People sometimes come to us because their cat won’t drink water
and they want to know what to do. As we have more than a decade of dealing with this issue we certainly can help but before addressing that specifically, first a little background. Sufficient water intake is vital for a cat’s health and inadequate hydration can result in serious and sometimes mortal illnesses. Cat water fountains are now widely recommended by veterinarians everywhere both to help prevent as well as to help cure these illnesses.
Nearly all veterinarians recommend giving your cat a fountain.
Veterinarian Dr. Lynn Bahr of the Cat Clinic in Roswell, GA has this to say: “… Instinctually, cats sense that standing water could be contaminated making running water a safer alternative. Moving water is oxygenated and may even taste better. Cats are complicated creatures and not always easy to understand but we do know many don’t drink enough water, especially if fed a dry only diet. Anything that encourages them to drink more and stay properly hydrated will improve their health and water fountains are a great way to entice them to do so.”
But what can you do if your cat just won’t drink water? Clearly, having a cat fountain is an important part of the solution but just putting a cat fountain down is not necessarily a guarantee that your cat will use it. Where you put it and how you introduce it to your cat can also be important.
Where you place the cat fountain is important.
Never place the fountain: near the food bowl; in heavily trafficked areas; close to often used or noisy appliances and certainly nowhere near the litter box. Notice where your cats like to hangout and place them there or near there or along favorite passage routes but out of the way. If there is a window your cat likes to look out of, near there may be good but not where it will get a lot of direct sun.
If your cat is the timid or shy type how you introduce the fountain is important. After having found a likely place for the fountain, put it there, fill it but don’t plug it in. Let your cat become familiar with the new object in its life and comfortable with its presence. After a day or two of this, refresh the water, put the pump on the lowest setting and plug it in. Take up all other water sources for a time and try to determine if your cat is using the fountain. If your cat still won’t drink water from the fountain, turn the pump off, refresh the water and put down other water sources. Then try the process again. To our experience fewer than one cat in three hundred won’t drink water from one of our fountains so the chances are excellent that your cat will drink from the fountain, you will have a beautiful ceramic work of art in your home and your cat will become healthier and stay healthy for a long time.
Go here for more on cats and their water needs.