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Q: my cat refuses to drink water. HELP!

September 11, 2008 | By Hjr1206 | 7 answers | Expired: 2155 days ago

she has refused to drink water for about 4 weeks. we are giving her subcutaneous fluids when necessary but it is driving me crazy. I have tried everything mixed with water but no luck. She is eating canned food so I know she is getting fluid from that but I worry that it's not enough. She will drink the gravy from the canned 'shreds' or 'chunks' or 'pieces'. She was very sick about 4 weeks ago and went through antibiotics, fluids, etc at that point. She had stopped eating and drinking. Well now she is eating about 1 to 1 1/2 cans of the small cans of cat food a day but refuses to drink water. I am not in a financial position to put hundreds of dollars into tests....especially with what has already been spent.
Does anybody have any suggestions?

Readers' Answers (7)
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Marta J.
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Sep 12, 2008

At the vets we used to try the water from canned tuna.

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Michele Z.
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Sep 11, 2008

Is it possible that you just aren't noticing when your cat drinks water? Some cats will drink out of an aquarium, the chomode, etc. and/or lick droplets from the kitchen and bathroom sinks. As you pointed out, your cat does get liquid from canned food--this MIGHT be enough (but you didn't clearly state if your cat is dehydrated and in dire need of water).

Placing medical reasons aside and focusing on your cat's unwillingness to drink water from the bowl you have set out for her use, I'd question if your cat smells something unappetizing, either in the water itself (e.g., too many chemicals) or the (dirty?) bowl. You could try disinfecting the bowl or getting a new one, as well as try distilled water. Maybe it IS "something in the water".

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Sep 11, 2008

What does your vet think is wrong? That is a very important part of the equation that you left out. Is your cat lethargic too? It sounds like your cat is very sick and possibly suffering.

You can find a used pet water fountain listed on Craigslist in most cities, if you can't afford a new one or don't want to shell out the bucks for something that might not solve your problem since it sounds like a medical problem and not a behavior problem. My cats prefer the water fountain. Be sure to use bleach when cleaning it prior to filling it with water for your pet.

When my cats need extra fluids, I make a big deal about giving them a special fluid treat. I've drained the water out of a can of tuna then add a cup of water. My cats like tuna flavored water.

You can try chicken stock but not chicken broth. Chicken broth has spices not good for your cat. You can make your own chicken stock by boiling chicken in water with no seasonings except for maybe a pinch of salt. Take the chicken out after boiling it to cooked and you have chicken stock.

Whenever I can get my hands on unpasteurized goats milk, I'll give that as a treat to my cats. I can't always find that but the kitten milk in pet stores is not a bad second choice.

I also like to give my cats electrolyte water when they are sick. SmartWater is a name brand, very reasonable and available at most grocery stores. Whole Foods has a generic brand electrolyte water that just a few cents cheaper. It's only about 10 cents cheaper so it won't be worth going out of your way.

Petsmart's Banfield runs clinic hours every week where they waive the doctor visit fee. They are very reasonable in their prices on stuff, so if money is a problem they might be a solution over your regular vet for the testing your cat needs. Your vet will be able to recommend a pet health care loan which is available if you need it.

If you tell your cat’s doctor that money is an issue, s/he will work with you to reduce your pet’s health care needs. All the vets I know will do that when asked. Let your cat’s doctor know that whenever possible you'd like a human equivalent drug so that you can fill it at a discount pharmacy like Costco. Let your cat’s doctor know that you'd like over-the-counter medications whenever possible but sometimes that won't always be possible like when your cat needs antibiotics.

Private pharmacy's are against federal law, so anyone can go to a warehouse club's pharmacy like Costco, Sam's Club and the others. Tell the people at the door checking for club cards that you are only going to the pharmacy. Call around before filling the prescription so you can find who has it cheapest. You can look up the pharmacy phone numbers online.

I hope your cat starts feeling better soon.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Sep 11, 2008

Cats are funny and make weird associations about things. Becareful not to force her to drink (unless noted by a vet!)this can cause her to dislike fluids. Also, cats by nature prefer to drink moving water. Buy a "Drink Well" pet fountain and you might be surprised. I have a cat that refused to drink hour old water, no matter how thristy she was. The Drink well helps!
If you need to add water (more of a soup then a gravy) to the food, wet or dry. Wet mixes better).
You said that you were sub Qing her. She could be getting enough hydration from that?

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Girlygirljess05
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Sep 11, 2008

Keep water out at all times even if your cat doesn't seem interested. Try getting a little kitten bottle and see if you can get your cat to drink from that, or as another person has said try the syringe, that works well too.

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Heather
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Sep 11, 2008

More info is needed to answer this question properly. How old is your cat, what illness did it have, have you been to the vet, what have you tried, is your cat dehydrated?

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Gina Z.
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Sep 11, 2008

What I did was get a syringe without the needle of course, and give her water by opening my cats mouth and slowly squirt it in. You can get a syringe from your vet.... Your cat does get other liquid from her wet but not enough.

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