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Feline Friday: Kitty Drinking Problem

Some cats will do anything for a treat!

The truth is, cats tend not to drink ENOUGH water, and we humans bend over backwards (OUCH!) to ensure they get what they need. I’ve gone through three “water fountains” with Seren. She’s enjoyed them all and I don’t know that a kitty vote would come paws-down in favor of one over another. There are a number of products on the market and the best option is what works best for your fur-kids. These are the ones my cat has used and enjoyed.

The Pet Mate Fresh Flow (black on the right) was the first cat fountain and I won the product at the Cat Writers Association event. It contains a clear plastic chamber that you fill, and water runs down a smooth cascade into a reservoir. Seren loved this and drank from it for years where it sat next to the sink in my office bathroom. It was a big awkward to fill because the plastic tank had to come out and be filled. After several years (6? 7?) the motor finally quit. The motor had been a bit noisy.

So I quick-like-a-bunny ran out and got a Drinkwell fountain (left, light blue) because–well–it was on sale and I had a holiday gift certificate to the pet products store. So far we’ve had this fountain for about 2-3 years I think and it’s still going strong. The water spits out of the trough and falls with a splash into the reservoir and Seren-kitty drinks quite a bit from this one. The water can easily be replenished by dumping a glass full into the pan. The motor has a constant hum that I’ve finally gotten used to but must remember to shut off when recording a radio show or Ask Amy video.

The latest kitty water fountain is the Cat-It Fresh & Clear Fountain, that the kind folks at Hagen Pet Products sent to me for review. Or rather, for SEREN to review. The water burples up (yes, I made up that word) through a center hole in the canister-shaped device. The motor is nearly silent. Like the Drinkwell, to fill it I simply dump another cup of water into the well. I set it up next to the Drinkwell. For the first week, Seren ignored it, and the Drinkwell water level continued to go down. The next week the sneaky-puss started testing the new fountain but never when I could see her. I know she did because the water level began to drop–but so did the water in the Drinkwell. Several days later, the Drinkwell water level remained constant and the Cat-It burpling fountain clearly got Seren’s vote. She now drinks in front of me but runs when I get out the camera. So you’ll have to check out the Ask Amy video for her other favorite drink-spot.

So what’s your cat’s favorite way to drink? Does s/he have a fountain? Demand a bowl? Kibbitz for milk, or drink from the sink? Do tell!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

21 responses »

  1. As you know, I’m no longer able to have cats. My mother has two, however. They are brothers she rescued at about four weeks after their mother was killed. Anyway, one of the cats doesn’t like drinking from the water bowl. He prefers to stroll along the counter to the sink, where he licks the reverse osmosis water tap until it drips. Then he drinks. Crazy cat!

  2. My kitty (Enigma) used to come into the bathroom with anyone who would let him and he’d climb up to the sink and demand running water – much like yours in the video. We always indulged him because it was a great and easy way to see him get a good drink!

  3. We have the Drinkwell, but my cats prefer I also leave a small drip in the bathroom faucet for their drinking pleasure.

  4. Our kitties started drinking more when we switched to bottled water. We started getting the huge fill-you-own jugs after Anubis started having tummy troubles, we suspected it might be the constant changes in water quality thanks to being on a well – now his tummy is happier and both cats are drinking quite a bit more water.

    • Oh! And I suspect I must also mention that James used to have a cat, when he was a kid, that refused to drink out of anything but the toilet. They did some remodels at one point and the old toilet was out in the yard while they were installing a new one… apparently the cat stared dejectedly into the empty bowl for a while, then went to the neighbors’ house, suckered his way in, drank from THEIR toilet, and left. LOL

  5. carolyn carlquist

    I enjoyed reading this post, which seemed almost unreal, having just come off a ten-year stretch with two diabetic cats (not at the same time) who drank water like addicts. Filling up the water bowl was a constant, so reading about “trying to get cats to drink more water” was, indeed, interesting.
    Thanks for the morning cheer.

  6. Isn’t it funny how many of the kitties enjoy sink-sipping? I suspect it’s also about the interaction and attention. “Hey, betcha I can get her to turn on the faucet–bwaahahaha!”

    Carolyn, bless your heart re: the diabetic kitties. Yes, they do demand lots of water. Thanks for visiting the blog, everyone!

  7. My cat Angel – so called because she was an albino cat (she was pure white and had no skin pigmentation) could only drink water from the glass I took to bed every night. She left me the most generous sets of paw prints an the edge of the bath and the basin, but she would come and slurp – yes, that is the exact word! – from the glass by my bed. Normally in the hour or so before I had to get up. We lived on a farm at the time and there was a pond/dam right next to the house she could and did access, but mommie’s water tasted best, as it also had the effect of getting mommie out of bed and tending to her food requirements. I wish I could upload a pic of her – you can just see the attitude of this moggie. I loved her to bits. She died in a traffic accident 2 years ago.

    • Hi Maggie, I’ve heard of other cats who INSISTED on drinking from a glass! Must be the “diva” in them, LOL! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and sharing your kitty’s story. So sorry for your loss.

  8. I’ve never had a cat that drinks as much water as the one that adopted us a couple of months back. Her own bowl, any glass available (she’s even taken a sip of my whisky & water!), the various bird baths – she’ll have a sip if she’s passing 🙂

  9. Nancy J Nicholson

    My cat when we were land based, loved the sink and a porcelein coffee mug. Something about the porcelein must have kept the water cooler than any other container. I had a whole set of cups setting throughout the house.

    • Hi Nancy, I think you’re right. In fact I think that’s why some dogs and a few cats drink from the toilet (ew!) because the porcelain or whatever container makes the water cooler.

  10. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    Because of the dogs, we have an enormous Drinkwell with a two gallon chamber. The two dogs and three cats share it, and love it. It looks like a larger version of the Drinkwell in your picture.

    It works great, and makes everyone happy.


  11. Thanks for this! I have been thinking of getting one. Our indoor dearie is on a special diet to assure enough liquids but I may also try that porcelain mug trick!!! Both of our indoor cats had loved it when the bathtub faucets leaked and hated it when they were fixed.

    Again, thanks.

    • Hi Wayne, the 2 gallon size sounds like a great option for the multiple cat home. My Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty don’t like to share, though. I take that back…the CAT won’t share, LOL!

      Brenda, hope the mug trick helps. In addition to the water fountains, I’ve got small dishes of water set next to every sink because sometimes the kitty considers drinking to be a social time. When I wash my hands she shows up to drink, even if not out of the faucet. Offering lots of opportunities seems to help.

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        Ours are fairly well behaved. It’s nothing unusual to wake up and find every furry on the bed with us in the morning. They are used to each other. I’m just glad we have a King Size bed, otherwise my wife and I would be sleeping on the floor.


  12. Hey Amy…our cat lewi absolutely loves his water fountain. We used to have to answer to his demands for us to switch on the drinking tap in the bathroom and kitchen. The fountain has encouraged him to drink much more and abort his pleas for us to turn the tap on..big relief..

  13. Pingback: Feline Friday: All Stressed Up–We Can Fix That! « Amy Shojai's Blog

  14. Pingback: Pet Pampering: Going Too Far? « Amy Shojai's Blog

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