Cat Adoption, Cat Foods, Cat Health, Cat Questions, Cats

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Food and Water?


Water and food are two essential requirements without which cats can’t survive. Cats need water to recoup the fluids lost through urination. The cats, usually, pee 3 to 4 times a day. Hence, they should drink 7 to 9 ounces of water every day.

Just like humans, cats also need water to throw out the unwanted, harmful fluids from the body.

Usually, these feline creatures don’t drink water unless they are forced to do so. Sometimes, cats go without drinking water because they are sick or don’t get to drink pure water. So be watchful if you find water in your pet’s bowl. Take the health-cues seriously and get your cat to a vet. Dehydration can lead to renal failure and sometimes, the death of the cat.


Why Does a Cat Need Water?

The cats are also living beings like us and need to take in the required amount of water to stay healthy. During the olden days, wild cats get water from the prey like mice they eat in forests. Nowadays, almost everyone has a cat at home.

These barn cats eat dry food that doesn’t have enough water for their body. These dry foods have only a less percentage of water when compared to the prey or the tinned food they eat.


Excess Intake of Water?

These pets should drink an adequate amount of water every day. But, what if they drink more than what is needed? This condition is also dangerous. It is a clear indication that your cat may be diabetic or of an abnormal function of the thyroid gland.

If you find your cat consuming prodigious quantities of water, rush to a nearby veterinary. You don’t need to worry if your cat drinks a little more amount of water during the summer season.


Dehydration in Cats

On the flip side, if your cats refuse to drink water, they become dehydrated. Beware of the signs like skin tenting. If you catch hold of your cat’s skin and leave it gently, it should go back to its place within no time. If it takes time to spin back to its location, you have to make it to a veterinary.

There are many reasons for dehydration. If your cat had sunstroke or a gippy tummy, give more water to your cat. You can provide electrolyte supplements or delicious meat food to reduce dehydration.


Tips to Give More Water to Your Pet

Just like you encourage your child to have home-made food, give homemade food to your pet. It will help the cat to get more water than the tinned or dry food they eat. The pet food-Kibble has a low water content in it. Avoid feeding your pet with Kibble.

If your cat eats kibble, give her a small bowl of water now and then or give wet meat to keep her hydrated all the time. Even if you give homemade food, encourage your pet to gulp in some water to help her to stay hydrated.

Let the cat have access to fresh and cold water. It will encourage your cat to drink water multiple times a day.


Why Does a Cat Need Food?

There are lots of mistaken notions of feeding a cat. Some feed them too much food whereas some others don’t give them adequate food entirely. But, these feline animals need specific proper portion sizes of food to stay fit and fine. Joe Bartges, Ph.D. in veterinary science, says that overweight is a common disease found in house cats.


Overfed Cats

A fluffy cat may look very cute and attractive, but they can easily fall sick. Obesity in these feline friends is mainly due to metabolic syndrome. Since domestic cats don’t have to hunt for prey, they sit in your settee comfortably. They get almost all the necessary nutrition from their food. Hence there is a greater chance of overfeeding your pets. Take special care not to feed your pet more than 24 to 35 calories per pound.


Cat-Feed Moisture Content

Of late, almost all cat owners are feeding them dry food. It will leave them dehydrated because cats can’t realize the thirst. If the cat’s body is dehydrated, it will lead to urinary tract related diseases. Just like prevention is better than cure, give them canned food rich in water content, before they fall sick.

If we dig a little deep into the dietary practices of cats, we can observe that dry tinned food has 5 to 10% of moisture. Whereas, their prime prey- mice provide 70% of their water needs.

In the case of canned food, it is 78%. It is a bit more than what their body needs. More often than not, the feral cats get enough nutrition and water since they eat mice and rodents as food.

An interesting piece of information about cats is that they love to lick the flowing water instead of stagnant water in bowls. So, if your cat has access to a fountain near your house, it would be awesome. They don’t feel thirsty on their own. Their body is designed to take water from the diet they eat. It is because they have more taste receptors instead of water receptors in their tongue.


Tips to Feed Your Cat

  • It is always advisable to follow a chart and a strict time to feed your kitty. There are three ways you can feed your cat.
  • At regular intervals, give them a mix of homemade and canned food or even dry food.
  • Some cat owners free feed their cat to ensure the cat gets food throughout the day. But, it should be limited to 5 or 6 times as it can lead to obesity and related diseases.
  • You can feed your cat a combination of dry and wet food to make sure they get enough water and nutrition. High moisture food can benefit a cat if she is suffering from kidney ailments. Meanwhile, dry food is safe for cat’s teeth.



In short, just like us, cats also need water and food to survive and stay away from diseases. Since cats don’t have a natural feeling of drinking water, you should take extra care to give them an adequate amount of water. If they refrain from drinking water for three days, your cat will die. Always, provide fresh and clean water. If possible, give your cat a bowl of treated water.

Otherwise, your pet will not drink enough water. When our pets starve, they don’t get enough water. Eventually, the metabolic rate of the body drops down and will lead to degeneration of brain cells. It may lead to the death of your pet cat. So, take extra care to feed your cat adequate food and water.


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