Making sure an older cat drinks enough water on a daily basis can prove more than just a bit challenging and when they don't drink enough, it can lead to all sorts of health issues that could seriously impact their kidney function. When cats develop chronic kidney issues, they need to drink more so they don't get too dehydrated because if they do, it could lead to total kidney failure
Research has also indicated that when a cat drinks more water, they shed unwanted weight that much quicker and more easily too. But the eternal problem is how to get a cat to drink more and then to know just how much they are drinking on a daily basis. One of the best ways of ensuring a cat gets more fluid in their diet is to feed them tinned food only and to take dried food out of the equation altogether.
The reason being that tinned cat food is typically anything from 60 t0 70% water whereas its dried equivalent only contains about 10% water. Studies have shown that cats only get around 5% of their water needs when fed dried food only. However, when cats are fed tinned cat food, this goes right up to about 70% which is a much better level altogether especially when a cat reaches their golden years and need all the help they can get to support kidney function.
With this said, cats whether they are on dried food only, tinned food only or a combination of both, still need to have constant access to fresh clean water so choosing the right sort of bowl is important because if a dish is not the right design, you may find your feline friend does not like drinking out of it. Life is never easy when it comes to finding the sort of water bowl for cats. Some of our feline friends prefer drinking from water fountains, others would not go near any water that moves, preferring to drink out of a bowl of still water so it really is a matter of trial and error to find out what your cat actually likes.
With this said, over the years you would have come to know your cat's preference and it would be a mistake to change their water bowl to some other design they may not like. You need to keep an eye on your feline friend because cats being cats, they often decide they don't like something which includes a water bowl even though they've been drinking out of it for years. If this happens, you would need to experiment with a few different designs to see which one your cat prefers, but without getting rid of the old one because you may find your pet goes back to it. The solution could be as simple as moving the bowl to a different place.
It's also a good idea to place lots of water bowls throughout the house. Cats in their senior years tend to be quieter and not that keen to move around in the same way they did when they were younger, much preferring to lead more sedentary lives in a peaceful environment. By placing water bowls where you know your cat likes to spend time, means they don't have to go very far in order to have a drink which in itself will encourage a cat in their senior years to drink more water.
It's also important to keep your cat's water bowls topped up with fresh water and to make sure this is done throughout the day. Cats don't like to drink warm or stale water so the cooler and fresher it is, the better. When the weather is very hot or if you like your central heating on full so your house is ultra-warm, you might like to think about putting a few ice cubes in their water bowl which is a great way of making sure the water is kept cooler for that little bit longer.
Cats like to be fed frequently rather than be given larger portions twice a day. Older cats in particular do a lot better if they are fed smaller amounts of tinned food more often throughout the day and it will encourage them to drink more water which in turn will help keep their kidneys working as they should.
When cats get older their kidneys often don't work as well as they should and this means they need to drink more water. Calculating just how much your cat is drinking can be challenging because they tend to be a little secretive. If your cat shows any signs of not being their usual selves, you need to get them along to the vet for a thorough check-up so they can establish whether your pet has developed a kidney problem before recommending a treatment. You would need to make sure they are drinking enough fresh water and if your cat is not as mobile as they used to be, it's a good idea to place more water bowls around the house in places where you cat tends to be. It is also a good idea to put them on a wet-food diet only because it contains a lot more water than dried food remembering to change your cat's diet gradually over a period of seven to ten days.