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How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water?Cat Tips 2023!

how long can a cat go without water

If you are a cat owner, it is common to wonder ‘How long can a cat go without water?’ As sometimes cats may not want to drink water due to several reasons. They might even lose their appetite too. 

There are many factors responsible for situations like this. However, it is not unusual for cats to drink less than other animals. But it is important to make sure they are drinking an adequate amount of water. After all, they need water to survive like all other living beings. Cat owners must ensure that their cats are properly hydrated. 

Now, the exact duration a cat can go without water depends on numerous points such as age, physical condition, environment, etc. But no cat should go more than a few days without water. 

In this article, we will discuss the factors that determine how long cats can survive without water. Also, the reasons why your cat might go without water and what you can do about it.  

How Much Water Should a Cat Drink? 

Cats need about half a cup of water per 5 pounds of their body weight per day. If you have a 10-pound cat, they should be consuming about 1 cup of water.

As a matter of fact is that cats don’t need to get their water just by drinking.

Wet food cans made for cats contain around 75-80% of water. So if your cat is eating wet food cans, they might get half of their daily water right there.

So, according to this diet plan, cats need to drink less water separately. But if that’s not the case, there are most likely other factors that might slow down cats’ water intake.

Why is Your Cat Not Drinking Water?

As we have mentioned before, cats require small amounts of water to survive throughout the day. Because of this, it is abnormal for them to consume less water than other animals. But they need to drink enough water to remain hydrated. Dehydration can take a serious turn and can be fatal. 

Here are several reasons that contribute to your cat’s reduced desire for drinking water- 

Diet Change

If there is a change in their diet, they might need to drink less water than usual. For example, if the diet changes to consuming wet or canned food, they might drink less water. Canned food often has a large portion of their required moisture. As a result, they might drink less water in comparison to cats on a dry food diet.

Water Source

Cats can be picky about water sources. They might not want to drink water that is stale or too close to their food. So, it is important to give them fresh water in a different location from where their food is. This might help encourage drinking.

Health Issues 

Several medical conditions can affect a cat’s water intake. Cats with kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract problems, or other illnesses may show increased or decreased thirst. There might be a dental problem as well. If you suspect there might be an underlying health issue, it is better to consult with a veterinarian.


Cats are one of the most sensitive animals. Therefore, stress or anxiety can impact their behavior, including their water intake. Changes in the household, loud noises, or moving to a new environment may cause stress. It might affect their drinking patterns.


Older cats might not drink as much water as younger cats. It’s crucial to monitor their water intake and ensure they stay hydrated, as older cats are more prone to certain health issues.


Cats may drink less water during colder weather. Also in environments with low humidity, it can happen to them. If that’s the case, they might increase their water intake in warmer seasons. 

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water? 

Like all living creatures, cats need water to survive. In fact, water is essential for their bodies to function properly.
While cats can survive up to two weeks without food, they can’t survive that long without any access to water.

When it comes to water, a healthy cat can usually survive three to four days on average without any water.

But after 24 hours of no consumption of water, they will fall victim to dehydration. If it goes for longer, electrolyte imbalance will occur which will slowly lead to organ damage.

So, this must not go on for more than a few days. It is a must to take steps to identify the reason behind it and do something about it. If left untreated, this can turn out to be fatal.

As a result, cat owners should not take this matter lightly to avoid serious medical consequences.

What to Do If Your Cat Goes Without Water? 

If your cat is going without water for more than three days, the best thing to do is to go to a veterinarian as soon as possible. But if you can’t do it right away, here are some actions you can take meanwhile-

Wet Food Diet

Consider incorporating wet canned food into their meals if your cat is primarily on a dry food diet. Canned food contains more moisture than dry food. It helps to supplement their water intake.

Provide Clean Water 

Ensure that your cat has access to a bowl of fresh, clean water. Cats are sensitive to certain things. And that includes the taste and smell of water. So changing the water frequently might encourage them to drink.

Different Water Sources 

Some cats prefer running water over still water. The movement of water can be enticing to cats and encourage them to drink more. So, you can consider giving your cat access to a water fountain.

Address Any Stress Issues 

If your cat’s lack of interest in drinking water is related to stress or environmental factors, try to identify and address them. Try to give them a comfortable space to drink water without disturbance.

Monitor Water Intake

It is necessary to keep an eye on how much water your cat is drinking. You can do this by measuring the water level in the bowl. Or you can observe your cat’s water intake during the day.

Offer Water in Different Locations 

You can try placing water bowls in various areas of the house. You can see if your cat prefers drinking in a particular place or not.

Seek Veterinary Advice

If your cat continues to go without water, you must take them to the veterinarian. Seek urgent help if your cat shows signs of dehydration. Signs include lethargy, dry mouth, sunken eyes, decreased urination etc. They can determine the underlying cause of this problem. And provide appropriate treatment for your cat.

Read More On: Why Every Cat Owner Needs a Stainless Steel Water Fountain


Water intake is extremely important for a cat’s overall well-being. So, if your cat reduces water intake or completely stops taking it, you need to monitor the situation.

However, the answer to the question, ‘How long can a cat go without water?’ is not straightforward. It depends on a lot of factors. But the important takeaway is that no cat should go without it for too long.

Last but not least, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian if this condition persists.

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