Does your cat dash to the trickle of the bathroom faucet? Has your vet recommended a cat drinking fountain for your senior cat? Does your finicky feline play in his water bowl? Contrary to popular opinion, cats really do love their water. In fact most cats are often slightly dehydrated due to eating an only kibble diet.
Enter, the cat drinking fountain. These wonderful devices for our cats are not simply luxury items for the pampered feline. The more we learn about domestics cats, the better our care becomes at meeting their essential mental and biological needs. This past month you've seen me on our Instagram feed introduce a drinking fountain for Bongo, the cat who played in his water dish to the how to story on the proper care for your water fountain.
Cats playing in their water dish is a common complaint. The reasons for this can range from kittenish behavior to an actual issue with the style of bowl. So let's start with the style of bowl. You want to use a bowl that is twice as wide as it is high. A water bowl that isn't wide enough causes the cat to lose their sense of the water level. First, they truly can't see the water level. A cat's close-up vision is actually quite poor. Second, the whiskers can't fan out to sense the water level properly. This can cause the cat to push the bowl around trying to detect the water level. If you don't want to splurge on a cat water fountain, consider a few alternatives that meets that twice as wide as deep criteria.
Cat water fountains are often encouraged by veterinarians as a way of encouraging your cat to drink more water. There are a lot of benefits for them to use a well maintained fountain. These benefits include: a sufficient flow through the kidneys to keep them functioning well, removal of small bladder stones or crystals from the urine, to in some cases a more carbon filtered water much for the same reason you use a Brita filter water pitcher for yourself.
All of these wonderful health benefits are lost if the cat water fountain is not properly maintained. As your Cleveland Cat Sitter Company, we recommend cleaning your fountain at least once a week to wipe out the build-up of bio-film and every other week a good deep cleaning including the disassembly of the pump. A filter change is recommended once a month, but due to the water quality in some areas that filter may need to be changed every 2 weeks.
In some cat circles you may hear a well-intentioned cat person talk about how dangerous these cat fountains are. Well, in some regards they are correct. If the cat drinking fountain isn't properly maintained, they are a breeding ground for bacteria, which ends up defeating the whole reason you introduced it for your finicky feline. But, if properly maintained the benefits to our finicky felines far outweighs those concerns. So put that drinking fountain on your Caturday chore list and let's use it to their full advantage at keeping our tiny tigers happy and healthy all their lives.