Skip to Content

Can Cats Share A Water Bowl – What You Shouldn’t Do!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As a pet owner, you know how important water is for keeping your cat well hydrated. If you have multiple cats, you may wonder if it is safe to have a communal water bowl in your home for all your cats to share as a way to minimize clutter. But, can cats share a water bowl?

Cats should not share a water bowl. Sharing water bowls will lead to behavioral issues and potential fighting between cats. Sharing also makes it challenging for cats to consume enough daily water intake.

Although cats shouldn’t share water bowls, its okay if its happens from time to time.

Interested in checking out the best litter boxes for cats? You can find them by clicking here#ad

Do Cats Need Separate Water Bowls

Yes, if you have more than one cat, they do need separate water bowls. Cats are very independent animals, and part of that independence means wanting their own space. While we try to instill in humans good at sharing, this is not a mantra that applies to cats. 

The main reason cats shouldn’t share water bowls is that they can be territorial animals, especially when it comes to anything food-related. 

Being protective of their resources is the hunting instinct cats have embedded in their DNA from their ancestors, and they are still very mindful of this. Cats can quickly turn aggressive with each other when they feel their food or resources are being compromised.  

Many cat owners try to use one cat and multiple bowls, but this can lead to confusion and accidents among the cats as to which bowl is theirs. In addition, it’s difficult to avoid potential fighting amongst the cats as they try to assert their dominance over each other by choosing which bowl they want.

A better solution is to keep each cat’s water bowl in a separate place.

Can My Cat and Dog Share A Water Bowl

A cat and dog can share a water bowl in a pinch, but it is better to keep a separate water bowl for your animals.

One of the main reasons for this is the difference in the size of the two animals. A dog needs a much bigger water bowl and needs to drink a much higher quantity of water every day than a cat. 

On the reverse, a water bowl that is the right size for a dog is likely to be too large for your cat, and a cat will struggle to drink out of a water bowl that is too large for them. It is a common pet peeve for cats to dislike getting their face and whiskers wet, which happens when a water bowl is too deep for them. 

How Much Water Should A Cat Drink Per Day

Cats should be drinking between 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day. However, that is just a recommended guide for each cat, and you will notice some cats need more or less water than that on an average day. 

It also makes a difference in how much water your cat needs every day, depending on the climate you live in and whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat. If you live in a very hot climate and your cat runs around outside, they may need additional water every day. 

Another factor that can contribute to how much water your cat should drink in a day is the type of food they are eating. A can of wet cat food is composed of about 70% water and should give your cat half of their daily recommended water amount. 

If you are worried because you rarely see your cat drinking water, you can monitor the amount they are consuming by observing how much is left in their water bowl at the end of each day. Additionally, you should be able to tell from their litter box when your cat is hydrating properly. 

Water plays a major role in your cat’s health. Cats are prone to dehydration, and water is the best liquid for rehydration.

Drinks other than water don’t contain the correct amount of electrolytes or amounts of water needed to keep your cat hydrated. Cats that have kidney problems need to drink more water because they can’t produce urine as well as a healthy cat can.

If you have only one cat and you want to give him all the fresh water that he needs, buy multiple pet bowls.

A dehydrated cat will exhibit signs like vomiting or diarrhea, panting, or less frequent urination. All of these symptoms are red flags that your cat may need some extra water each day. 

How Many Water Bowls Does A Cat Need

In an ideal scenario, a cat should have at least two water bowls in its home. If possible, put the water bowls in the two rooms of your house where your cat spends most of its time. It is also advised to keep their water bowl separate from your cat’s feeding bowl. 

Another reason to have more than one water bowl for your cat is to make it easier to keep their water bowl clean. Some cats are extra sensitive to dirty bowls and will stop drinking water if any grime or food is floating in their water. Keeping their bowl clean will help encourage your cat to drink enough water throughout the day.  

Should You Let Cats Share Water Bowls

It is not recommended to let cats share a water bowl unless there is no other option. Some cats might react ok with sharing, but it greatly depends on whether the cats who share a water bowl are familiar with each other and whether they get along. 

It is more challenging to keep the water bowl clean and full from a cleanliness perspective when multiple cats are sharing.

Some cats are turned off by food particles or odors in their water bowls and may start avoiding the water bowl if anything is floating in the water. 

If your cats need to share a water bowl, it could be more advantageous to invest in a water fountain.

These are relatively inexpensive and only need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. They keep the water constantly flowing and offer a better alternative for cats that need to share water. 

What Kind Of Water Bowl Is Best For Cats

The best type of water bowl for your cat is stainless steel and lead-free. Those are the two biggest safety items to look for in a water bowl. Stainless steel is a very hygienic material that can easily be washed, in addition to being very durable. 

Outside of stainless steel, ceramic water bowls are the second-best choice on the market. Cats are prone to knocking around their water dishes, either by accident or while feeling playful, so it is essential as well that you pick out a water bowl that is sturdy and unlikely to get broken.

Some people choose ceramic water bowls for their cat because they are non-porous and easy to clean. However, some cats have an aversion towards drinking from ceramic bowls. They prefer drinking from more traditional dishes that may be slightly lower at the rim.

In general, most cats love bowls that have a lot of height as they like to get up from the floor and drink from these higher ones. They also like bowls that are slightly raised off the floor.

Final Thoughts 

Overall, it is a best practice to keep your cat’s water bowl in a central room of your home where they will be able to access it when needed. It is also best to keep their water bowl in a quiet corner of the room where they can drink in a relaxed setting. 

For your convenience, make sure to keep the water bowl in a room with a sink, such as a kitchen or a laundry room, so that you can refill it easily throughout the day.

Cats are often sensitive to the location of their water bowl, so it’s best to keep it away from their litter box or anywhere too loud and noisy. 

If you make it easy for your cat to drink water throughout the day, there is a better likelihood of them going to drink water independently and staying well hydrated.

Some cats are also sensitive to the type of water you give them and may prefer tap water and purified water. The quality of tap water can vary greatly depending on where you live and could potentially make your cat sick.