Water is an essential requirement of all living beings—regardless of the type and species, all animals need it. Nevertheless, some start drinking it earlier than others. But ardent and curious feline lovers are often up to knowing when their pet will transition from their mother’s milk to water.

When do kittens start drinking water? Should they be worried if their kitten does not drink water? We are here to answer!

When Do Kittens Start Drinking Water?

Kittens start drinking water when they are four weeks old. They also start eating at this age; however, they do not cease having their mother’s colostrum until they are fully weaned, a process that may take a few more weeks.

As the weaning process starts, kittens must start drinking water. Because once weaned, kittens lose their ability to digest milk sugar (lactose) efficiently; thus, their only source of hydration is water and wet kitten food. Not drinking water could lead to dehydration.

How Much Water Should a Kitten Drink?

According to Vetwest Animal Hospital, cats should drink about 60 ml of water per kg bodyweight every day. Since kittens do not weigh much, their water requirements are far lesser than those of adults. But as they grow, the need keeps climbing. Cat owners can refer to the kitten growth chart to calculate how much water their young feline needs to drink at each age level.

Up to Four Weeks Age

Kittens weigh around half a kg when they reach four weeks of age. Their hydration needs are now met through their mother’s colostrum. However, as soon as the weaning process starts, they should begin with 25 to 30 ml of water each day.

Up to Eight Weeks Age

Kittens fall between half to 0.9 kgs in this age group. Most kittens are completely weaned by this time, and water replaces their mother’s colostrum as the primary source of hydration. Therefore, maintaining a good water intake becomes mandatory. For an eight-week-old kitten, water need hovers around 50 ml a day.

Up to 12 Weeks Age

Kittens weigh around 1.4 kg at this age. Their water intake requirements jump to 80 ml a day. However, note that if kittens were eating wet food, they would not drink as much water since their hydration levels would be replenished through the food instead.

kitten drinking water

How to Know if a Kitten Is Dehydrated?

Look for the signs of dehydration in adult cats; they also work for kittens. These include:

How to Know if Your Kitten Is Drinking Water?

Assessing a kitten’s water consumption can be complicated. But you can resolve the issue by using a water bowl with a level marking. You can fill it up to the required amount and occasionally check to gauge the level.

How to Get a Kitten to Drink Water?

You need to be patient, consistent, and watchful to ensure the successful weaning of your kitten and eventual transition to water for hydration. It is a stressful job, though—your kitten might often end up getting her water splashed all over the place instead of drinking it.

Common Reasons Why Kittens Do Not Drink Water

• Inappropriate water temperature
• Dirty bowl
• Stagnant water
• Unappealing bowl

What to Do if a Kitten Does Not Drink Water?

A kitten not drinking water is a serious matter that needs immediate vet attention. If your fully weaned kitten is not drinking water and exhibiting signs of dehydration, you should immediately take her to a veterinarian.

Hydration is mandatory for the proper functioning of the body. Extended dehydration could give rise to several issues, which might even lead to death in extreme cases. Common problems popping up due to dehydration include kidney diseases and urinary tract infections.

When Do Kittens Start Drinking Water? Conclusion

Kittens begin consuming as soon as the weaning begins, usually around four weeks of age. Ideally, they should start with having at least 30 ml of water every day, considering there is no other source of hydration. If your kitten refuses to drink water, you should seek medical assistance immediately to ensure her safety and well-being.

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