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


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


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