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Can I Put Catnip In My Cat’s Water?

If you have heard of the amazing effect of catnip, or thinking of ways to get it to drink more, you may have wondered if its OK to put it in their water…

Can I put catnip in my cat’s water?

Yes. You can put catnip in your cat’s water. Many cats love the smell of catnip. And, this can make some cats more interested in the water. 

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So, now you know. But, how much is acceptable? What does catnip do to them? Can I spray my cat with it? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

How do you make catnip water?

To make catnip water you just need to sprinkle some catnip into your cat’s water. Nothing more complicated. However, if you want to make catnip spray that is water based you need to do a bit more.

To make this you will need either a tablespoon of fresh catnip, or about a teaspoon of the dried version. Boil a pot of water and let it cool for a few minutes then add the catnip. After about 5-10 minutes remove the catnip.

You can then bottle the catnip water into a spray bottle and your spray is ready. And, as you may know you can use this for quite a few different purposes.

What does catnip do to cats?

A catnip plant with water droplets on it.

A catnip plant with water droplets on it.

Catnip gives most cats a temporary high. This can last up to 10 minutes or so. Different cats react differently. Some may roll around having the time of their life.

However, some may act the complete opposite and become aggressive. Either way, it is a temporary state that is often followed by the cat becoming tired out.

Also, the catnip will have interesting effects on them, which most cats seem to enjoy. All it takes is a few sprinkles of the catnip though, no need to go overboard.

Maybe you have seen your cat licking a catnip toy before. If you have then you can imagine how they may react to the catnip in their water.

Can I spray my cat with catnip spray?

Catnip spray should not be sprayed directly on your cat. Instead, it should be sprayed on objects that you want your cat to be attracted to. For example, you may spray it on a cat toy.

Think of it like this: you may like the taste of tomato ketchup. But, you would not appreciate someone spraying you with it, right?

Same concept for cats. They like the smell of the catnip, and probably seek the desired effects from it. But, do not appreciate getting soaked in it.

Can I put catnip in the litter box?

Catnip should not be placed in the litter box. However, it could be placed near the litter box in an attempt to attract them to it.

The idea is, for those cats that are known to love catnip, to use it to entice your cat to use the litter box. For example, maybe your cat is refusing to use the litter tray, and you are thinking of some ways to motivate it.

How much water should cats drink? (in ML)

Cats should be consuming 50 ml of water per kg, per day. So, for example, if you have a 3kg cat, you would expect approx 150 ml of water consumption per day. However, your cat can get a portion of her water from the food she consumes.

How much water should a 10 pound cat drink?

If you are wondering how much water your cat should be consuming in ounces (oz), it may help to gauge this based on the weight of your cat in pounds, right?

For a 10 pound cat, it is expected to consume 7 to 9 oz per day. So, if you have a 20-pound cat, it would be 14 to 18 oz. However, it is rare for any cat to consume all this directly. A good portion of their intake will come from wet food, etc.

So, now you know how much water a 10-pound cat will consume.

Why do cats drink so little water?

If this amount of water seems quite low for you, you may be wondering why this is, right?

Cats consume a small amount of water because, in relation to dogs, they are quite small. Also, as natural hunters, their bodies expect a good portion of their water to come from the food they consume. Hence the reason why some say wet food is a good idea.

So, now you know why cats drink so little.

Is my cat drinking too much water?

A cat drinking water from a bowl.

A cat drinking water from a bowl.

If you look at these figures you are worried because your cat is not consuming that much, keep reading.

If your cat is consuming less than 7-9 oz of water, per 10 pounds of body weight. It is worth double-checking with your vet. Hopefully, she is ok, but if she is drinking too little it could be linked to a medical issue, e.g. kidney issues or diabetes.

Why are cats particular about what they drink?

Cats are royalty. This means that they are very particular about their treatment and choices. That might, very well, be an adorable trait in a pet but could also pose a problem when fussiness leads them to reject choices that are for their own good. An example would be not taking enough water (Click here for the best cat water fountain).

Kitty has been known to prefer a particular water bowl/container over others. Others prefer the faucet (Click here for the quietest cat water fountains) to a container and yet, others are fascinated by the water in the toilet bowl!

But, why is tracking the water intake of your cat so important? Well, there is a correlation between the amount of water your cat takes and its health. Of course, a healthy cat is a joy to its owner.

Which Water Should Your Cat Take?

That cats should get plenty of clean water is not in doubt. However, what you consider healthy could be harmful. This is especially true with heavily chlorinated water or that with a lot of dissolved minerals. Diluting it with distilled water could be an option if you cannot get filtered water.

Some cats dislike the taste of water that is presented in a plastic container. In such a case, a drinking fountain made of ceramic or glass would be an acceptable alternative.

It should be kept far from the litter tray or food bowl to mimic where cats find water in nature. The moving water could arouse your kitty’s curiosity and encourage it to drink.

Also, make sure that the water bowl has a fresh supply daily to prevent the growth of bacteria especially in hot weather. Regular cleaning of the bowl is also important.

The Quantity of Water Your Cat Needs

There are some factors to consider in determining the level of hydration your cat requires. These include size, age, and activity level of your cat. Other factors are the weather and time of the year.

In winter, cats will, like humans, take less water than when it is sunny and dry. The provision for evaporation from the cat’s bowl should be made during warm weather.

A very important consideration is the food that the cat eats. As discussed earlier, cats need 7-9 oz of water for every 10 pounds (50 ml. per kg.) daily. This figure includes the water found in its food. Dry cat food contains about 10% of this water, which would leave your feline friend with a deficit of 90% to be provided by you, the owner.

Food that is in a can or prepared wet could contain as much as 80% of the cat’s water needs. A cat fed on 250 grams of food from a can in a day would need about 20 ml of water. This is about 4 teaspoons. The rule of thumb is that, if you are giving your cat dry food, then you have to provide all the water it needs.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Dehydrated

Water makes up around 67% of a cat’s body. If this percentage drops, the cat could be said to suffer from dehydration. In the wild, this percentage is, coincidentally, the same as that of their natural prey. This means the wild cat rarely needs to drink water.

Severe dehydration is a killer. However, cats only tend to show symptoms when the problem has reached a critical stage. This is due, in part, to their need for very little water in the wild. However, if you are alert, you can note changes in your cat’s drinking habits.

A dehydrated cat will often be lethargic. Flaky skin, as opposed to a shiny coat, could also be an indicator that kitty isn’t getting enough water (Click here to see why your cat might not be drinking enough). To check whether your cat is dehydrated, take him by the scruff, which is the skin around the shoulder.

If the skin takes a second or longer to settle back into its original position you should be concerned. This could be dehydration and will require a visit to the vet.

Administration of fluids might be required. Just as cats are slow to show the effects of dehydration, recovery is likely to be equally sluggish.

Complications Linked To Water Intake

Apart from your pet drinking very little water, you might also find kitty taking too much. This is also a cause for concern. The following conditions are possible signs of health complications, arising from your cat’s water intake.

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Urinary tract infection

If caught early, these serious conditions can be managed effectively. When you notice your cat going to the water bowl more frequently than usual, it is time to visit the vet. Similarly, many trips to the kitty litter tray or urination accidents should be brought to your vet’s attention.

The vet will carry out tests on blood and urine samples to determine exactly what your cat could be suffering from. The earlier the prognosis, the sooner your pet will begin the journey towards recovery.

It should also be noted that a disease like Diabetes is more common in tom cats than females. Age too plays a role as older cats are more likely to be afflicted than younger ones. This is because they tend to take less water.

The vet might require you to take your cat’s urine sample at home. This is a bit tricky, but if your cat uses a litter tray, then it can be done. You will first need to empty the litter tray, wash it without using chemicals, and then place some materials that will not absorb urine in the tray (Click here to see why your cat is peeing everywhere).

Once kitty is through with her business, pour some of it into the sample bottle and take it to the vet as soon as possible. If there is going to be a delay, the sample should be kept in the fridge (Click here to see how to keep cat off this). It shouldn’t exceed 12 hours.


To sum up, kitty relies on you for general health. Play your role by providing what your cat needs to maintain optimum health. This is especially important with regard to water. Remain vigilant so that you can notice changes in kitty’s behavior and you will have a long and fruitful relationship (Click here to see why your cat is folding its paws in this “Kitty loaf” position).

Lindsey Browlingdon