh. Clean the bowl frequently. Dirty bowls with bits of old food floating around can start to smell, and she's as reluctant to take a gulp as you would be. Clean her water dish and her food bowl when you wash your own dishes. Make sure you let the water bowl cool before you fill it with her refrigerated bottled water.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.