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Cats who won't drink water! What should/could they drink instead?


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Old 02-01-2013, 19:33
milmol
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Hi (again!) Just wondering what your pet cats drink. Mine adore milk but reading around, I know its not ideal for them and to be honest I think it doesnt agree with one of their tummies I tried them with water at first but they didnt drink anything, now I think I might have caused a problem by giving them milk to get them to drink something ...

I have tried bottled water in case the tap water tastes funny to them and left it for a day - they were really thirsty and I felt awful and they still hadn't touched the water. Is it a battle of wills? would they drink the water eventually? I know they need plenty of fluids so really in a dilemma what to do and daren't / don't want to leave them for too long.

Thanks if anyone can give any suggestions
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Old 02-01-2013, 20:00
husted
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I suggest half water and half cat-milk (which is lactose free milk).

Gradually give them more and more water in their milk.
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Old 02-01-2013, 20:03
stud u like
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I always gave mine milk and sometimes the top of the cream.

They didn't drink water unless it was in a filthy,muddy, puddle.

Trying to recreate a muddy puddle indoors did not work.
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Old 02-01-2013, 20:24
Muze
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Sometimes bottled or filtered water helps
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Old 02-01-2013, 20:32
MarellaK
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I never thought that my cats drank much water. When I left water in bowls my Bernard used to play with it and splash it around the floor and Tabitha ignored it although she adored her whiskas cat milk (no other brand would do). I couldn't tell my disapproving vet or cattery owners that she loved milk because I would always get told off In fact, when she was dying and not eating, she still drank cat milk which kept her going and she also drank a lot of water at that time

I think a lot of cats get their fluids from wet food and you only really need to give supplementary water when their diet is mainly dry food. Having said that, I saw my Bernard frantically trying to drink from my outdoor fish pond last summer (I had covered it with a net) so I immediately invested in a water fountain (Catmate, about 30) and all 3 of my current cats now regularly drink water from this. The filters need to be changed every few weeks and the water changed every few days. The cats were a bit suspicious for a few days because it makes a low humming noise but they love it now and I am surprised how much they drink. I feel a bit guilty for not having provided something like that before.

I wouldn't worry too much about their water intake if they're getting wet food as cats are highly efficient at maintaining their body water content. Once they're allowed outside they will undoubtedly drink from the odd puddle, as cats do. I highly recommend the water fountain idea too. If your cats still insist they prefer milk then give them lactose reduced milk - though it is awfully expensive and, luckily, none of my current cats are keen on it, they now prefer the water.
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Old 02-01-2013, 20:45
husted
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Mine use a water fountain too as it encourages them to drink. It puts air in the water, like water fresh from the tap or rainwater. A fresh puddle would some have air in it.

But I think they like the sensation of the water on their tongue more than anything, cos they prefer to drink the running water, rather than the water which collects in the bowl.

http://files.dogster.com/pix/cats/50...1345448625.png
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Old 02-01-2013, 21:06
milmol
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Thanks yet again
I just feel so mean denying them milk now Ive let them discover they love it! The fountain sounds a great idea but its hard to get my head round spending 30 on it when at the moment they show no sign of drinking water in any format! May just need to take a gamble on it i guess.

Tonight I have watered their milk down and one of them has had a good drink but (typical!) the one with the dodgy tummy won't touch it!!

Thanks again guys your advice is brilliant.

Huster what an adorable photo!

Last edited by milmol : 02-01-2013 at 21:07. Reason: saw the photo
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:01
Shrike
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Mine use a water fountain too as it encourages them to drink. It puts air in the water, like water fresh from the tap or rainwater. A fresh puddle would some have air in it.

But I think they like the sensation of the water on their tongue more than anything, cos they prefer to drink the running water, rather than the water which collects in the bowl.

http://files.dogster.com/pix/cats/50...1345448625.png
It would make sense for an animal to instinctively drink running water rather than stagnant - especially one that evolved in Africa
But I think whats going on is the fountain is driving out chlorine and other addatives rather than adding air - you may get the same effect by simply standing water for a day (as I used to with my aquarium).
I've also read that detergent residue can put the cat off drinking from a bowl as food is strongly flavoured enough to mask residue, but tap water isn't. It could simply be the bowl needs several rinses after washing.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:49
avasgranny
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I leave the bath tap dripping for my lad so, if he is thirsty, then he can (and does) just help himself. Like yours he refuses to drink out a bowl. I had a water fountain for the dog, cat refused to drink from it. Very occasionally he will ask for a drink of milk and laps it up but if I were to put down a bowl of milk for him normally he would ignore it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:59
Normandie
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I leave the bath tap dripping for my lad...
I used to do that... but begrudged the waste of water. Also it stained the bath. So I got a water bottle - this sort of thing - and taped it to the tap which I turned off. He soon got the hang of the water bottle - which, in effect, dripped like the tap when he licked it - and I gradually moved it out of the bath and onto the towel rail! Well, it worked for us.

If cats go out, they tend to drink from wherever appeals - waterlogged plant containers, the top of lids, puddles... none of mine get milk but I regularly see them drinking - either inside or out.

If tap water has been standing a while, the chlorine-y smell usually diminishes - I think it's volatile and disappears but my chemical knowledge may be at fault there.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:11
Maisey Moo
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If there fed on wet food they will drink less water anyway. Just keep adding a tiny bit of milk too the water. They can't see water so they might not drink it. Also is the water near the litter tray at all. Also change too a different type if dish. Try not too give them milk as It could realy upset there tums and could cause problems that will cost a lot,of money to get right.
My kado loves drinking out of the running tap he always has as does a coup,e of the other ones. He also used and sometimes still does like too paddle in the water dish. They all use the same water dish even the dogs use it too.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:15
molliepops
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We found two of ours liked one of those bottles you use for rabbit cages, they would lick that to get water quite happily. Another two only liked running water so one of those indoor water features sorted them out. Luckily the 5th drank from a bowl but only a china bowl she hated stainless steel ones with a passion.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:30
howard h
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Collect rainwater in a bowl for them. Remember our tap water is full of chemicals and other stuff which is alien to a pussy.

Cats also like puddles as that can contain nutrients (dirt to us) which they would find in the wild long before we came along!
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:36
milmol
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Thanks everyone for great replies. I'm much more reassured now - I feel much more relaxed that as soon as they're going outside they will be getting their liquids from wherever. At the moment they are eating a mixture of wet & dry food so I might increase the wet food whilst they're still indoors too.
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Old 04-01-2013, 00:18
abigail1234
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We found two of ours liked one of those bottles you use for rabbit cages, they would lick that to get water quite happily. Another two only liked running water so one of those indoor water features sorted them out. Luckily the 5th drank from a bowl but only a china bowl she hated stainless steel ones with a passion.
They don't tell you all this stuff in pet books do they? Love it...
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Old 04-01-2013, 00:20
abigail1234
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Collect rainwater in a bowl for them.Remember our tap water is full of chemicals and other stuff which is alien to a pussy.

Cats also like puddles as that can contain nutrients (dirt to us) which they would find in the wild long before we came along!
That's a good idea (it works for indoor plants, too!). My cats definitely prefer puddles to fresh water from a tap
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Old 04-01-2013, 00:56
skp20040
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Ok now for my admission, mine get still Highland Spring water in a pet fountain, fountains are far more healthy for them than bowls I think as the water does not lay stagnant and the moving water enourages them to drink , they also get a half a bottle of Whiskas cat milk each once a week as a treat as they love it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:13
owllover
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I'll add my thoughts. My feral kitten came to me at about 6/7 weeks old and I've never given her milk. She'll be fifteen years old this year. She has wet and dry food but I hardly ever saw her drinking water from her bowl (though would see her drinking rainwater in the garden).

One day I filled a bucket ready to water my pot plants and left it by the door and the next thing I knew she was glugging it down like mad, almost as if it was a sneaky forbidden drink! I decided to leave it around to see what happened and the glugging continued to the point where the bucket is now hers and she has a swig several times a day!

(Bit embarrassing when new visitors come and I forget the bucket because it's part of the furniture).
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:48
milmol
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Ok now for my admission, mine get still Highland Spring water in a pet fountain, fountains are far more healthy for them than bowls I think as the water does not lay stagnant and the moving water enourages them to drink , they also get a half a bottle of Whiskas cat milk each once a week as a treat as they love it.
Aw thats nice I think i will do that , it will make me feel better - i feel so mean right now!!

Jinny (the one with the dodgy tummy) still isn't drinking anything, Gwennie is drinking half milk, half water (whilst simultaneously sulking) So I am still a bit worried about them.

Hoping to have a little wander outside with them over the weekend, I think "going outside" is definitely what they need - in many ways!
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Old 04-01-2013, 18:51
Badcat
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Since I got a water fountain my lot drink from that (so much nicer than bowls) or the other option is to build a pond with a filter! In summer that's all some of the older ones use

(or puddles... am so embarrassed seeing my eldest drink from puddles!)
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Old 21-01-2013, 13:37
VOICEINTHENIGHT
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you can actually buy a water drinking fountain for cats.

cats like to drink running water, I don't know why but my three seem to like water from the kitchen tap and wash basin in the bathroom.

the other place mine drink from is the loo, then they come and kiss us (not nice) but they think its love!
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Old 21-01-2013, 13:58
dollymarie
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@voiceinthenight

Sorry but why are you letting them drink from the loo considering all the yucky things that go down there.

Also don't you ever put bleach down the loo to clean it? Bleach will poison the cats!
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Old 21-01-2013, 14:32
milmol
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The drinking fountain thing is a great idea but they are 30 in pets at home
Considering neither of my cats have so much as touched any water (tap, bottled, water collected outside, I've even tried melted snow this weekend!) its a bit of a leap to spend that much on a drinking fountain, just to see if that does the trick.

The only thing they will drink is cat milk and Gwennie only very occasionally has a little drop of that

Does anyone know how much cats "should" drink? I had a feeling they should be drinking a lot, I feel so sorry for them thinking they might be thirsty but the milks costing a fortune!
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Old 21-01-2013, 15:49
MarellaK
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The drinking fountain thing is a great idea but they are 30 in pets at home
Considering neither of my cats have so much as touched any water (tap, bottled, water collected outside, I've even tried melted snow this weekend!) its a bit of a leap to spend that much on a drinking fountain, just to see if that does the trick.

The only thing they will drink is cat milk and Gwennie only very occasionally has a little drop of that

Does anyone know how much cats "should" drink? I had a feeling they should be drinking a lot, I feel so sorry for them thinking they might be thirsty but the milks costing a fortune!
Cats drink what they want to drink and most cats don't drink very much, particularly if they eat wet food which has a lot of water content. My vet says that a sign of a sick cat is a cat who has started to drink more than it normally does.

If you want to be sure your cats are getting enough fluid I would take a gamble on the pet fountain. Somebody posted a link to Amazon on another thread where the Catmate version (which I have) is on special offer at around 20. My cats love it though it did take them a few days to get used to it and I was starting to think I had wasted my money - I spent the full 30 last year. Those of us who have cat water fountains seem to find them very good - I can't see any posts from anyone who's bought one and regrets it.

Is your cat flap fitted now? My cats drink a lot outside too, mainly in warmer weather, but I'm fortunate to have an outdoor fish pond with a waterfall and water filter. There's plenty of water around at the moment with the snow starting to thaw a little.
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Old 21-01-2013, 16:29
ruthiebabie
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Try filling mugs and placing them around the house. We did this after Missy was diagnosed with cystitis. She sniffed them, ignored them and then as soon as we weren't looking started drinking from them! Like the bucket person I forget sometimes it looks odd to new visitors as to why Ive mugs on the floor with water in them. But it works for us.
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