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cat not drinking enough - any solutions

marko
May 1st, 2012, 05:11 PM
Hi members!

Our 7 year old Sphynx cat doesn't seem to be drinking enough. She eats wet food 3x a day and we add a bit of water to the food, but we rarely see her drink lately.

She seems fine (eating, playing, grooming ) though her stool is somewhat hard due to the lack of water I'm sure. We have started giving her water in a syringe but she's not fond of that.

Anyone have any ideas on how to get a cat to drink more? Thx!

Love4himies
May 1st, 2012, 05:48 PM
Most cats get sufficient water from their canned food. I've never seen my Sweet Pea, Rose or Puddles (until now, she has CRF) drink water. I, like you, add a bit of water to their food just to be sure.

My Jasper, on the other hand, drinks a couple of times a day.

Winston
May 1st, 2012, 09:46 PM
Marko some kitties love the water fountains. I tried it here but it did not go over well with mine. I have a friend who has 2 cats and they love it! just a thought!

sugarcatmom
May 1st, 2012, 11:55 PM
Out of my 4 kitties (all on 100% wet diet), Aztec is the only one that drinks daily from his bowl, and that's 'cause (like Puddles) his kidneys aren't fully functioning anymore. Carrot maybe drinks a couple times a week, Peppercorn, a couple times a month, and I haven't seen Cinnamon Girl drink water in ages. But here are some tips for encouraging more water intake:


don't put the water bowl next to the food bowl if you leave food out (I can't remember why exactly, but I think it has something to do with cats getting distracted by the food when they go to drink and they end up eating instead).

put out several bowls of water in various places, especially on fairly well travelled routes (so as they walk by, they go "hey look! there's some water! Maybe I'll take a sip.").

freshen up the water in those bowls at least twice a day. Use filtered water if possible.

thoroughly clean the bowls regularly. They can be prone to forming an off-putting slimy film otherwise.


For specific occasions when you want a cat to take in more moisture (like to treat constipation), something like plain chicken baby food with several additional tsps of warm water added can help. The juice from a can of lower sodium salmon or tuna (also with more water added) is another trick.

Some cats like water fountains (and there are a ton of different styles out there these days) and some don't. Some just use them to play in, sprinkling water everywhere like they're at a water park. They can also be rather high maintenance (the fountains, not that cats. Wait, I that back - cats can be high maintenance too) as they need frequent cleaning or they too will develop that slimy film mentioned above.

marko
May 2nd, 2012, 10:27 AM
You guys are awesome and have allayed some of our fears. Great suggestions - thanks so much :highfive: :goodvibes:

sandyrivers
May 3rd, 2012, 05:14 AM
Hi Marko,

True enough that if your cat is on a wet food diet, she may not drink very much water, as the water intake comes from the food itself.

I am not very familiar with the Sphynx breed, asides from knowing that they need special attention to their skin, being almost hairless. And that they need baths on a weekly basis...could she be drinking while she bathes?

You mentioned that your cats stools were a bit 'dryer' than usual, it does happen with some of my cats when the seasons change, beginning summer and winter, I usually see a difference for a few weeks, and then all goes back to normal... being a Sphynx, how is her skin/coat? This could be a clue to her general health condition...

As for me, some of my cats really enjoy drinking, they have two fountains, 5 water bowls, and the never ending leeking tap in the kitchen... But still, some of my cats dont seem to drink at all, as I never see them go to a ''watering station'' (I work from home, so I see what they are up to!).

Perhaps it would be a good idea to contact the breeder from whom you got your cat and explain the situation to them (unless yours is a rescued Sphynx...), but breeders are usually very helpfull in helping out, even if your cat is 7 years old, I am sure they would be happy to help out, and hear about the cat you got from them!

Please keep us posted on the situation, and best of luck with your little lady!

sandyrivers

Loki Love
May 3rd, 2012, 08:09 AM
don't put the water bowl next to the food bowl if you leave food out (I can't remember why exactly, but I think it has something to do with cats getting distracted by the food when they go to drink and they end up eating instead).

put out several bowls of water in various places, especially on fairly well travelled routes (so as they walk by, they go "hey look! there's some water! Maybe I'll take a sip.").

freshen up the water in those bowls at least twice a day. Use filtered water if possible.

thoroughly clean the bowls regularly. They can be prone to forming an off-putting slimy film otherwise.



Those are some great suggestions - thank you!

marko
May 3rd, 2012, 09:30 AM
Thx for the extra info SR - Twiggy is a rescue. The only recent change was the 5 or 7 dental extractions a about 14 days ago. Since then she's drinking less than ever...BUT, now that I think of it...doh! She was getting kibbles in the morning and wet food 2x a day. Since the surgery, she eats wet food 3x daily and I think we'll keep it that way. So she IS getting more water in her food an extra time each day - I just wasn't sure that it compensated for us not seeing her at the water dish recently.

Thx again!
Marko

RUSTYcat
May 4th, 2012, 02:28 PM
...her stool is somewhat hard due to the lack of water...It is important to understand the function of water and fiber in the whole process, and what poop is and is not, so that constipation can be treated and prevented as effectively as possible. It is especially important to read about the gut bacteria and their role in bowel health. The best treatment for a constipated cat is a caring human who has a general understanding of gut workings. Feline Constipation.org (http://www.felineconstipation.org/index.html)

Marko, IMO this reference/educational site is the best thing since sliced bread. An easy read, nicely balanced between

(I have a feeling that, since she's stopped the kibble, she may be missing some dietary fibre content...you can solve that by adding some plain pumpkin, not the pie-filling type, into her wet food...read more about fibre here (http://www.felineconstipation.org/prevention.html#FiberorPrebiotics). Another possibility is that, if she had an opioid pain killer for her dental, it may have caused the hard (read: dry) stool (hopefully, she didn't get a NSAID).

catlover1234
May 14th, 2012, 04:11 AM
As sugarcatmom mentions, make sure you keep the food bowl and water bowl separate as cat's often don't like drinking near to where their food is served. And as mentioned many cats prefer drinking running water.

marko
May 14th, 2012, 11:11 AM
Thanks for the extra info - much appreciated. No worries on the food and water dishes being too close.

Twiggy gets served like a queen on her throne. The water dish is in another part of the room.