Water is essential to your cat's health. Drinking enough helps your feline friend maintain healthy kidneys and supports hydration of other organs.
If your cat eats canned food, she gets some of the water she needs when she eats. Cats who only eat dry food, or who have a combination diet, need to drink more to meet their bodily needs.
Cats are like horses in the old saying: you can lead them to water, but you can't make them drink it. Fortunately, there are three different types of water... bowls that make them more likely to keep themselves properly hydrated.
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Cats are funny creatures. Most don't like anything touching their whiskers, and really, that's understandable. Those long facial protrusions are extremely sensitive. Felines can even detect slight changes in the breeze with their whiskers. They also detect air currents, which, along with their excellent night vision, helps them navigate around objects in the darkness.
Given this sensitivity, it's no wonder that most cats don't like things touching their whiskers. That includes... small food and water bowls. If you provide a large, wide bowl from which your cat can drink without rubbing his whiskers against the side, you might notice an increase in his water consumption.
Personally, I also prefer stainless steel for my cats' water bowls. It's easy to clean thoroughly and doesn't cause a chin rash like some plastics. It's one of their most basic supplies.
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What would you rather drink, a glass of room temperature liquid or a nice, cold, refreshing glass of water? Many cats, like humans, prefer their beverages chilled. You'll promote more water consumption if you serve it cold.
It's hard to keep refilling your kitty's water bowl, but luckily you can buy products that keep it chilled for hours. For example, Frostybowlz is a stainless steel cat and dog bowl that keeps the water cool and refreshing. You simply freeze the base, then put the... water bowl over it. Its effects last several hours.
When I tested Frostybowlz with my cats, putting it out along with a regular stainless steel bowl, they most definitely preferred the cold water. This was true even though the unchilled water bowl was wide than the Frostybowlz.
This product isn't just for cats. Many dogs are also grateful for a nice, cold drink.
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Some cats absolutely adore drinking running water. They'll beg for some at the sink or jump in the bathtub, hoping you'll turn it on so they can indulge themselves.
One of my cats was addicted to drinking out of sinks, so much so that he'd refuse a bowl and would even wake me up at night to try to get me to turn on the bathtub. As he got older, he developed kidney problems that greatly increased his thirst. I knew I needed a solution that would fulfill his need for running water... without keeping me at his beck and call.
If you have a cat like that, consider buying an automatic fountain. There are many different models available, but the one I used for that kitty, who has since passed away, is the Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain with the raindrop design.
As a big fan of stainless steel, I like the fact that this fountain is easy to clean. You have to change the filters regularly in pretty much any pet fountain, which is one of the drawbacks. If you don't keep spare filters around, you'll have an unhappy kitty on your hands until you finally get out to pick some up.
The only other drawback is that you need to keep the fountain near an electrical outlet since it has to be plugged in.
I retired my fountain when my cat with the "drinking problem" crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but the elderly cat I adopted after his death has turned into a sink kitty, too. I might just get out the fountain again if her demands get more frequent.
If you're a dog owner, you might want to try a fountain with your pooch. Although dogs aren't typically as excited about running water as cats, many enjoy drinking from a pet fountain.