Cats like to find their water in their food

In the natural state, the prey on which the cat feeds covers 80% of its daily water needs (these prey being made up mostly of water: 65%¹).

It therefore creates a rising column of liquid, part of which it absorbs (see below).

How much should my cat drink if he is fed exclusively dry food?

It is estimated that a cat needs 35 to 70 ml/kg of water per day, or around 210 ml for a 4 kg cat. Most animal species absorb the water they need through drinking and food. The drier their food, the more they need to drink.
Dry food for cats is both very concentrated (on average) and very dry (on average 7% water).

A cat fed exclusively on dry food should drink 200 ml of water daily.

Indeed, it only absorbs about 5 ml of water in its food (+/- 60g / day at +/- 7% humidity).

Did you know ?

Metabolic water comes from chemical reactions that take place in the body.

Certain animals living in the desert can use large quantities of metabolic water (the camel for example, which converts the fat stored in its humps into water).

In cats, metabolic water can only cover 10% of daily needs.

What are the risks if my cat lacks water?

The first danger is Lower Urinary Tract Diseases. These diseases are manifested by difficulty in urinating, or pain, and / or by the presence of blood or crystals in the urine. In addition to the sometimes extreme discomfort they generate for the cat, they can be very dangerous and must be treated quickly.

  • Lower Urinary Tract Disease can take the form of Idiopathic Cystitis (inflammation of the urinary tract of undetermined origin), the triggering mechanism of which always has a water component.
  • They can also take the form of urinary stones. The stones are very unpleasant for the cat who can no longer urinate normally. For formed stones, surgical removal is often the only treatment option

Did you know ?

Urinary stones mainly come from the concentration of urine.
The more concentrated the urine, the more the molecules (especially calcium) tend to crystallize.
The crystals can aggregate into stones, which can lead to the obstruction of the urethra (channel of evacuation of the urine).

A high water consumption makes it possible on the one hand to reduce the concentration of urine in minerals, on the other hand to increase their frequency of emission. Crystals spend less time in the urinary system and are less likely to form stones⁴.

Dehydrated cats are also more likely to suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease.

This disease, which affects 30% of older cats², leads to progressive and irreversible degeneration of the kidneys, which can no longer perform their blood filtration function. It therefore engages their vital prognosis.

Here again, good hydration relieves the action of the kidneys and protects them over time.

If in doubt, you can on the one hand monitor the quantities of water that he actually ingests (by measuring the quantities drunk in his water bowl and by calculating the quantities eaten in food), on the other hand consult your veterinarian for an informed opinion, especially if you observe a less shiny coat, less activity, or digestive problems.

The quality and water content of cat food: 1st preventive medicine tool.

To protect the health of the renal and urinary system of the cat in the long term, the ideal is to give him a quality food, with a significant proportion of the daily ration in the form of complete wet meals (at least 50% of the calories ingested ).

Similarly, wet food is particularly recommended for cats that have already experienced kidney or urinary problems.

Indeed, the quality of the hydration is as important as the quality of the food for the maintenance of the good health of the cat.