A conundrum for many cat owners is getting their cat to drink more. While eating dry kibble can be nutritionally adequate (and some cats definitely prefer kibble to canned), most cats could benefit from drinking more. More fluid going in helps with hydration and can help to flush the kidneys and bladder with more urine production. A recent study reported in the American Journal of Veterinary Research in July 2018 looked at trying to entice cats to drink more using a nutrient-enriched water option.
The cats in the study were all fed dry kibble but given different water options. Initially, they all got tap water to establish baselines for drinking amounts and urine production. Then groups were set up to get plain tap water or to get nutrient-enriched water. For a third go around, the cats had both fluid options available—tap water and nutrient-enriched water.
The cats with the enriched water did drink more and produce more urine. Certainly, this is good news for healthy cats, and perhaps for cats with health problems, this may be beneficial. If your cat has certain kidney and/or urinary problems, consuming more liquid could alleviate clinical signs and possibly prevent the escalation of problems or at least slow the progression of some health conditions. Having an option that your cat would readily choose to entice her to drink more would be easy for owners to follow through with and would also be acceptable for multi-cat households.
American Journal of Veterinary Research, Vol 79 No 7 July 2018Originally posted September 2018