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Why do I never see my cat drinking water?

Cats have particular eating and hydration habits

Many have evolved to avoid still water sources, as they’re more likely to contain bacteria in the wild. They may also be drinking elsewhere, especially if they find a moving water source.

Some, however, simply don’t get enough water and this can lead to long-term health impacts.

With their low thirst drive and concentrated urine, they’re particularly susceptible to dehydration and urinary issues as water intake plays a crucial role in joint lubrication, digestion, temperature regulation, circulation, and kidney function.

With one in three cats developing renal disease by the age of 10, and the average life expectancy of an indoor cat 13-14 years of age, mixed feeding can support and prevent potential dehydration and renal issues, extending the life of Australian and New Zealand cat companions.

There are many global studies that highlight the importance of mixed wet and dry food for cats to support dental care, water retention, urinary health, appetite and weight management; all crucial for maintaining optimum feline health.

Royal Canin Scientific Services Veterinarian Dr Julie Summerfield advocates for a nutritional mixed diet of dry and wet food.

Senior cats, kittens, and those with an existing illness like diabetes or kidney disease have a greater chance of developing dehydration,” Dr Summerfield notes.

“Mixed feeding, combining one-third wet and two-thirds dry food is an effective approach to combat dehydration and subsequent renal issues. The moisture content in wet food promotes hydration and supports the overall health and wellness of your cat."

As well as the many health benefits associated with mixed feeding, the varied textures and flavours associated with mixed feeding enhance the overall eating experience for cats, leading to increased satisfaction and enjoyment during mealtime. This feeding approach aligns with the natural behaviour cats developed in the wild, where they consumed a varied diet consisting of both prey and vegetation.

“If you do combination feeding, consider using a food puzzle which can be purchased at most specialty pet retailers and adds an extra sparkle to mealtimes for cats,” Dr Summerfield adds.

For further information on the benefits of mixed feeding and to explore Royal Canin's comprehensive range of pet food products, please visit:

* Source: RENAL Scientific file Delphine Moniot, Scientific Support Specialist, April 2020.

About Royal Canin

For over 55 years, ROYAL CANIN® has put nutritional quality and product safety at the heart of our operations, designing the most precise nutrition for cats and dogs. We have over 500 vets, scientists and qualified nutritionists on our team supporting the health and wellbeing of cats and dogs. We perform over 1.5 million quality checks a year on our diets and never compromise on ingredient quality. Innovation is at our core, with two leading Royal Canin research and development centres constantly looking at new ways to keep supporting the health and wellbeing of cats and dogs around the world.

MEDIA RELEASE, 20th June 2023 

Related Topics:

The Importance of Drinking Water for Cats


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