Water Obsessed Cats

by Rita Reimers

Competing With Your Cat for the Kitchen Sink?

What it Means When You Have a Water Obsessed Cat

A Water Obsessed Cat, Rita's cat Trouble drinks from the kitchen faucetMore and more often, I find myself standing in line waiting to use my sink, my tub, and sometimes even for my water glass.

I live with three older cats who are all water obsessed.

Oh you thought cats and water were mortal enemies, right?

Wrong! Especially as cats grow older, they become more and more fixated on water, especially (but not exclusively) running water. If you find yourself constantly turning on the faucet even though your cat has full bowls of water, it can be a little annoying unless you understand just what is going on with your water obsessed cat.

Reasons for the Water Obsessed Cat

Mostly it’s older cats who get extremely and stubbornly fixated with water to the point of annoyance, although younger ones certainly can and do enjoy a good splash. In this article, I am really addressing the issue of cats who will lay by, or even in, the sink, tub, or water bowl for hours on end. They often cry for you to turn on the faucet 23 hours day and won’t let you alone until you do it. They are relentlessly fixated, and nothing you do deters them from what they want most.

Another Water Obsessed Cat, Rita's cat Sweet Pea drinks often lays in her bowlUnfortunately, there can be medical issues contributing to the behavior of your water obsessed cat:

  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Urinary Blockages
  • Kidney Stones
  • Kidney Disease/Failure
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism

A visit with your veterinarian is in order to rule out these or other medical reasons for your cat’s keen interest in water, especially because these diseases can seriously affect your cat’s longevity and quality of life if left untreated.

As I mentioned, I have three cats who are water obsessed. My Trouble, pictured above at the sink, screams all the time for me to turn on the water for him. I cannot wash dishes without him rushing for the faucet the moment he hears me turn it on. While he has not been diagnosed with it, at age 15 he is approaching that age when Kidney Disease often sets it. His numbers are fine right now, but I can tell he is headed for it soon. Sweet Pea, directly above, is Trouble’s sister. For her, it’s Hyperthyroidism that has her laying down in her water bowl, even though she is on medication for it. Sadly, at age 18 my Sebastian (below) is now in full blown Kidney Failure, and he too is obsessed with water.

A Water Obsessed Cat, Rita's cat SebastianAccomodating the Water Obsessed Cat

Now that you have ruled out, or ruled in, medical reasons for your cat’s focus on water, there are some things you can do to make life easier.

  • Offer a Pet Fountain: Cats in the wild never drink from still water, they look for fresh running streams and other moving sources of water. You may even notice your cat pawing at the water to make it move. Offering your cat a pet fountain that simulates running water will satisfy this natural instinct. The fountain will also encourage your cat to drink more often, even if he is not a water obsessed cat. My cats love the Pioneer Stainless Steel Raindrop Fountain. Also offer a large water bowl, like my Sebastian is using here. He may want to stir it with his paw.
  • Add Water to Wet Food: This is a good strategy to get more water into your cat’s diet, whether or not he needs it for one of the medical reasons listed above. Many cats do not get enough water into their diets, and this can lead to kidney stones and urinary blockages. A totally dry food diet can also contribute to these issues.
  • Give Milk Replacements: While a cat should never be offered cows milk because cats are lactose intolerant, cat milk replacements can be given to get more liquid into your cat’s diet. Cat Sure Liquid Nutrition is great for the older cat. It will give him a nutritious liquid supplement that also adds additional hydration to his diet.
If you do all of the above and your cat still prefers your faucet, you might just have to give in and learn to live with it. After all, I’m sure you love your water obsessed cat just as much as I love all 3 of mine. I gladly share my sink, my tub, and even my glass of water with all three of my water obsessed cats.

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Meeting Basic Cat Needs

by Rita Reimers

Are You Meeting Your Cat’s Basic Needs?

Some Necessities for Happy Cats

Rita Reimers was recently asked to be a Guest Blogger for The Pet Tracker. Below is the article she wrote for their website.

basic cat needsCats now outnumber dogs as the number one household pet in the United States. While it is wonderful that more people are discovering the joys of cat ownership and becoming first-time cat parents, there is much more to having a well-adjusted cat than simply giving them food and shelter.

Here is a list of the necessities you should provide to ensure you meet his basic cat needs and he remains a healthy and happy member of your family.

The Basic Cat Needs

  • Size Appropriate Litter Boxes: Make sure to provide a litter box that is right for the current age and size of your cat. A 3-month old kitten needs a much smaller box than a full grown 20-pound rag doll cat, for example. As your kitty grows, the size of the pan offered will need to change as well. Make sure the litter box can fully accommodate his entire body, so he will not hang over and accidentally go on the floor.
  • Cat Trees and Cubby Holes: Sometimes a cat needs to get away from it all and be away from the action of a busy household. Cats feel safe and secure in high places and out of the way corners, so be sure to give your cat a high cat tree for climbing, and a few cubby holes in various places where he can observe uninterrupted.
  • basic cat need - metal cat dish

  • Metal or Ceramic Food Bowls: It’s important to use metal or ceramic food dishes and bowls for you cat. Plastic dishes can harbor bacteria that can cause cat acne and other illnesses. Some cats are actually allergic to the plastic, and mouth ulcers can result from using plastic dishes and bowls. Be sure to wash out those metal and ceramic bowls regularly with hot water and a mild dish soap.
  • Scratching Posts and Pads: Providing scratching posts that are vertical, as well as scratching pads and boxes that are horizontal, will give your cat an appropriate outlet for his scratching needs. Not only do cats need to scratch to stretch their toes and maintain nail health, cats are also instinctively driven to scratch in order to mark their territory with the scent glands in their paws. Sprinkle the posts and pads with catnip to attract your cat, and encourage their use by offering praise and treats when he does.
  • basic cat needs met = happy catToys and More Toys: Cats love to play. It’s how they interact with one another, with their humans, and in the wild it’s how they sharpen their natural hunting instincts. Catnip toys are loved by cats, especially the long plush ones that cats can hug and kick with their back feet. Wand or fishing pole type toys are great for imitating hunting behaviors and are a wonderful way to play with your cat, deepening the bond you have with one another.

By understanding your cat’s nature and meeting his basic physical and emotional needs, you and your cat will enjoy a long lifetime of happiness together.

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