How long can a cat with bladder problems go safely without water?

Our cat has urinary tract problems and has just come home from 5 days at vets. How long is it safe for him to go without much water before the problem recurs?

We're not sure how much he drinks during the day when we're not at home. We are also trying to change him onto a wet food diet with difficulty.

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Jul 26, 2014
Ask your vet for guidance
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having problems. This is a question your veterinarian should answer for you.

I would also press the vet for a good solution for monitoring your cat's water intake. My suggestions are below.

If someone can't be there to monitor your cat and you want to monitor water intake, I would look into these options:

1) Fill the water bowl before you leave the house, and mark the level of the water in the bowl. Check the level when you get home. Fill the bowl again to the line, and check the level again in the morning when you fill the bowl again. Allowing for some evaporation, you'll know approximately how much your cat is drinking.

2) Set up a camera at the bowl.

While cats often don't drink a lot of water, I would never deprive a cat of water unless instructed by a vet. The longest I've ever done so is about 8 hours (prior to surgery).

Here are some articles that offer advice on switching cats from dry food to canned/wet food...

Transition from dry food to wet

Transitioning tips

I hope that helps,


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