Instinctively because of their evolution domestic cats don’t drink much water which can impact their health and drinking habits.
Domestic cats have kidneys which are two and a half times more efficient than ours at ridding the body of waste products. This is inherited from their wild cat ancestor. It is a reflection of the life and anatomy of the North African wildcat from which they are descended. This wild cat inhabits an arid region. They evolved to deal with a scarcity of water through more efficient kidneys.
When relying on eating rodents that they hunt and kill, which is rare for domestic cats, they drink very little water like their ancestor because of the reason mentioned above and because rodents are 70% water. They get their water from prey.
When eating commercial cat foods the outcome varies with the type of food. Cats fed on wet cat food will still drink water but depending on the individual cat it will seem like a small amount for the reason explained. Wet cat food is about 70-80% water.
If fed on dry foods cats need to compensate for the very low level of water in it at 5-10%. The natural instinct is not to drink a lot of water but they need to. The desire to drink little water varies between cats but in general when fed dry food cats are unable to fully compensate for the lack of water in their food. They expect water to be in their food. This can leave them slightly dehydrated. In turn this can, it is argued, lead to urinary tract health issues such as bacterial infections and stones.
This is why you’ll read a lot on the internet about prioritise wet foods for cats. Notwithstanding the inherent unnaturalness of dry cat food it is awfully convenient which is why it sells so well. There is little or no waste so it is also cheaper. The fact of the matter is that dry cat food is made to attract humans and a lot more of it is fed to cats than feline dieticians might like to see. I like it myself and so does my cat. I only feed him oral care as the pellets are larger. And I limit it.
In summary, and in answering the question, domestic cats don’t drink much water because of their evolution and ancestral home which is a semi-desert.
P.S. Some domestic cats may prefer muddy puddles to clean tap water because it is from the heavens and free of chlorine or other chemicals added in for human health. Also water bowls may have a detergent residue which affects the taste.
P.P.S. Cats sometimes prefer moving water as it tweeks their natural instinct to drink from flowing water.
P.P.P.S If your cat drinks lots of water all the time take them to a vet. They’ll be something wrong like kidney disease.
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