Cats are known for their finicky behavior, and this extends to their drinking habits. While some cats are content to drink from a regular bowl of water, others are more particular and may refuse to drink from a water fountain. This can be concerning for pet owners, as dehydration can lead to serious health problems in cats.
Understanding your cat’s drinking habits is important in determining why they may be avoiding a water fountain. Some cats prefer running water, while others are more comfortable with still water. Additionally, cats have a strong sense of smell and taste, and may be put off by the taste or smell of the water in the fountain. There are several other reasons why a cat may avoid drinking from a water fountain, including the location of the fountain, the noise it makes, and the strength of the water flow.
It’s important to identify the root cause of the issue in order to encourage your cat to stay hydrated. In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons why cats avoid water fountains and provide tips for encouraging hydration.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Cat’s Drinking Habits
- Possible Reasons Why Cats Avoid Water Fountains
- Health Implications of Not Drinking Enough Water
- Alternative Ways to Encourage Hydration
- When to Consult a Veterinarian
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to get my cat to drink from the water fountain?
- Where is the best place to put a cat’s water fountain?
- Do cats prefer drinking from fountains?
- What are some common reasons why cats won’t drink from a water fountain?
- Can a cat be trained to drink from a water fountain?
- What are some alternative water sources for cats who won’t drink from a fountain?
- Understanding your cat’s drinking habits is key to encouraging hydration
- Possible reasons why cats avoid water fountains include location, noise, and water flow
- Alternative ways to encourage hydration include wet food and multiple water sources
Understanding Cat’s Drinking Habits
Cats are known for being finicky drinkers, and their drinking habits can be influenced by various factors. It’s important to understand these factors to ensure that your cat stays hydrated and healthy. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Cats are desert animals and are naturally adapted to getting most of their water from their prey. This means that they may not have a strong instinct to drink water from a bowl or fountain.
- Cats have a very strong sense of smell and taste, and they may be put off by the scent or taste of their water. This is why it’s important to keep their water clean and fresh.
- Some cats prefer running water to still water, which is why they may be more interested in drinking from a fountain than a bowl.
- Cats are creatures of habit, and they may be hesitant to try something new. If you’re introducing a new water fountain, give your cat time to get used to it.
By understanding your cat’s drinking habits and preferences, you can help ensure that they stay hydrated and healthy. If you’re concerned about your cat’s drinking habits or if they’re showing signs of dehydration, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.
Possible Reasons Why Cats Avoid Water Fountains
Noise of the Water Fountain
Cats have sensitive hearing, and the sound of the water fountain might be too loud or scary for them. Some cats might be afraid of the sound of running water, especially if it’s unfamiliar. If your cat is skittish or easily startled, the noise of the fountain may be too much for them to handle.
Location of the Fountain
The location of the water fountain could also be a reason why your cat isn’t drinking from it. If it’s in a noisy or busy area of the house, your cat may not feel comfortable using it.
Additionally, if it’s too close to their litter box, they may avoid it altogether. Cats are clean animals and prefer to have their food and water sources separate from their litter box.
Quality of the Water
Cats are picky when it comes to their water source. They prefer fresh, clean water, and may avoid drinking from a fountain that has been sitting for too long or has not been cleaned regularly.
Additionally, the type of water you’re using could be a factor. Some cats prefer filtered or bottled water, while others are fine with tap water.
Health Implications of Not Drinking Enough Water
Cats who don’t drink enough water can suffer from dehydration, which can lead to serious health problems. Some of the health implications of not drinking enough water include:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Kidney disease
- Bladder stones
- Loss of appetite
Dehydration can also cause electrolyte imbalances, which can lead to muscle weakness, seizures, and other serious health problems.
If you notice that your cat is not drinking enough water, it’s important to take action right away. Make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water at all times, and consider offering wet food to help increase their water intake.
If you’re concerned about your cat’s water intake, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. They can help you determine if your cat is drinking enough water and recommend any necessary treatments or changes to your cat’s diet.
Alternative Ways to Encourage Hydration
Changing the Water Regularly
Cats are often finicky about the water they drink. One way to encourage them to drink more is by changing the water regularly. Stagnant water can become unappealing, so it’s important to keep the water fresh and clean. Try to change the water at least once a day, or more often if your cat is particularly picky.
Water fountains with a carbon filter are an easy way to keep the water fresh without having to change it daily. Try adding ice cubes every now and then to keep it cool and make it interesting.
Trying Different Types of Fountains
If your cat isn’t drinking from their water fountain, it may be time to try a different type.
- Some cats prefer fountains with a gentle flow, while others prefer a more vigorous stream.
- Some fountains also have different types of filters that can affect the taste and smell of the water.
Experimenting with different types of fountains can help you find the one that your cat prefers.
Adding Flavor to the Water
Cats can be enticed to drink more water by adding flavor to the water. You can try adding a small amount of tuna juice or chicken broth to the water. This can help make the water more appealing and encourage your cat to drink more. Just be sure to use a small amount, as too much flavoring can upset your cat’s stomach.
If you try this route you’ll also need to clean it out several times a week so the water doesn’t foul. Meat juices can also contaminate a filter so don’t use this option if your fountain has a filter or is hard to clean.
When to Consult a Veterinarian
If your cat is not drinking water, it’s important to take action to prevent dehydration. If you’ve tried several methods to encourage your cat to drink water from a fountain and it’s not working, it may be time to consult a veterinarian.
Dehydration can lead to serious health problems, including kidney failure, so it’s important to act quickly. Your veterinarian can perform a physical exam and run tests to determine if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing your cat to avoid drinking water.
Some signs that your cat may be dehydrated include lethargy, tacky gums, and dull eyes. You can also perform a skin tent test to check for dehydration. If your cat’s skin doesn’t quickly return to its normal position when gently lifted, it may be dehydrated.
Your veterinarian may recommend a special diet or medication to encourage your cat to drink more water. In some cases, they may even need to administer fluids intravenously to rehydrate your cat.
Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your cat’s health. If you’re concerned about your cat’s water intake, don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get my cat to drink from the water fountain?
Introduce the water fountain gradually, and place it near your cat’s regular water bowl. Encourage your cat to drink from the fountain by placing a treat near it. Reward your cat with praise for drinking from the fountain.
Where is the best place to put a cat’s water fountain?
Place the fountain in a quiet area away from loud noises and distractions. Avoid placing it near the litter box or food bowls. Experiment with different locations to find the one that your cat prefers.
Do cats prefer drinking from fountains?
Cats are attracted to moving water, and drinking fountains mimic the sound and movement of a natural water source. Many cats prefer drinking from fountains over still water.
What are some common reasons why cats won’t drink from a water fountain?
Some cats may be afraid of the sound or movement of the water. Others may not like the taste or smell of the water. Dirty filters or stagnant water can also discourage cats from drinking from the fountain.
Can a cat be trained to drink from a water fountain?
Yes, cats can be trained to drink from a water fountain with patience and positive reinforcement. Introduce the fountain gradually and reward your cat for drinking from it.
What are some alternative water sources for cats who won’t drink from a fountain?
Provide your cat with fresh, clean water in a regular bowl. Consider adding ice cubes or flavoring the water with a small amount of tuna juice to make it more appealing.
My name is Danny Jackson and I’m the CEO and Chief Editor behind Petloverguy.com. After spending a decade working with vets and private clients as an animal behavioral and nutritional specialist I co-founded Pet Lover Guy to help other pet parents learn how to interact with, and make the most of the time that they spend with their adopted and rescued best pet friends.
Working with Ella, our chihuahua rescue, we seek to help all dog and cat lovers have the happiest life possible.