Why is My Cat Drinking So Much Water? Is It Bad?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

why is my cat drinking so much water

An average 10lb cat needs 240mL (8oz) or about one cup of water daily, but sometimes, my cat drinks more than that! Why is my cat drinking so much water?

It could be because they are eating dry food, are hot because of the weather, have been more physically active lately, or are sick with something like kidney disease or diabetes.

Reasons Why My Cat is Drinking So Much Water


Now and then, you may notice your cat drinking more water than usual. Usually, this isn’t a cause for concern – after all, humans drink more water than expected sometimes, too.

Cats drinking excessive amounts of water due to extreme thirst is known as polydipsia. Generally, this is when your cat drinks more than 80mL for every 2lb of body weight.

Polydipsia then results in polyuria, which is excessive urination. Together, they can be referred to as “PU/PD.”

Should I be concerned if my pet drinks a lot of water? It depends. Some simple explanations for a cat drinking a lot of water include:

  • Hotter weather – we all need to cool off a bit more during the summer months!
  • Dry cat food – Cats get moisture from their food If my cat eats something drier or saltier, it drinks more to compensate for the lack of water from meals.
  • More activity – Maybe you’ve been taking your cat out more lately, or they’ve been playing
  • Medications – Your cat may be taking some medications, causing it to pee a lot as a side effect!
  • Stress – Do cats drink more water when stressed? Sometimes! There may be a sudden change in their environments, causing them to feel anxiety.

However, if you suddenly notice your cat drinking excessive water, it may be because they are sick.

Diseases That Cause Increased Thirst in Cats


These diseases technically result in a thirsty cat because your cat will be urinating a lot and not because it doesn’t already get enough water.

Here are the three most common diseases observed in cats that drink more water:

1. Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease characterized by a lack of or resistance to a hormone called insulin. Insulin is responsible for the vital body processes of regulating blood sugar and metabolism.

An old cat (five years and up) not only has higher risks of diabetes but also higher mortality, and if it’s over 10 to 20% heavier than its ideal weight, the feline will be even more susceptible to the disease.

Sex is another contributing factor as well. In a Swedish study, a male cat was twice as likely as a female cat to develop diabetes.

If your feline companion is always hungry and pees a lot, plus has back leg weakness, you may want to have it checked for insulin resistance by your vet.

2. Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidneys are responsible for filtering our blood and eliminating our bodies’ waste, producing urine.

Cats begin peeing so much when their kidneys malfunction simply because their bodies get overwhelmed by all the liquid passing through them, which they cannot process.

This disease, again, tends to affect older cats more than younger ones, though cats of all ages can acquire the condition.

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease in cats include excessive drinking and peeing. You may notice that your cat is not eating but throwing up. They can also experience nausea and diarrhea.

Have your cat checked by the vet as soon as possible when you notice these symptoms to avoid having a dying cat with end-stage kidney disease.

3. Hyperthyroidism

Thyroids are responsible for releasing hormones that regulate cats’ temperatures and metabolism, among other things. When they become “hyper,” they release more hormones than needed, confusing organ systems.

Cats with hyperthyroidism show increased appetite but are not gaining weight. Similar to felines with kidney disease, they may throw up or have diarrhea.

There’s an ongoing discourse about this question on Reddit. Join in and learn more here:

My baby drinks so much water! She use her litter box every hour or so. It’s getting tiring, I’m thinking of stopping feeding her wet food and give her dry food only since she drinks enough water.
by incats

Frequently Asked Questions


Should I be concerned if my cat drinks a lot of water?

You should be concerned if the behavior continues after the warmer months have ended and you have ruled out all other possibilities.

Keep in mind the symptoms above and see if your cat has them, but overall, it’s best to let a vet do the diagnostic work.

What should I do if I think my cat is drinking too much water?

I understand — going to the vet can get expensive. While you want to care for your feline friend, you don’t want to be making weekly trips that will empty your wallet.

First and foremost, you need to know your cat’s usual drinking habits before determining if they are drinking “too much.” While cats ingest an average daily volume of water, each feline has its preferences.

Simply fill their bowl at the beginning of each day, and note the remaining amount after 24 hours. Doing so for a few (regular) days should give you a good idea of their typical water intake.

Kittens get thirsty too meaning it’s not always a severe disease. Sometimes it’s just the weather or some other environmental factor!

But if your cat starts acting strange, like you see your cat drooling, peeing all day, vomiting, or anything else out of the ordinary for an extended period, you may need to take that trip to the vet for further tests and consultation.

Do cats drink more water when stressed?

Seeing your cat drinking a lot and meowing noisily are a few signs it may be stressed. The cause can be anything, from renovations in your home to a new cat prowling around the neighborhood.

While drinking water may initially result from increased thirst from all the meowing, growling, and hissing, it may become a comforting habit that makes your cat feel reassured and safe.

Other symptoms of a stressed cat include changes in eating behavior, becoming more withdrawn, and being more aggressive.


Why is my cat drinking so much water? Typically, there are simple explanations: weather, differences in levels of physical activity, and food.

However, if the behavior persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it may be time to visit the vet.

Ultimately, you know your cat best and are the most qualified judge to determine if it is time to be concerned yet or not. Trust your gut and past observations of your feline friend, and it will benefit you both immensely.

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