Do Persian Cats Drink Water? (The Best Answer)

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Persian cats can definitely be lazy, but there may be real health issues if your Persian cat is not getting hydrated.  This begs the question in the first place, do Persian cats drink water?

Yes, Persian cats drink water.  Like all cats, Persian cats need hydration through water.  If a Persian cat does not drink enough water, they may get dehydrated or experience other health issues.  Persian cat owners should provide multiple water bowls filled with fresh water for their Persian cat.

Keep reading to find out more about Persian cats and their need to drink water!

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Do Persian Cats Drink Water?

Yes, Persian cats do drink water, and they should. About 80% of your Persian cat’s body is made of water, which it needs for proper organ function. But they lose some of those fluids during respiration, digestion, and the lovely “gifts” they leave in the litter box.

Video: Persian cat drinking water from faucet!

Why Do Persian Cats Drink Water?

Your Persian cat drinks water to avoid problems like dehydration, heat stroke, urinary stones, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and kidney disease. I’ve noticed that when any cat wants a drink, she will go and get one, assuming there is fresh water available. 

Sometimes how your cat, including your Persian cat, is drinking water can clue you in as an owner on if something is wrong with your cat.  If your cat is drinking too much and urinating large volumes of urine you should take her to the veterinarian to get checked out.  If she appears dehydrated, you should also take her in to get looked at by the veterinarian. 

Do Persian Cats Drink a Lot of Water?

Persian cats drink the same amount of water as most other cat breeds from what I have read.  This means that as a general rule, your Persian cat should be drinking 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water for every 5 pounds of body weight. 

However, your pet can get some of its fluid requirements from moist cat food. Moist canned cat food is 70%-80% water.  Dry cat food will not be giving your cat fluids, so do not be surprised if your Persian cat drinks more if you are feeding her dry cat food.

It can be tricky to accurately measure how much water your cat drinks. You can check the water bowl periodically, but a lot of it can get spilled or splashed. Many kittens (and some cats with playful personalities) love to play with the water or tip over the bowl.  Personally speaking, my cat is a messy drinker.  I will see her drinking water and notice that just like a dog, some of it slops out of the bowl.

I would not worry about getting real technical about trying to measure the amount of water your cat is drinking.  I would try to be observant and take notice if your cat is drinking the water that you are putting out for her and then also if she is urinating normally or appears dehydrated. If something appears out of the ordinary, I would visit my veterinarian.

Why Doesn’t My Persian Cat Drink Water?

Just like some cats are picky eaters, some are picky drinkers too. This can apply to any cat, including Persian cats.  If your Persian cat refuses to drink from its water bowl, or sniffs it suspiciously before turning away, you may want to look into these factors.

  • It doesn’t like the scent. Cats have a very well-developed sense of smell. It may be turned off by the chemicals in treated water, pick up the faint traces of strongly scented dishwashing liquid, or maybe the water is too old and smells.
  • It doesn’t like getting its fur and whiskers wet. Persian cats, in particular, have a flat face shape, so it may feel uncomfortable when it has to dunk in deep to get a drink.
  • It doesn’t like the water bowl location. Research found that cats actually prefer their water bowls far away from their food bowls. This may come from their feline instinct, where water sources were often far away from hunting grounds.

Of the two water bowls I set out for my cat (one downstairs and one upstairs) there is one away from the food bowl and one near the food bowl.  My cat drinks from both, but I think she drinks more from the water bowl away from the food bowl.

  • It has a low thirst drive. Cats can survive on less water than other pets, mainly because their feline ancestors lived in the desert. Some cats will have an even lower desire to drink than others, and will just seek water when they’re already thirsty.
  • It is near-sighted. Your cat may have trouble seeing the edge of the water in the bowl. Observe how your cat drinks: does it kind of hover over the bowl, and make several attempts to drink before walking away? Does it have a harder time drinking when the bowl is only half-filled, instead of being filled to the brim?   

These personality quirks (and genetic predispositions) can make it difficult for some cats to get enough water a day. But even a perfectly healthy, normal cat can find it hard to stay hydrated. This is why you need to be observant of how your Persian cat is drinking water.

How Can You Tell if a Persian Cat is Dehydrated?

Dehydration is different from just being thirsty. Fluid levels have dropped to the point that there is a dangerous imbalance between water, electrolytes, and minerals in the body. If you do not bring your pet to the vet, it can get sick or even die from complications. These are some signs to watch out for:

  • Lethargy. Your cat may be too weak to play or even walk to the kitty litter or the water bowl.  Persian cats are notoriously lazy, so you will want to make sure your cat is not just lazy and is lethargic.  Still, when in doubt, speak with your veterinarian.
  • Loss of appetite. It refuses to eat, even when offered its favorite food.
  • Dry gums, dry mouth and panting. Its mouth hangs open, and the gums and tongue are dry to the touch. It may pant—a sign that its heart and lungs are already struggling to get enough oxygen.
  • Elevated heart rate. As its heart works harder to get oxygen, its pulse rate goes up.

How to Get a Persian Cat to Drink Water

Aside from offering moist food, here are some ways to get your pet to increase its water intake.

  • Use a water fountain. Not only is it easier for cats to drink, but the water stays fresh. It may also trigger the instinct to drink since it mimics the natural water sources like rivers or streams.
The cat water fountain I use for my cat and recommend. See the link below.

I use this water fountain as one of my cat’s bowls and she picked up on using it quickly.  It is great because it keeps the water moving and fresh (Amazon affiliate link):  Click Here To See This Awesome Cat Water Fountain On Amazon That My Cat Uses.

  • Use a glass or metal water bowl. These are easier to clean and won’t have that strong plastic scent that can turn off some cats. Plastic bowls are also more likely to retain the scent of dishwashing liquid or other strong odors.  
  • Keep the water bowl filled to the brim. Your cat’s whiskers won’t get wet, and it’s easier for your cat to see the water edge. If your cat has vision issues—especially if it is older—you can try floating a ping pong bowl so it can see the water surface.  This might help a Persian cat too since with the flat face she may not need to stick her face lower in the bowl if it is filled up higher.
  • Change the water frequently. As the water sits, it can collect dust, fur and other particles. If it’s in a sunny area, it can also become warmer over the course of the day, which some cats don’t like.  Refresh your cat’s water twice a day.
  • Change the bowl’s location. Try separating the food and water bowls or using several water bowls with some placed near your pet’s favorite hangouts.
  • Flavor the water. While you should always have one bowl of just pure water, you can try offering a separate bowl with water that has a bit of broth or the juice from canned tuna or salmon.

Do Persian Cats Drink Milk?

Persian cats drink milk only when they are kittens.  They have an enzyme that allows them to digest their mother’s milk. However, they lose that enzyme as they grow older. You may be tempted to offer your cats milk, but that can cause a lot of problems. Contrary to what’s depicted in movies and children’s books, most cats are lactose intolerant.

Your cat may be attracted to the milk because of its smell and creamy fat content, but it will cause stomach upset, nausea and even vomiting.  


Just like all living creatures, Persian cats need plenty of water to stay healthy. We hope these tips can help you encourage your pet to drink more water, or at least get some of it from its food. If your pet refuses water no matter how hard you try, talk to your vet. Even if your cat isn’t dehydrated, you need to check if it’s a symptom of another problem, or if it’s affecting her health.

If you liked this article, check out a couple of other great articles on Persian cats:

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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