Cats have a weird love-hate relationship with water.
Many cats can’t stand water, but there are a few exceptions. Some cat breeds even LOVE to swim! But what’s stranger is how cats have evolved to interact with water.
Some of these facts about cats and their relationship with water may really surprise you!
1. Cats Can Actually Taste Water
For cats, water has an actual taste.
All carnivores, including humans, have receptors for water that help with swallowing. But cats and dogs actually have taste receptors for water.
This means that, while we may find water to be bland and boring without a little flavor added, cats and dogs actually think it’s tasty.
Interestingly, for dogs, water gets tastier after eating meat, which helps them drink enough water to balance the saltiness of the meat.
2. Cats Don’t Get As Thirsty As Dogs
Cats aren’t as sensitive to thirst as dogs.
Although they have evolved to not need as much water every day as dogs do, they’re also at risk of becoming dehydrated before dogs because they may not realize when they’re thirsty.
Cats’ urine will actually become more concentrated if they’re not getting enough water in order to help their bodies adjust and last longer.
Because cats may not drink enough on their own, it’s helpful to feed your cats some wet, canned food to go along with dry food. This will ensure they get extra water through their food and stay well hydrated.
3. Cats Can Stay Hydrated On Seawater
This is where cats have a huge advantage over people!
If we tried to drink only seawater, we’d die from dehydration.
Meanwhile, cats can drink seawater and live! That’s because their kidneys are efficient enough to filter out the salt and use the desalinated seawater for hydration. Amazing right?
Meanwhile, if humans try to do that, we have to use more water in our body to desalinate seawater than we’re actually drinking. That’s why when we try to drink seawater, we end up more dehydrated.
4. Cats Prefer Moving Water
If you have a cat who likes to dip their paw in the water dish before drinking or likes to bump the dish and make water splash everywhere, they may not be trying to get on your nerves. Cats actually prefer to drink moving water over still water.
In the wild, they evolved to recognize that still water is often stagnant and, thus, can carry poisonous bacteria that will make them sick. If your kitty doesn’t seem to be drinking enough, try buying a plug-in pet water fountain at your pet store. They may start drinking a lot more!
Here’s another little tidbit to keep in mind: some cats prefer their water bowls be kept in a different location from their food. If you don’t think your cat is drinking enough, try adding a second water bowl in a different room.
What other weird facts about cats and water did we miss? Does your cat love water or hate it? Let us know in the comments below!
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