Cat Facts 101: How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water?

By Last Updated: January 10th, 2023Categories: Pet Pedia

Water is essential to any being; humans, animals, plants, and even insects. Most of us cannot survive long without water. But some animals can go on days without a single drop of water, like cats!

But cats still don’t drink water, so if you plan to leave them with a bowl of water for a few days, they probably won’t drink it. You might be leaving your cats for a few days and you wonder if they will be okay without water, or maybe you noticed that your cat isn’t drinking water for a few days. Well, stay on this page to learn more!

How Long Can Cats Go without Water?

For a cat’s organs to work properly, it will need a steady supply of water. But because of its amazing anatomy, a cat can survive without water within 3 to 4 days. So there’s no need to panic if you see them not drinking water for a day or two.

How Long Can Cats Go without Water

But, you should know that a cat will start to become dehydrated within the first 24 hours. This will affect their energy.

Just like humans, water is important to cats. It helps with their digestion, blood circulation, kidney function, joint lubrication, and more. So it’s very important to keep them hydrated.

What will happen to Cats if they don’t Drink Water?

As I mentioned above, water is very essential to a cat’s body, just like any mammal does. If you haven’t been drinking water for a few days or are refusing to drink, the feline will most likely experience sickness.

  • Dehydration
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth / tacky gums
  • Panting
  • Sunken eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Malnutrition
  • Organ failure

These are just some of the things that your cat may experience if they continue to not drink water. You may also look out for these signs to know if your cat is dehydrated or not.

What to do if your Cat won’t Drink Water?

We all know that cats are somewhat dramatic, and sometimes they refuse to listen to you. So if your cat won’t drink the water you give them, here are some things to get them drinking and keep them hydrated.

1. Serve them Wet Food

If your cat refuses to go anywhere near its water bowl, here’s a trick I often do to my cat to make him drink water.

Whenever it’s meal time, I always serve him wet food, that way he can eat and drink at the same time. He is a bit sassy, that’s why I have to think of creative ways to make him drink water.

Serve them Wet Food

This technique might work on your cat, and it’s totally up to you how much water you’re going to add to their food. Although I suggest that you do it gradually, start small, and then observe if they eat it. If they do, start adding a bit of water every day.

2. Make Water Accessible

Another thing you can do is to make water accessible to your cat. You can put it next to their food bowl or put it somewhere where they usually sleep. It will be easier for them to drink it.

3. Replace their Water Bowl

To make your cat interested in drinking water, change their water bowl is one thing you can do. Maybe replace it with something colorful or something with a fun shape. They might find it interesting and will urge them to drink water.

Replace their Water Bowl

You may also use water fountains, cats will find it pretty fun to play with, and will help encourage them to drink water.

4. Add Flavors to their Water

To convince your cat that water is good for them, you can try adding flavor to their liquids. It may be a broth or something fruity. This worked on my overly dramatic cat, so this might work on yours.

5. Give them Fruits

Most fruits have high water content. If your cat is resisting drinking water, giving him fruit will be enough to keep him hydrated for a couple of hours. Fruits like peaches, pineapple, persimmons, and more!


To some people, their cats aren’t just pets, they’re their kids, siblings, or best friends. That is why we should take care of them like we take care of other people. They have needs too and oftentimes they require assistance. Refer this article to a friend if they are having a hard time with their cats.


Make sure they have a quiet, safe place to go indoors or in the garden. Spend some time playing with your cat, especially if outdoor access is restricted. Food activity toys are a great way for them to get mental and physical stimulation.

It’s the cat’s very positive response to the fact that you’ve hit just the right spot when petting her.