Drinking fountains for cats

(44 Posts)
janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 11:38:05

I bought my cat a drinking fountain last week but he is showing no interest in it. I have put it on the floor next to his dishes but he won't even look at it!

Any ideas how I can help him to use it? At the moment he doesn't drink at all and is dependent on wet food for water.

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 11:43:49

I'd try moving it away from his food dishes a bit - they often don't like them close together. Is there another plug you can use?

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 11:46:41

PS - it may also be that he simply isn't thirsty (they get a huge amount of their liquid needs from the wet food and it's not hot summer in any case) - or he's found another inside or outside source. Have you found him eg near the toilet recently? Or if he goes out, are there puddles or external water sources that you can think of out there?

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 11:53:15

Thanks cozietoesie.

There isn't another internal source as he doesn't go into bathrooms and doesn't jump onto work surfaces in the kitchen. He doesn't go out much but of course he could be drinking from puddles etc when he does.

I'll try putting it somewhere else and see if it is that he doesn't like having it next to his food. To be honest I think it's that he actually has no idea what it is!

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 12:35:21

When I have used mine I have it on a timer clock so it is not running all the time. I found they liked it running sometimes and not others.
Also if he is eating wet food which is at least 80% water the need for other fluids is very low.

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 12:45:48

...I found they liked it running sometimes and not others....

Oh My.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 12:50:44

Lets face it Cozie we are dealing with cats those fickle individuals - timer switch works really well and I would alter the times every couple of days.
Now I must go and attend to my masters' needs.

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 12:54:40

It's just that .. sometimes you think you understand cats and then you realize that you actually haven't got a clue more than a surface scratch. Creatures of mystery, eh?

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 12:58:39

I hadn't thought of a timer switch. To be honest that would be a good idea anyway because he is always asleep 7pm - 6am.

I had hoped that the drinking fountain would stop him demanding food all the time (thinking perhaps he was thirsty no hungry sometimes), but that was always naive!

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 13:00:32

I definitely don't understand him! We've had him a year but he was a stray before that, and he could be about five. I tend to put the quirky stuff down to trauma that happened before he found us but he's probably just inexplicable anyway!

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 13:09:40

What's his build/weight like, janey? He could be after more attention/games from you rather than food - but maybe he's developed a piggy streak after his stray existence. How much wet food would you reckon he eats on the average day?

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 09-Dec-13 13:10:40

I bought one for my cats but they ignored it.

My cats will only drink out of my glass of water, the shower tray or the the toilet.

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 13:24:16

Cozietoesie he's massive. He weighs 8.5kg. He eats 4x85g pouches each day. Looking at the cat food box it recommends 3 pouches per day for a 4kg cat. Presumably this shouldn't be doubled for a larger cat, although I know he'd like it to be! He certainly doesn't look underweight. When we first took him to the vet she said he had the potential to be a very large cat, as he had not been neutered when young and has very large paws and long legs.

He does play with us. He has one of those laser lights which he likes and also a treat ball which he plays with a lot, even when there are no Dreamies in it.

AngelsWithSilverWings reading your post perhaps I should be grateful that he doesn't drink from our glasses!

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 13:35:38

Blimey - that's huge. Do you have a picture of him/know what his breeding is or is likely to be?

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 13:38:38

I'll see if I can put a picture on - predictably I have loads smile

On his vet card it just says he's a domestic shorthair. He is pure white all over and has one blue eye and one green eye.

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 13:53:57

Picture up (I think).

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 14:18:59

Certainly is.

While it's a bit difficult without perspective, I have to say that he looks a little .... full figured ..... to me, janey. (Sorry if that's a blow to maternal pride and all.) When was he last at the vet - and what did the vet say about his weight?

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 14:20:25

His eyes are just wonderful, aren't they?

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 15:05:24

He looks quite full-figured to me, too! And I say this as someone full-figured myself. blush

The vet said she thought he hadn't yet grown into his paws. Also that cats couldn't overeat. I am sceptical about both! He would eat any time I feed him. Whenever there's no food he's demanding it. It's hard to keep him to 4 pouches a day. For example, he usually has the final pouch at 4pm but he's been asking for it extremely vocally now since 1.30. I was hoping that sometimes he might just be thirsty and that's why I bought him the drinking fountain.

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 15:22:03

I would be inclined to change your vet, janey. They certainly can overeat in my experience. I'm also a little surprised about the 'growing into his paws'. For a kitten, yes - but he's, what - 5 years old? He may have been neutered late but I'm a little at a loss as to how that would mean any significant difference to his basic overall size - one of the vets who post may comment there.

How much does he measure - eg in length?

I definitely wouldn't be giving him more wet food than he's getting now. Certainly until you can see someone else and get their view. (And how much kibble/how many Dreamies is he getting in addition ?) Don't worry if he goes outside and gets food 'on the hoof'. Only a relatively small percentage of stalks result in a kill and I suspect he could use the exercise. Unless of course he starts bringing home half chickens that he's stolen from open neighbour windows!

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 15:26:50

Cats can most certainly overeat. I am a bit confused at your vet considering pet obesity is the biggest single animal welfare issue in the UK at the moment - the collective agreement of the CAWG and FAWG.

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 15:28:05

Thanks for your replies. I'm not quite sure which bit to measure. He is 115cm from the tip of his nose along his back to the end of his tail. I can't measure any other bits now because he has the tape measure :D

He doesn't eat many Dreamies - perhaps 6 a day, and from a ball he has to push around.

I have never seen him catch anything, or bring a catch home. He watches birds but they tend to see him as soon as he moves as he is white. I don't know how he survived before we fed him. When I first saw him he was eating bird seed.

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 15:30:59

You might find this interesting.

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 15:31:50

I did think the vet's advice was odd. That's why I didn't double the suggested amounts on the cat food box to adjust for his weight.

I do think the advice on the side of the food boxes is a little unhelpful. If the guidelines are for a 4kg cat, should you double it if your cat is 8kg, or halve it?

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 15:32:42

By the way, janey, just in case you didn't realize, you've got the view of an experienced vet above you.

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 15:40:43

Thank you smile

cozietoesie Mon 09-Dec-13 15:43:28

Let us know how you and he get on.


Fluffycloudland77 Mon 09-Dec-13 16:38:13

The only thing that's made my cat drink more is putting all the loo seats down.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 16:45:32

Right Janey I have had a look at your photos and think he maybe a bit on the chunky side. How easily can you feel his ribs when you run your hands over his chest?
1. Easily no need to apply any pressure
2. Light pressure required
3. Firm pressure needed
4. Can't feel ribs at all

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 17:23:07

Thank you for your help. smile

Obviously it depends a great deal on how stretched out he is when I stroke him. However, it's probably between two and three (perhaps two and three quarters!) when he is lying down but curled up - not fully curled up like a circle but lying on his side. Not stretched out as he is in one of my pictures - when he's like that you can see his ribs.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Dec-13 18:24:17

So a little chunky then, so maybe re weigh him in a month if decrease in weight we may need a slightly different solution.
Feel his ribs when he is stood up with hands coming from above.
PM me if you like I have lots of cat solutions.

janeyjampot Mon 09-Dec-13 18:29:23

Thank you Lonecatwithkitten.

Do you think 4x85g pouches is about right, then? The instructions on the packet don't say how you should adjust the recommended amount according to the weight of your cat...

stickysausages Mon 09-Dec-13 18:40:27

I bought one, to stop one of our cats rasping at the kitchen mixer tap blush he kept going to the tap, so I might have dipped his paw in the fountain... and maybe put his nose down to it... worked though!

janeyjampot Thu 12-Dec-13 09:45:06

Quick update. I have managed to restrict him to 3x85g pouches by giving him half a pouch at a time, so he has 6 small meals instead of 4 big ones. I'm at home with him in the day which is part of the problem - he demands meals all the time!

I have put another photo of him on my profile which I took yesterday. It shows his eyes more clearly. When I look at him now I can't imagine how he ended up as a stray - he's so gorgeous! Obviously I am biased... fgrin

cozietoesie Thu 12-Dec-13 10:01:24

He's a beauty - but that pic does definitely show that he's full figured.

I was thinking of suggesting more frequent but smaller meals - but remember that weight loss has to be pretty gradual with cats to avoid bad effects. PITA for you (months and months of yowling) but there you go.

Maybe take some professional advice on the optimum diet for him and with regular weighing?

cozietoesie Thu 12-Dec-13 10:14:14

By the way - how's his hearing? It's likely to be just fine but I thought I'd check.

janeyjampot Thu 12-Dec-13 10:18:52

Yes, he yowls next to me all day. The problem with professional advice was that I thought I'd already had it (although I admit I thought it was odd!). We are moving house soon so will need to find a new vet, which is probably a good thing. Also, the new house is in a much quieter spot, so I hope he'll be able to roam more freely. At the moment we live on a main road. Obviously he survived as a stray on this road for some time but it concerns me.

janeyjampot Thu 12-Dec-13 10:21:55

Hearing is fine, thank you. The vet did raise it as a concern when she saw his colouring but he can hear his dish being washed up even when he is asleep upstairs, which indicates all is fine!

When he was a stray he used to run away from the garden if we even walked around in the house (no carpets downstairs) so his hearing is pretty good.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Dec-13 10:29:04

Great. There's only a limited chance of dodgy hearing attributable to his colouring - as I understand it - but that's still good to know.

And Yes - I think a new vet when you move house is no bad thing at all. Myself, I would have lots of reservations about entrusting a cat's health to a vet who thought 'cats couldn't overeat'. (If they could have that view about something so basic, where might you be if Jampotcat developed a condition which was more serious?)

Good luck with him anyway.

TamzinGrey Thu 12-Dec-13 20:45:48

Just looked at your pics Janey - what a lovely boy. With his white colouring and blue and green eyes he looks very similar to a Turkish Van Cat. I bet that there's some Van blood in there somewhere. Does he like swimming?

Don't take any notice of the feeding instructions on cat food packets. My vet once told me that they deliberately big up the amount of recommended portions just to get more sales.

As for the drinking fountain, our girl didn't take any notice of hers for about 3 weeks, but then suddenly fell madly in love with it. She's now besotted with her fountain and drinks from it all the time. What make is yours? Ours is a Cat Mate and she likes the way that the water falls over three drinking levels.

SummerRain Thu 12-Dec-13 20:53:19

Growing into his paws? hmmgrin

I have a 4 year old cat who has the most enormous paws I've ever seen and I've had a lot of cats. His claws are like knives and he can make a grown man flinch just my waving his paw at them with claws extended.

He's enormous too and trust me he isn't going to grow into his paws anytime soon. (He's a gentle giant though... he likes to hold hands/paws on the couch and purrs like a tractor when I hug him)

Change your vet... she sounds more like a child playing animal doctor than a qualified vet!

janeyjampot Fri 13-Dec-13 09:21:51

Thank you. I will persevere with the drinking fountain. We are moving house in a couple of weeks so he will be kept in for a while. I'm hoping that he will see the fountain as familiar when everything else is unfamiliar and suddenly love it grin. Also, if he is drinking when he's out he won't be able to, so might be more open to trying the fountain. DH is laughing at me for buying it.

I hadn't heard of a Turkish Van Cat but when I googled I think you're right. There was an almost identical cat in one of the pictures - same eye colours and everything. Thank you.

I don't know if he likes swimming, but with his large paws equipped with razor-like claws, I don't intend to try him in the bath! He is not a gentle giant at all!

Will definitely be taking everyone's advice re: finding a new vet.

cozietoesie Fri 13-Dec-13 09:29:52

Tell DH to back off, the unfeeling brute. smile

A water fountain is a great idea and once he 'gets it' he'll be fine with it.

janeyjampot Fri 13-Dec-13 10:57:10

I think I will have the last laugh. The water fountain makes a tinkly water noise which affects DH's bladder but not mine!

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