Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Dry Cats

Thursday, November 14, 2019
                      Cats are adapted to desert environments. In the desert their fluids come from their foods so they have evolved with a poor drive to drink and inferior drinking techniques and equipment.

  • Fresh prey contains 60-70% water and hunting cats do not naturally drink water.
  • You may have noticed that your cat often misses the surface of the water in the bowl at first pass. As predators, cats' eyes are designed to focus at a distance of at least 25cm so it's difficult for them to focus on the water surface. Many cats gauge the surface by looking at the far side of the bowl. Many prefer to lap from a tap or off the shower floor.
  • Cats are very inefficient at lapping fluids of low viscosity, such as water, because unlike other animals that create suction in their mouths, they must rely on their tongues to pull a column of water into their mouths. They only take in 3/100 of a teaspoon with each lap.
  • To top it all off cats are afraid of attack from predators and would prefer not to have to crouch at the waterhole to take in their fluids.
What can we do to prevent chronic dehydration and the dangers of kidney disease and bladder stones, especially in older cats? Feeding a high proportion of wet food - meat, cans or pouches - is the easiest solution. Providing fresh water in a private, quiet place every day and responding to their preference for moving water or water on large surfaces will also help. Avoid a solely dry diet at all costs.

Dangers of a dry food only diet

Thursday, August 30, 2018
Feeding dry food only to your cat, especially your male cat, is dangerous. Feeding it ad lib is particularly harmful.
Dry food is convenient and the premium diets are well-balanced with all nutrients - except water. The cat's urine becomes super-concentrated, predisposing male cats to blockage of the urethra.
If the male cat is also overweight and not very active the risk of blockage increases.
Cats on an ad lib dry food diet tend to become overweight. Dry food is like space food. A lot of calories are packed into a very small package. A tablespoon of dry food is equal to a can of wet food. Cats grazing on dry food all day and not moving around much are bound to pack on the kilos.
All cats have a poor drive to drink. In the wild most of their fluids come from their food. They avoid water sources as that is where they are most vulnerable to predators. A cat on a dry food only diet drinks more than a cat on a wet diet, but not enough to remain properly hydrated.This puts pressure on the kidneys. When they are young they can compensate to a degree but as they age it may accelerate kidney failure.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


lilies free food puzzles hard faeces outdoor cat wobbles treat depomedrol diarrhoea carrier cage panadol rigid head radioactive iodine cat flu cat enclosure corneal ulcer dental check urinating outside litter vet visit cat containment urine yowling best vet hungry tablet herpesvirus feliway lilly flu open night client night mince unsociable grooming marking dymadon revolution mass goodbye new cat advantage fleas lily holidays pet meat hospital hunters pain killer plants breeder poison itchy nails tumour birthday fits dry food tapeworm cat fight fight vaccine kitten play teeth best clinic pheromone dental treatment eyes senses snake bite pet insurance decision to euthanase FORLS weight loss cat history sore ears foreign body massage urinating on curtains or carpet eye infection meows a lot xylitol crytococcosus urination sucking wool fabric blockage ulcerated nose moving sneeze echocardiography anxiety activity introduction thyroid appointment holes open day mycoplasma panadeine sensitive stomach in season training high blood pressure best veterinarian snakebite dementia snake abscess,cat fight learning off food when to go to vet stress bite pill cough biopsy rub best cat clinic constipation salivation tradesmen drinking more nose scabs wool permethrin kibble liver panleukopenia adipokines award sense of smell weight control skin cancer cat behaviour litter box hyperthyroidism heart disease poisonous hypertension aerokat diabetes virus holiday lame rough play vocal home visit checkup poisonous plants furball cortisone changed dental socialisation lymphoma blood pressure skinny lick mouth breathing runny eyes cta fight visit diuretics anaemia laser pointer catoberfest attack introductions thirsty vaccination inflammatory bowel disease scratching post poisoning obese train paracetamol grass behaviour change information night rolls litter blind slow bed comfortis indoor cats sick cat hearing hunter cognitive dysfunction dehydration computer feline herpesvirus return home restless string insulin spray brown snake African wild cat hunched over thiamine deficiency annual check introducing asthma cat vet feline AIDS old home heavy breathing christmas enteritis obesity exercise allergy chlamydia photo competition new year hiding fireworks vision sun tartar desexing Hill's Metabolic blood eye urinating physical activity tooth spraying pred hairball wet food appetite scratch cat friendly hypertrophic cardiomyopathy pet behaviour change water old cat weight fat paralysis tick rash twitching kidney joints cranky urine spraying Canberra groom holes in teeth aggression on heat cat worms castration lump intestine hunting arthritis plaque competition prednisolone blood in urine furballs jumping sore eyes opening hours fear ACT calicivirus bump renal disease body language senior blood test kidneys health check AIDS blindness new kitten bladder abscess feline enteritis snakes fluid pills cryptococcosis enemies Canberra Cat Vet runny nose painful kittens seizures collapse obsessive compulsive petting cat scratching poisons cancer antiviral head gasping kidney disease kitten deaths aggressive wet litter skin hyperactive paralysed antibiotics flea prevention discount check-up diet ribbon sudden blindness snuffles prey pancreatitis panamax stiff headache strange behaviour enclosure hole snuffle drinking a lot whiskers blocked cat vomiting noisy breathing scale RSPCA roundworm dilated pupils tick mental health of cats spey worming unwell signs of pain cat enclosures straining sick worms IBD toxins pain thirst polish pain relief toxic overweight aspirin blue FIV examination allergy, cystitis snot ulcer paralysis vomit desex love face rub microchip flea treatment fever gifts euthanasia kitten conflict bad breath stare into space pica New Year's Eve house call sore bladder stones touch play cat not eating breathing difficult odour sensitive introduce eye ulcer heaing panleukopaenia ulcers


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions