Your cat may be prone to troubles with his urinary tract system and one easy way to help prevent this is to encourage increased intake of water. Feed your cat canned food. It is high in water content, and most cats appreciate the treat. Canned food can also be heated to increase the palatability. All cats should eat some canned food daily as it also will help them when they are older. Cats can be very finicky, and if a cat has never eaten canned food when they are younger, they may refuse it later when they are older and need a specialized canned diet to help with a health problem or slow a disease process.
Fresh water should be offered daily. Cats seem to like clean water but even more so, they like running water. There are many water fountains like water bowls available on the market now to encourage your kitty to stop turning on the taps in the bathroom or meowing at you to do it for them. When purchasing a water bowl or fountain be sure you can take it apart entirely as all parts should be cleaned weekly. Cats are fickle some may like cold water, others may like it lukewarm, and some cats do not like a water bowl that the “yucky dog” had lapped out of.
Keep the water bowl filled to the top. Cats have very sensitive whiskers and do not like putting their head into the pan. Some cats will drink more if you put a few drops of Tuna or Salmon juice in it. You can freeze ice cubes with a few drops of tuna juice in each cube to make things more convenient. Be sure to have a bowl of fresh water available as well as the fishy flavoured water.
Keep food and water bowls away from the litter box. Cats are very clean creatures and do not like to hang out or eat where they stink it up. Water bowls should frequently be cleaned as cats have a keen sense of smell and are quickly turned off by odours on the edge of the pan. Stainless steel and glass are easier to keep clean than plastic. Some cats prefer a small clear glass bowl or a clear shallow bowl to drink from. Experiment with different types of pots and dishes to find what works best for your furry friend.
Written by Darlene Cannon, RVT