Cat Drinking Water

How Long Can Cats Go Without Water?

The eternal truth is that no animal can survive long without water. The most cat owner is concerned about how long can cats go without water? In average calculation, every cat can survive at least four to seven days without drinking water. 

However, in some cases, a cat can live much longer without water. But they will be dehydrated and gets sick even they might fall into death. 

This guide is arranged with all the information related to drinking cat water. 

So, scroll down to find out how much water your cat needs, and what disease or hampered would happen with your cat lacking adequate water.

How long can cats go without water?

Have you left your beloved cat inside the house and gone away for a few days? Maybe you gave him enough food but forgot to go with water. Since you have a house cat, so has not adaptability as like the stray cat. And your cat might survive for a few days. Even they will be like to die. Always keep remembering that an animal needs more water than food. The dangerous thing is that your cat might be affected by the hepatic failure and catabolize. 

So, this is a critical question to give answer. It could vary in several important factors. So, let’s know these. 


Elderly and Big cat breeds cat needs much more water to survive. On the other hand, a smaller size kittens need less water. As an elder cat do a lot of activities so the cat can be dehydrated soon. So, how long your cat will live without water depends on the age of the cat.


If your cat is highly active, then it will need more water than a calm cat. We know, vocal cat breeds are tended to play, jump and vocalizing all day long. So, they might lose their energy and need to drink water. Then take a look at how much water your cat may need depending on its activity.


It is a serious factor on which how much water is needed for your cat is depending. Think first about your cat diet habit. Do you feed the cat wet, dry food or any combination food? Good to know that canned food brings about 80% water. So, if your cat eats canned, then they will need less water in the next times. 

But if you can eat any dry food, then they must need more water to digest. On the other hand, combination food is medium level for making dehydrated your cat. 

Inside or stray cat:

 Is your cat completely indoor feline or indoor-outdoor feline? Since an indoor cat is used to live inside the house and drink a minimum amount of water, an indoor cat’s surviving power is more than an outdoor cat. On the contrary, the outdoor cat has to stay under the hot weather, and they might lose the water and needs more water. 


Weather is a great issue which can make a huge influence on your cat surviving without water. Since the outside temperature is much higher on a hot day, any animal could get thirsty in hot weather. Therefore, in winter, cats can stay without water for a relatively long time.


The physical genetics is also influencing the cat water level. Generally, powerful cat genetics can survive for a long time without water. But there has some weak cat genetics which it cannot long last for more days without water. 


I would say emotions means their fear, anger and excitement. If a cat can realize soon that they have already stuck, they might be frightened and get dehydrated soon. As a result, the surviving natural power will reduce. 

 Release of Bodily Fluid:

Your cat will lose some water while peeing and potting, so it will need at that time. 

Why Would a Cat Go Without Water?

These have many reasons behind your cat go without water. Not only forget stuck inside the home for your wrong. There have several reasons.

Gets sick:

Like humans, cats could be sick anytime, and then they leave to eat food and water. Although it has no serious impact if they go without food a few days, the lacking of proper water can make your cat sick. As a result, they could be dehydrated, which can occur serious illness, organ failure even death. 

Cat fussiness:

Cats are sensitive about their food dish and water bowl. So, if they realize there have any wrong with their water bowl, they would not drink water at all. But you might not notice it. As a result, they would be dehydrated gradually. For this reason, it is recommended to check out the water bowl regularly and clean it as much as possible. 

If the cat is older:

Older cat ae often leave to drink water and gets sick. So, you should frequently check out or monitor these older cats frequently. As well as, make sure that the water bowl is easily accessible for the older cat. 

Cats get stuck:

If your cat is indoor-outdoor, it might get stuck in several locked spaces or narrow spaces like drain or bathroom pipe. When such kind of things happened with you then you must want to know how long can a lost cat go without food? Well, it would be long-last for about two weeks.

Do you know how long can a cat survive locked in a shed? Good to know it also. A cat can survive locked in a shed for two or three weeks at least.

However, you would better to notice regularly about their coming and outing inside the home. If you are not found them more than 24 hours, check out every possible place to get stuck. 

Besides, getting stuck outside of the home, your cat gets stuck for several days without water inside your home when you will go a long distance for one week. In this case, if you forget to provide them with enough food and water resource, then they could get dehydrated. 

What Happens if a Cat Go Without Water for a long time?

A regardless cat breed, age, genetics or weather will be dehydrated after a maximum of three days. Here are some common symptoms which might happen with your cat.

  • Constipation
  • Moodiness
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Dry gums
  • Fast heart rate
  • Panting

If you notice signs of dehydration to your cat, then it is necessary to go to a vet. Keep in mind that long-term dehydrating may occur severe disease. So, go to a vet consultation ASAP for the good health of your furry friend. 

Why Is Water So Crucial for Your Kitty?

All creatures need to take water in a regular based time. So, cats are as same as a human. And they can’t go so far without water. Let’s know why is water so crucial for your kitty. 

It makes the balance in the energy inside the body and keeps all brain and other organs fresh. 

  • Water can increase the brain activeness
  • It maintains the proper blood circulation
  • Proper water improves the metabolism
  • It increases the digestion power
  • toxins from the body through Urine.

What Effects Your Cat’s Drinking Habits?

 For some reason, your cat’s water eating habits may change. Let’s see some short point why they could change their drinking habit and when they might get seriously sick.

How they like to drink:

  • Cats would like drink from running water
  • Please don’t put the food and water bowl closest because they don’t like it
  • Proved water as per their choice shape
  • Put always fresh water to them

When they might get seriously dehydrated:

  • During vomiting
  • During Diarrhea

How to Make Your Cat Drink More Water?

Put Your Cat on A Wet Food Diet:

Almost all of the wet cat food has 70 to 80% water. If you can habit your cat with a wet food diet, then the cat could naturally get a good amount of water. 

Try A Water Fountain:

Cats don’t like to drink water from the standing water source. Because they believe this water might have germ and bacteria. And they like to drink from a moving water source. So, you can make a water fountain for your cat.

Move Water Away from Eating Areas:

Although humans like to eat drink together, the cat is different in this case. They avoid eating and drinking together. So, if you put the food bowl and water bowl in a long-distance, it would better to boost your cat’s drinking.

Use multiple small water bowl:

Remember that cats prefer to drink water from different containers and smaller containers. It increases the chances of drinking water. So, you can put water in a few small bowls. If you can add a cat water fountain in your home.


  • How many days can a cat go without water?

It depends on several important factors. On average, a cat can go without water 3-4 days. You will wonder to know that how long can a cat go without food. It can go for long time like months. But no animal can go for a long without water.

  • Can a cat go overnight without water?

Is your cat in no water 48 hours? Are you concerned about can a cat go overnight without water? yes, a cat can go easily overnight without water. If your cat takes wet food, then it will be best to go overnight without water. 

  • Why does my cat not drink from his water bowl?

Maybe the water bowl is too small or large dirt, or the water is not fresh. Cat doesn’t like a drink for dirt, large or small bowl. 

  • How do you tell if a cat is dehydrated?

These are the common symptoms that can express cat dehydration.

  • Sunken eyes.
  • Decreased skin elasticity.
  • Panting
  • Lethargy.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Depression.
  • Elevated heart rate.
  • Can I force my cat to drink water?

No, you can’t force your cat to drink water. Because it’s not easy to do something with cats by force, even you might get attack by it. 

  • Can a cat survive on dry food only?

A cat can survive with on dry food, but they need enough water too.

  • Is Wet food better for cats than dry?

Yes, it is tested that wet food is better than dry food because wet food brings 70 to 0% water intake.

  • Can I add water to cat dry food?

You can do and try for your cat. But the natural taste of dry food might destroy if you mixed some water with it. 

  • Should you mix wet and dry cat food?

Yes, it is good practice to provide your cat mixed food of dry and wet. 

Wrap Up

I want to wrap up this content with some short suggestion. Firstly, keep in mind that Being a cat owner means to take a lot of responsibilities. If you will go on a holiday or travel to leave your cat, make sure about your cat health. Provide enough food and most importantly, a source of running water. And must try not to leave them more than three days alone.

About the author

Megan D

This is Megan D, the loving mom of all cats. She has been working with cat well fair organization as a cat lover since last few years. Personally, she has ownership of a cat shelter for helpless stray cats. Megan loves to research on all breeds of cat and fond of sharing all experience with the worldwide cat-loving human.

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