Why Is My Cockatiel Not Drinking Water? (Reasons, What To Do & More)

Just like every other living and breathing thing on this planet, cockatiels need water for survival. If your bird stops drinking water, then they are probably in danger. If you see that your cockatiel refuses to drink water, you need to find out why. I researched and talked to my veterinarian friends to learn about the same.

Your cockatiel may not be drinking water for a few reasons. If you have got yourself a new bird, it is still settling into its new environment. Provide them with fresh and clean water. Clean their containers from time to time. Your bird might have suddenly stopped drinking due to some medical condition.

You must watch your cockatiel closely, and it will help you reveal their issue. Whatever explanation is founded on watching your little pet’s behaviors or actions, you need to seek help to ensure that your bird survives.

Hamster Essentials
Hamster Essentials

Let us learn more about the behavior of water consumption in cockatiels and at what point we should be concerned about them.

Do Cockatiels Drink Less Water?

Water is essential for the survival of all living beings, and cockatiels are no less.

Although cockatiels drink a limited amount of water, they still need water for survival.

If your cockatiel is not drinking water at all, then surely there will be a reason behind the same.

Sometimes, cockatiels avoid drinking water due to health difficulties. In addition, a stressed cockatiel might not want to drink any water.

In any case, you need to try to understand and calm down your little birdie.

If your cockatiel has not sipped any water for a long time, then observe them closely and closely look for signs of any negative reactions.

However, if you are still suspicious about your cockatiel’s health, the best idea would be to take it to a vet.

How Much Water Should A Cockatiel Drink Per Day?

A cockatiel drinks a couple of teaspoons of water per day.

However, the amount of water consumed by an adult cockatiel depends upon several factors.

The age, size, and diet of your bird play an essential role in determining the amount of water they are consuming.

In addition, if you feed your bird with more watery fruits or vegetables, they will be likely to drink less water.

Furthermore, the temperature and the weather conditions in which your bird is housed are essential factors. The warmer the water, the more the water intake by your cockatiels.

Why Is My Cockatiel Not Drinking Water?

If your cockatiels are not drinking water, there is undoubtedly a reason.

Several reasons affect the water consumption of our birds. These reasons can range from psychological to medical. Listed below are some of the reasons for the same:

  • Sick cockatiel: If your bird is sick, it will probably avoid drinking water. However, this is not typical behavior of cockatiels. Therefore, you must know that something is wrong with them if they are doing so.
  • Medicated Water: If you provide your bird with medicated water, your cockatiel might not like its taste.
  • Hydration from food: If you serve your cockatiels with water-based food (such as fruits and veggies), then they are already hydrated from the food. However, keep an eye on the thought because food must never replace water.
  • Tainted or smelly water: Most cockatiels are fussy. If your bird smells anything strange or finds any unusual substance in their water, they will probably not drink it.
  • The temperature of the water: Cockatiels will not drink their water if it is too hot or too cold. Comfortable indoor temperature water is perfect for th
  • Temperature around their cage: Cockatiels tend to drink less water during cold days.
  • Dirty water containers: Being a responsible bird owner, it is your duty to clean your cockatiel’s water container from time to time. Cockatiels will not drink any water if the containers are dirty.

Cockatiel Not Eating Or Drinking

If your bird is not eating or drinking at all, then there are high possibilities that it might be suffering from some kind of health problem.

In such cases, it is essential to provide your pet with medical care. The best idea would be to take your bird to a vet.

You must learn that a cockatiel’s health can deteriorate in no time. Therefore, you must take all the necessary steps as soon as possible.

How Do I Get My Cockatiel To Drink Water?

There are several tricks you can try to encourage your cockatiel to drink more water.

It is vital to keep your cockatiels hydrated to prevent illness.

If your cockatiel does chronically drink too little, it may be a symptom of another underlying illness. It’s always a good idea to bring them to the vet for a checkup just to be sure.

Listed below are a few of the ways you can use to entice your bird to drink more water:

Provide Your Cockatiel With A Bowl And Bottle

Although a bowl is a more natural way for your cockatiel to drink water, the best idea is to provide your birds with a bowl and a bottle.

Providing your cockatiels with both a bowl and a bottle will give them a choice of how they want to drink.

If your bird tends to flip over their water bowl, then the best option is to get heavy ceramic dishes for them.

Another option is to get your cockatiels pet bowls that clip to the side of their cage to prevent your birds from moving them.

Besides this, you must never forget to clean all the water dishes and bottles frequently to prevent the buildup of any bacteria that could be causing your birds to avoid drinking.

You’ll also want to give them fresh water daily, so your birds don’t feel that the water has become stale.

Avoid Confusion

Research suggests that birds do not recognize which containers house water, due to which they may not know how to hydrate themselves.

Therefore, it is essential to let your cockatiel recognize the bowl as safe, present, and full.

You can easily do this by swishing the water around its bowl, spilling a small amount on the floor, or putting the bowl below perching level.

Any action of yours will suffice, as long as it informs your cockatiel that water is available.

Add A Few Drops Of Honey To Their Water

If you’re worried that your cockatiel is not drinking enough.

Try adding a few drops of honey. This will add a little bit of sweet flavor to the bird’s water and encourage them to drink more.

You don’t want to add too much of this to your cockatiel’s diet since it’s just added sugar.

However, adding just a tiny amount and diluting it in the water can encourage your bird to drink more without having any ill effects.

Provide Them With Fresh Water

Instead of refilling your cockatiel’s water bowl once in a few days, or only after they run out of water, try replenishing the water at least two times during the day.

This can prevent your bird from thinking that the water has gone stale and keep them drinking throughout the day.

If you notice your cockatiels always tend to drink a lot right when you give them new water, this may be the trick to try.

Avoid Warm Water

Most cockatiels will generally prefer water when it is at room temperature.

Water that is too warm will seem untrustworthy, and most birds will avoid it.

Coldwater can also be a barrier to some cockatiels for drinking, but it’s usually not as much of a problem as water that has been heated.

Water Content From Their Food

When you give your cockatiels their daily fruits and veggies, you want to make sure to wash them off first.

After washing, you can leave those extra drops of water on the fruits and veggies.

This way, your bird will be getting a little extra hydration as they are eating their nutritious food. You can trick your cockatiels into having better hydration.

However, this shouldn’t become a regular meal or a permanent substitute for drinking water, but it’s a temporary solution.

How Long Can Cockatiels Go Without Water?

To keep your cockatiels healthy, it is essential to provide them with fresh water every 12 hours. Cockatiels should not go without water for more than 24-30 hours.

If your bird has not sipped any water for a long time, there is a problem. Not drinking water for an extended period can cause dehydration in cockatiels. in some cases, even organ failures.

It would be best if you tried to find out why your cockatiel is drinking less water or no water at all. There might be multiple reasons behind the same. If you feel your bird is sick, take it to a vet.

On the other hand, if you have to go away for a few days, try and have someone come to your home to provide your bird with fresh water.

Related Queries:

How Do I Tell If My Cockatiel Is Dehydrated?

Listed below are a few symptoms that will tell you that your cockatiel is dehydrated:

  • Dull eyes
  • Wrinkle around their eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Reduced skin elasticity
  • Disinterest in their food
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Dry droppings

Can Cockatiels Die From No Water?

Water is an essential component for all living beings, and cockatiels are no less.

Although cockatiels will not die from dehydration if their diet includes adequate fruits and veggies, it is crucial to provide them access to fresh and clean water at all times.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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