Feline Wellness: What’s Up with the Sink?

feline wellnessWe’ve all had it happen. You turn on the tap to get a drink or brush your teeth, and suddenly you have a cat in the sink. They had absolutely no interest in even being in the same room with you until the water started to flow. Believe it or not, Tiger isn’t getting in your way just to annoy you. There’s a reason for a drink at the sink.  It’s an important part of feline wellness.

Dehydration is both a source and a symptom of many health issues in cats. Kidney issues, bladder stones, urinary infections- drinking enough water is central to feline wellness. But what if your cat won’t drink? What if the only time it seems interested in water is when you turn on the sink?

Think about it. Would you rather drink water freshly drawn than from a glass that has been sitting out all day? Most would say the freshly drawn. It’s usually cooler and more oxygenated. It tastes better. Cats, unlike dogs- who seem to be willing to drink from any and every puddle they encounter are a little more discerning in their water source. But not just because it tastes better.

Cats are inherently cautious of standing water. It’s more difficult to see, it can potentially carry deadly bacteria, and it makes them susceptible to attack. Think about the physical position a cat is in when it drinks from a bowl: head down, often with their back to the rest of the room. Now think back to junior high and some fool poking you in the side while you had your head bent over the water fountain. See? Dangerous. And in the wild cats aren’t just getting jabbed in the ribs by their friends! Gathering at the water hole is incredibly dangerous for a solitary cat. Most big cats, in fact, get most of their fluid needs from their food.

But what about house cats? They don’t rely on fresh meat for their dinner. They must deal with meeting their water needs by depending on us. So, what can you do to make their water source more appealing? Quite a lot, actually.

Feline Wellness – How to help your cat drink more:

  1. Get a fountain. Recirculating water fountain dishes have become extremely affordable and offer fresh, oxygenated water in a format that allows the cat to drink with its head up.
  2. Place the water source where the cat doesn’t have to face the corner or a wall to drink. Remember the water fountain analogy!
  3. Keep it fresh! Consider adding an occasional ice cube to both freshen the water and give the cat something to stimulate it. You might not think so, but a lot of cats find great satisfaction in “killing” ice cubes.

Even if you upgrade to a recirculating water fountain don’t be surprised if Tiger still joins you in the sink occasionally, because at its core it is just another opportunity for him to spend time with you. And let’s face it, sometimes we all need to have a drink with a good friend, or have a splash in the yard with the kids.

Guthrie Pet Hospital is here to help with all your feline wellness needs.

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