A Cat Parent’s Guide to How Cats Get Their Moisture

How cats get their moisture can often be a mystery for cat parents. Questions like how much water do cats need and whether they are getting enough might leave you perplexed. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! This guide is here to help you brush up on your understanding of your cat’s relationship with water. In this article we are answering some of the big questions such as where cats get their moisture from and how to keep your cat hydrated.


Table of Contents:


cat eating from a bowl to get their moisture

Where do cats get their moisture from?

You might think the answer to this question is by drinking water, but actually cats get their moisture from their food. Our kitties originated from desert dwelling cats who had little access to water. Due to this, cats have adapted to get the majority of their liquids from the food they eat rather than what they drink. For example, common prey in cats’ ancestral diets such as mice are 80% water. Unlike their canine companions, cats don’t have the natural drive to drink water. Their cute but inefficient little tongue-dipping technique is one example of how cats aren’t biologically suited to drinking a lot.


Why it is important that cats get moisture

It’s important that cats get their moisture to ensure they are living their happiest, healthiest lives. Like humans, cats are on average 60 - 70% water. Consuming enough moisture is vital for the maintenance of their bodily functions. Some of the main benefits of water in a cat’s diet include:

  • Supporting kidney health - dehydration can lead to kidney disease which in turn can badly affect your cat’s blood pressure, hormone production and acid levels in the body.

  • Avoiding bladder stones - if cats don’t have enough liquids, the minerals in their urine can crystallise and form ‘stones’. These bladder stones can lead to life-threatening urethral blockages, particularly in male cats.

  • Managing Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease - Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or FLUTD, can make life very uncomfortable for your cat. Making sure cats get their moisture can help stop them developing this issue and ease their recovery.

Making sure your cat has nutritious meals and is properly hydrated is part of the preventative approach to combating health issues before they have developed.


How to know if your cat isn’t getting enough moisture

Since historically cats get their moisture from food, they are genetically very fussy drinkers. This means that if they aren’t eating the right type of meals, cats can quickly become dehydrated. Keep an eye out for the following signs of dehydration:

  • Dry gums

  • Panting

  • Lethargy or inactivity

  • Loss of appetite

  • Elevated heart rate

A good test to check whether your cat is dehydrated is to gently pinch their skin. If the skin does not return to its normal position quickly, this is known as ‘skin tenting’ and is a sign your cat is not getting enough moisture. If you notice any of the above signs, it is a good idea to call your vet, and consider changing your cat’s food.


If you have a thirsty cat or one that is always at the water bowl this can also be a cause for concern. Increased water consumption can be an early sign of diabetes in cats.

How to help your cats get their moisture

As pet parents, we play a large role in making sure our cats get their moisture. There are two main ways to do this:

  1. Provide your cat with a source of running water to drink from - in the wild, cats have learnt that still water can be stagnant or contaminated and that they’re less likely to get sick from drinking flowing water. To encourage your cat to drink more water, you could invest in a motion-sensored cat water fountain. These nifty gadgets circulate water when your cat approaches. Alternatively, simply allow your cat to drink from a running tap every now and then.

  2. Switch to a KatKin diet - since cats get their moisture from food, the best way to help them stay hydrated is by feeding them properly. When it comes to cat food, many options out there have insufficient water content to keep your cat happy and healthy. Kibble and other dry cat foods are usually only about 10% water. This means they are missing the essential moisture your cat needs. Whilst wet cat food does contain more moisture, we firmly believe that when it comes to hydration fresh is best. Not only are our recipes high in moisture but also they mimic the food found in your cat’s natural diet. This means that cats find KatKin meals more easily digestible, crucially allowing for more nutrients to be absorbed.

Join KatKin today and let us help you support your cats and kittens to get all the moisture they need to live a longer, more fulfilling life.


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