How Long Can A Cat Live Without Water: 5 Worst Health Risks Of Not Drinking Water

How long can a cat live without water? Generally, a cat can survive 3 to 4 days without water.

Veterinary caregivers have so much concern about the number of water cats should consume because the need for this in our cats is entirely different from what we feel we should do for them. In our home, we want them to drink plenty of drinking water.

When a cat doesn’t drink enough water, it’s not just a matter of hygiene. It can be life-threatening. Cats are extremely efficient at getting their required water from the food they eat and from their protein metabolism.

Cats can lead a long, healthy life without consuming any drinking water. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthful – the cat will eliminate excess nitrogen in the urine byproducts and fluids from the blood by urinating more frequently.

That’s why dehydrated cats will drink more, but it still won’t be enough to keep them healthy over some time.

Going for 24 hours without water is dangerous, even for a healthy cat. Although cats require less water than other animals, they do need some.

How Long Can A Cat Live Without Water?

A healthy cat’s life is generally limited to 6 to 8 weeks without water. The number of days this depends on several factors, including weight, age, and activity level.

How Long Can A Cat Live Without Water
How Long Can A Cat Live Without Water

A cat that is mildly dehydrated at the time of abandonment may be able to survive for a week or more without water. A severely dehydrated or starving cat will not survive more than 3 to 4 days without water.

How Much Water Do Cats Need?

There is no definitive answer to this question because every cat is different, and his needs vary with his environment, habits, and breed.

How much water a cat needs depends on its age. Small cats require relatively less water than older cats. If your cat eats only dry cat food, it needs more water. However, if you feed your cat wet or canned cat food, which is about 80% water, it needs less to drink.

On average, a cat needs to drink 2-4 ounces of water on top of the food it eats.

A healthy cat eating a normal, healthy diet does not require large amounts of water. Cats obtain all the water they need from their food and metabolic processes.

An adult cat weighing 10 pounds (4.5 kg) drinks approximately 3/8 cup (80 ml) of water per day.

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What Are The Risks If My Cat Isn’t Drinking water?

Here are the top 5 health risks of not drinking cat water:

1. Kidney Damage

Your cat’s kidneys are the main organ affected during periods of dehydration. Kidney damage can occur when your cat is without water for just 24 hours.

The longer your cat goes without water, the more severe the damage could be. During the initial stages of dehydration, your cat’s body will attempt to conserve water and reduce urination.

2. Dehydration

Dehydrated cats have an increased risk of developing hypernatremia (an electrolyte imbalance). This is usually not as severe when your cat has been away from water for fewer than 8 hours. If your cat is waiting for you to fetch the water, it will tolerate dehydration better.

3. Gastrointestinal Damage

Dehydrated cats may experience severe diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration, gastrointestinal problems, and death if not treated immediately.

4. Diabetes Damage

If a cat waits too long to drink water following a bout of diarrhea or vomiting, it may develop diabetes.

5. Seizures

If your cat is suffering from seizures, you need to get some water immediately. Anti-seizure medications are designed to treat the symptoms of seizures, not the cause (which could be dehydration).

What Do I Do If My Cat Isn’t Drinking water?

If you notice that your cat hasn’t drunk any water in a while, check its ear flaps, nose, gums, and paws. These are areas that cats often lick to keep themselves hydrated. If they are dry and cracked, it shows that your cat is dehydrated.

If you notice any of the above signs, immediately take your cat to the vet. The sooner you get medical care, the better your chances for recovery.

What Affects Your Cat’s Drinking Habits?

According to a study by the Morris Animal Foundation, only 23% of cats are considered “normal drinkers” – animals that drink approximately 1 cup (250 ml) of water per day.

The study found that cats kept indoors drink more water than cats allowed to go outside.

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House-bound felines tend to prefer consuming water from a bowl rather than drinking it at the source. Cats are also more likely to drink less if they choose the matter.

When you look at it this way, it makes sense why some veterinarians recommend creating a stress-free living environment for our pets. Exercise and play are very important for keeping cats active and healthy.

How To Make Your Cat Drink More Water?

Below are some tips for getting your cat to drink more Water:

1. Offer A Drink More Often

2. Change Water Regularly

3. Add Some Flavor

4. Vary Water Temperature

5. Get A Pet Fountain

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

To understand why cats dislike water, it’s important to know what’s in the water.

Chlorine is added to the water supply in most countries because it helps kill bacteria and make us more comfortable. Unfortunately, chlorine doesn’t taste very good, and cats despise it. The taste of chlorine may also be a turn-off for your cat.

Household water usually contains many other chemicals like fluoride, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. Cats can’t do without these minerals, but they don’t enjoy the taste of water that contains them in it.

Many cat owners report that their pets will drink from a dripping tap but not from a bowl that has just been filled. This may be because cats consider the dripping water to be purer than regular, still water.

They also like fresh, cool running water and prefer drinking from a fountain or a bowl with smaller openings rather than one with higher edges.

What Happens When A Cat Doesn’t Drink water?

Drinking water like a human is very beneficial for a cat’s health. The lack of water causes the cat to urinate more often during the day.

The result is that your cat’s bladder gets full quickly, and it has to strain for a long time to go to the toilet.

If you notice your cat does not like water when it first bites into it, tries pouring a small amount into its bowl so that you can see how it reacts. If it still resists, try mixing in a bit of its food.

When your pet gets too dehydrated, your cat might have constipation, vomiting, dry gums, or a quick heart rate.

Your cat may end up being lethargic and moody when it gets dehydrated. These are all effects of not drinking water.

How Long Can Cats Go Without Water?

Some owners noticed that their cat only liked to drink water from a bowl when it was still half full. This does not mean your cat is in danger of getting dehydrated.

However, cats going for very long without drinking water have to deal with dehydration and other health problems.

Cats can go without water for a long time without showing any signs of dehydration. It would help if you kept checking your cat’s body weight daily.

If you notice any changes, you should immediately take your cat to the veterinarian.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water Before Kidney Damage?

Some cats can go more than a week without drinking water. However, they will lose more water weight during this time and become more susceptible to dehydration, so you have to keep an eye on them.

During this time, they may start urinating excessively and losing weight quickly.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water Before It Becomes Dehydrated?

Some cats cannot go weeks without drinking water because of aging, illness, or malnutrition.

You have to watch your cat closely if it does not drink water for a long time and seek medical attention if you notice any changes to its behavior.

Cats can go without water for up to two weeks. If the cat does not have access to a bowl of clean, running water during this time, it will become very dehydrated.

When your cat goes too long without drinking water, it may begin to drink from the toilet or even lick the sides of the bowl.

Can A Cat Go 48 Hours Without Water?

Some cats may go a little longer than 48 hours without drinking water because they are not interested in eating. Cats that have become dehydrated may not be eager to drink anymore. If your cat becomes very sluggish, it simply needs water to keep it going.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water Before It Dies?

Some cats may survive for a week or longer without drinking any water, but their chances of dying from this will increase dramatically.

If you leave your cat alone for more than a couple of days, make sure it has access to water.

Cats need water to stay hydrated and alert. A cat that is not getting any water might enter into a dormant state where it cannot function properly.

Can A Cat Live 5 Days Without Water?

Some cats that live for five days without water will survive. However, they will start to function sluggishly, and all of their functions will become impaired.

How Much Water Should Cats Drink?

If your cat does not drink water in sufficient amounts, it can lead to dehydration. This means that the body cannot retain sufficient water, and it’s too dehydrated to function normally.

The signs of dehydration in cats include undue thirst, dry mouth and gums, dark-colored urine, and reduced blood pressure.

If you notice any of these symptoms, try giving your cat some water and see if it regains the ability to maintain normal functioning.

How Long Can Cats Be Trapped Without Water?

Trapping a cat in a room without water for a long period can be very dangerous for it. It might die because the heart will fail, and the lungs will begin to collapse. It takes a lot of time to get the water out of such a room, and some cats may not survive.

How Long Will It Take For A Cat To Die When Trapped?

Some cats might survive for days without water, but their health is severely affected when they are trapped. They will start having breathing problems spasms and eventually die from dehydration when there is no water source in their environment.

How Long Can A Sick Cat Go Without Water?

Cats that are not healthy may not be able to go a long time without water. They will feel symptoms of dehydration quicker than a healthy cat and need to replace fluids more quickly.

Taking the time to feed your cat some water throughout the day is an effective way to make sure it stays hydrated and can maintain regular bowel movements.

Final Thoughts

Cats are very different creatures. Their physiology requires that they take in water daily. If you notice any differences to your cat’s normal routines, do not be alarmed – ask your vet to help you find out if it is dehydrated.

When you have a cat in your life, it is important to watch its drinking habits and take action when necessary. Titles like this one can help you decide what to do if there seems to be a change in your cat’s drinking habits.


Can A Cat Go 12 Hours Without Water?

When your cat goes without water for more than 12 hours, it will experience symptoms of dehydration. These include dry mouth and gums. If your cat is lethargic and sleeping a lot, it may also be dehydrated.

Can A Cat Go Overnight Without Water?

If your cat does not drink water for more than one day, it will begin to show signs of dehydration. Make sure you keep your cat close by and make sure it has access to clean drinking water.

Can A Cat Go 24 Hours Without Water?

Some cats can go more than 24 hours without drinking any water, but they will feel the physical effects of this soon after. Their blood pressure will drop dramatically, and the body will try to conserve as much energy as possible.

How Long Can A Cat Live Without Food Or Water?

Some cats can go without food or water for several days, but they will become very lazy and suffer from vomiting. This results from their body trying to conserve as much water as possible.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water?

A healthy cat with access to clean drinking water can survive for up to two weeks without it. Trapping them in an environment that does not have access to clean drinking water for this length of time would be fatal because their bodies will begin to function poorly.


Hi there! My name is Koushik; I am a cat lover. I specialize in writing about pet care & food. I have a wealth of knowledge on cat food niches and related subjects. I have worked in the pet industry for over 5 years and am passionate about helping cat owners provide the best care for their furry friends. With knowledge of cat food and nutrition, I aim to share their insights and help cat owners navigate the world of cat food niches. I enjoy playing with my two cats, reading, and exploring new cat food brands in my free time.

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