Feral feeding tip: I add enough water until their wet food is like a soup

Posted October 17, 2018 by Robert Smith

I live in the high desert and have been caring for 10 feral cats for seven years now. I want to share that despite making sure they always have plenty of fresh water, I was concerned if they were getting enough water.

3 months ago (photo courtesy Robert Smith)
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

So I replaced their all dry food diet with half wet and half dry. I was still worried, and so I started to add water to their wet food. I add enough water until their food is like a soup.

The cats love it and after about three months of doing this, I am very surprised by the results. They have gone from looking like ratty feral cats to looking like house cats.

One cat allows me to touch her. She was my main concern since every summer her fur feels and looks dry, thin, and brittle. Now her fur is thick and soft. She is no longer so cheetah skinny looking either, but actually plump. Her breath has improved. Her eyes are clearer, there’s less vomiting, cleaner butt, etc.

1 month ago (photo courtesy Robert Smith)

Wild cats receive much of their water from eating their prey. They go right for the stomach and lap up the contents and blood. On a dry food diet, they don’t get water from their food. You’d think they would drink extra water to compensate, but they don’t. They instinctively only drink so much water per day, unless they are sick maybe.

I just had to share this since it has made such an improvement in the health of my cats. And yes, they still drink the same amount of water from their bowls.

Top pic is of three months ago and the bottom pic is of a month ago.

Robert Smith

Note from Elisa: This is another story in the Readers Forum series. When I came across it on Facebook I knew I had to get permission from Robert to post his method of caring for a feral family. With winter coming soon, this is an excellent way to add weight to a colony cat(s).

P.S. Adding water is a great way to help deal with urinary tract issues (e.g. cystitis) as it makes cats drink more. Cats are poor drinkers. See also: Cat drinking water. In an ideal world the water should be rain water – more natural and no added chemicals.

Elisa Notice

3 thoughts on “Feral feeding tip: I add enough water until their wet food is like a soup”

      • We tend to underestimate the amount of water our pets need. Luckily my house fluffs love drinking out of faucets and the very expensive stainless pasta kettle I keep filled in the sink for them. Deep water is very attractive to them.
        I used to make my chickens a mash of lots of water and layena and I had eggs all year coming out of my ears. I did this all season even for the free range.
        On really hot and cold days I used to make my horses a mash of alfalfa pellets to increase their water intake.
        It only makes sense to extend that to cats eating a commercial food.


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