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My Cat Is Drinking Lots of Water and Meowing, Should I Worry? Vet-Reviewed Causes & FAQ

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

cat drinking water

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As a cat parent, you know your cat inside and out. You’re attuned to the cat’s habits, quirks, behavior, and routines. You may become concerned when your cat starts drinking more and meowing.

Cats evolved to acquire hydration from their moisture-rich prey, so most cats are not very effective drinkers. Cats on a dry diet do need to drink water, but increased thirst may signal disease.  So, if your cat gulps down its water, then meows to demand more, there could be a medical issue, and yes, you should worry. Below, we’ll discuss why your cat may drink more and what you should do.

How Much Water Should My Cat Drink Daily?

While you’re right to worry if your cat seems to be drinking more water than usual and meowing, you first need to know how much water your cat should drink before you get too worried. A cat should consume about 4 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight. For example, a 10-pound cat should drink around 8 ounces of water daily.

This is also going to vary according to the moisture content in their diet, the size of the cat, and the cat’s daily activity levels. If your cat’s water intake changes drastically, it could be cause for concern, and you’ll need to contact your vet.

cat drinking from a bowl of red bowl
Image Credit: fantom_rd, Shutterstock

The 8 Possible Reasons Your Cat Could Be Drinking a Lot of Water

There are more than a few reasons your cat could be drinking more water. Not all of these reasons are health-related.

1. A Change in Food

A cat that eats wet food will get most of the water they need from their food. If you’ve recently switched to dry food for your cat, this could be why they are drinking more water. In most cases, your cat will continue to drink more water for as long as it is on a dry food diet. If you’re concerned, it’s best to talk to your vet to see if switching your cat back to wet food is a better idea.

russian blue cat eating dry food in bowl
Image Credit: Felice Wölke, Unsplash

2. The Weather

When the weather is hot, you can expect your cat to drink a bit more water than when it’s cold outside. This is normal, as long as the increased thirst isn’t because of a heatstroke.

Here are the signs that your cat is experiencing a heatstroke:
  • Abnormal breathing/panting
  • Pale or dark red gums
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to rouse, play, or move
  • Collapse
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Drooling excessively
  • Unsteady gait

If the only sign you see is increased thirst, it probably isn’t a heatstroke. However, if you’re unsure or concerned that it might be, contact your vet.

3. Kidney Disease

Health issues can cause increased thirst and meowing in your cat, including kidney disease. It is one of the most common and severe conditions seen in cats. You must take your cat to the vet for treatment if you see any signs of kidney disease.

  • Increased urination
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Bad breath
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums (Anemia) in severe cases

CT scan showing cat's kidneys highlighted in red
Image Credit: Benny Marty, Shutterstock

4. Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus is a severe condition in cats as well. The disease prevents your cat’s body from regulating its blood sugar. This causes increased thirst and urination, and you must take your feline to the vet immediately for treatment.

In most cases, you can prevent this from happening to your cat by keeping the cat at the ideal weight. Although it’s incurable, diabetes is treatable and can be regulated with diet changes or insulin injections.

5. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is another serious condition that is more common in cats than many pet owners think.

Some signs to watch out for include the following:
  • Significant and fast weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased thirst
  • Hyperactivity
  • Loud vocalization
  • Unkempt coat and thickened nails

hungry cat with green eyes waiting for dinner in front of empty bowl
Image credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

6. Liver Disease

Liver disease is another disease that can cause increased thirst.

Some signs to watch out for include the following:
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Yellowing of the eyes and gums

7. UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

A urinary tract infection or UTI is a common condition among cats, which could cause your cat to drink more. Make an appointment with your vet if you feel your cat has a UTI for treatment.

8. Medication Side Effects

Some medications can cause increased thirst in felines, also. If your cat is on a new drug, contact your vet to see if increased thirst is one of the side effects of the medication.

vet giving a pill to a sick cat
Image Credit: Irina 1 Nikolaenko, Shutterstock

When to Call the Vet?

If you feel that your cat is drinking too much water, or if the cat’s water drinking habits have changed, first make sure that it isn’t because you’ve changed the cat’s food from wet to dry. If that isn’t the case, and you see any of the signs of the diseases above in your cat, it’s best to contact your vet immediately.

Final Thoughts

If your cat drinks more water than usual, there could be a simple reason. However, your cat may have a medical condition that needs to be addressed by your vet. If your cat drinks its water bowl dry, then meows for more, or if the cat runs every time you turn on the water to drink from it, there may be a health issue that must be addressed. It’s better to make an appointment with your vet for a checkup than to wait and be sorry that you didn’t.

Featured Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

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