Getting Kittens to Drink Water

Water is vital for cats of all shapes and sizes.

Water is vital for cats of all shapes and sizes.

When your kitten is with her mother, she takes in most of her liquids by nursing. However, when it comes time to progress to solid food, some kittens are uninterested in water. A little creativity may be necessary to get your furry feline to take a drink.

Fill a bowl with clean, cool water and leave it down where your kitten can reach it. Swap the water out daily, and wash the bowl at least once a week to cut down on unwanted bacterial growth. A shallow bowl works best for kittens, since even small animals can reach over the edge to get a drink.

Add a little hot water to your kitten’s solid food. Water softens the food and encourages reluctant drinkers to take in a little extra moisture. If your kitten is eating dry kibble, let the water soak in for at least 10 minutes before feeding.

Pour a teaspoon of tuna juice or low-sodium broth into your kitty’s water dish. This adds a little extra scent and flavor to entice a reluctant drinker. Once your kitten is drinking regularly, reduce the amount of juice in each bowl until he is drinking plain water.

Items you will need

  • Shallow dish
  • Tuna juice
  • Low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • Eyedropper


  • Call your vet if your kitten refuses to drink for more than a few hours. Dehydration is a serious concern and may lead to death in severe cases. Signs of dehydration in your kitten include pale, dry gums, constipation and poor skin elasticity.

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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.

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