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By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cats need to drink a sufficient amount of water daily to stay healthy. Lack of water intake can lead to serious health conditions for your cat, such as urinary tract stones, bladder infections and crystal formations. The proper amounts of water help to regulate your cat’s body temperature and aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals daily.

It’s also greatly needed to aid in the digestion of dry food. A cat needs to drink water regardless of wet or dry food, but needs to consume twice the amount with dry food.

Fresh water must be provided daily with easy access for your cat. The bowl must be cleaned daily to prevent bacteria. If your cat shares a water bowl with other cats or dogs, provide individual bowls instead. Your cat may not be getting the required amount of water daily. You can monitor your cat’s intake better with individual bowls.

Be sure your cat drinks only the fresh water that you provide. Outdoor sources of untreated water such as a pond may include bacteria or parasites.

To encourage your cat to drink more, know that cats love active water and will tend to drink more from containers that provide some motion or movement. Try a cat fountain to draw your cat’s attention to the water. Automated dispensers are helpful too.

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