Cats were originally domesticated from their desert-dwelling ancestors and are naturally adapted to living with little water. Their urine is highly concentrated which lets them retain body fluids - this is also the reason why cat urine smells so potent.
That said, water is essential for maintaining your cat’s health; older cats and certain breeds (including Persians) are predisposed to kidney illnesses, so keeping them hydrated will avoid issues later in life.
If you’re reading this, then you probably realized that cats are very picky about their water. Part of our responsibility as pet owners is to make sure they stay hydrated despite their peculiar tastes.
Some cats will be fine with drinking out of a bowl, and that’s great. Just keep it filled and clean and you’re good to go. Maybe throw in a couple of ice cubes on a hot day if you want to indulge your cat with ice-cold water.
But what if your cat hates the water bowl? Then purchasing a water fountain might be the best solution and could solve just about every issue with drinking out of a standard water bowl.
On an instinctual level, cats will avoid drinking stagnant or stale water because it is a breeding ground for bacteria. This natural behavior is important for cats in the wild since it prevents them from getting sick.
Since a water fountain circulates the water, harmful bugs won’t be able to contaminate it.
Steel fountains are the best choice here. While it may be the most expensive option, steel cleans easily and is resistant to bacterial growth compared to plastic or ceramic alternatives. In fact, plastic and ceramic bowls may crack and become contaminated with bacteria. This can cause cat acne since bacteria can infect the hair follicles on their chin!
Most water fountains will have filter attachments to clean any debris from circulation. These will have the added benefit of removing any taste impurities or strange odors that would make your cat avoid drinking from the fountain. Carbon filters are common and only need to be changed every few weeks, they can remove chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine from the water.
Water fountains will be able to hold several liters of water at maximum capacity, meaning that you won’t need to change out the water supply as often. While you shouldn’t reuse the same water for more than a few days, using a fountain will make it less likely that your cat runs out of water while you’re away.
They say you shouldn’t play with your food, but there’s nothing said about playing with water. Cats are simple animals and are easy to entertain. Laser pointers, strings, and even running water can provide hours of entertainment for your pet. Two birds with one stone, I say.
Some water fountains have different settings for water flow depending on which model you use. This mimics water movement in different ways such as making bubbles or gentle streams.
Videos of your cat drinking from the tap may be cute, but it really is in a cat’s best interest to have a reliable source of water to drink from. At Fluffy Persians, we use water fountains exclusively for keeping our cats hydrated and we believe it’s worth considering adding one to your cat’s shopping list.