Kitties are designed to get almost all the water they need from the food they eat.
Cats with underlying disease will drink a lot of water.
Cats in the wild hunt prey, and prey consists of about 75 percent water. Canned cat food contains at least that much moisture. Dry food, on the other hand, contains only about one tenth of that amount.
If you're feeding your kitty mostly dry food, he's probably drinking more water than he would if his diet was high in moisture content. But as a general rule, cats on dry food diets consume only about half the water cats on moisture-rich diets consume.
Think for a minute about your cat's lower urinary tract, specifically the bladder and kidneys, which need to be flushed constantly with adequate quantities of urine.
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) specifically urethral obstruction (UO) because of dry food-only diets. Urethral obstructions are most often seen in male cats and are life-threatening.
A blocked urethra can cause death in a matter of days. Risk factors for feline UO include indoor-only living, obesity, and a diet of dry food (kibble). Unlike other species, cats don’t have much of a thirst drive and are designed to get the moisture they need from their food.
Dry cat food provides only about one-tenth the amount of moisture cats receives from prey animals, living foods, and even commercial canned diets. The vast majority of kitties fed dry food diets live in a state of chronic mild dehydration. This puts significant stress on the kidneys and bladder, which contributes to the development of FLUTD and urethral obstruction.
Dietary food with a high moisture content is incredibly important to urinary tract health in cats. Water content in the diet can be achieved most easily by feeding a canned diet; the canned food should be placed in a separate container next to the cat's regular diet. If the canned food is not consumed, water can be added to the dry kibble to achieve higher moisture content, although 85% moisture is difficult to attain using this method.
Professional Pet Sitting Services offered in the Upper to Mid-Pinellas County Area