Cat water fountains really gain large popularity among pet owners nowadays, considering their features to entice cats to drink more. As you may know how much cats love drinking from the tap or the toilet, getting cats to drink from drinking fountains is big for some pet parents. But fortunately, there are things we can do to train your cats to use the cat water fountain.
Why Training Cats Drinking from Water Fountains Matters?
Water makes up 80% of a cat's body. A cat may need over hundreds ML of water in addition to their wet food, and being more specific, cats need 3.5oz-4.5oz of freshwater per 5 pounds of their body weight a day.
Thus, inadequate water consumption can cause dehydration in cats, one of the biggest triggers for kidney stones, urinary tract infections (UTIs), etc. And for the extreme cases, result in death.
A cat water fountain ensures cats have access to enough water and will never suffer from a long-time thirst because of water running out in bowls. That speaks how significant it is to train cats to drink from the drinking water fountain.
How Can Cat Water Fountains Help Your Cat?
Is the cat water fountain really gonna help? In what ways?
Cat water fountains are smart pet gadgets advocated by worldwide veterinarians for helping to keep your cats hydrated. The benefits can be typically divided into two categories, capacity, and quality.
From BPA-plastic, stainless-steel to ceramic, cat water fountains come with a larger and deeper tank than the general bowls, providing cats with a sufficient amount of water that can last for days with one refilling. Cats can fulfill their thirst even you're out of the house for a period of time.
Another contribution is that cat water fountains are usually designed with a filtration system to keep water fresh and pure, and a motor to keep water flowing. Flowing freshwater is what cats enjoy most; it helps to encourage cats to drink more and drink safely.
6 Tips to Get Your Cat to Drink from Cat Fountains
Clean and Rinse the Water Fountain Before Use
Although the just arrived water fountains are brand new, it does not mean they are 100% ready to use. Before you present a cat water fountain as a water source to your cat, make sure it is properly washed with water and soap, and soak the filter too.
By rinsing them out, it prevents the foul scent from the wrapping materials and dust from getting into the water, which may destroy your cat's first impression of drinking fountains.
Allow Cats to Investigate
Cats may be too vigilant to come up to the cat water fountain, as it looks different and smells new. Give them enough time to investigate, and your involvement in this will speed up the "guards down" process.
While cats are hesitating or watching, you can introduce them to the cat fountain. Assemble the fountain together with your cats after you wash it, which lets your cats have a chance to sniff every part of the new-coming, knowing there is nothing dangerous.
Or playing games with or around the fountain, then gradually lead them to touch the fountain or the water in it. Doing so will make them aware the new gadget is a water container just like their old water bowls, and it's safe.
Keep Fresh Water Available in Different Bowls
If cats keep refusing the cat fountain, be patient, and continue to provide them with more containers, both cat water fountains and bowls are fine.
If cats still hold their protective instincts, you can place 1-2 extra cat water fountains around the house, so to let cats be familiar with the existence of the fountains; if there are other water sources that attract cats, place extra fountains near the bathroom or in the kitchen. Then keep introducing cats to drink from the drinking fountains once they have water from the tap or toilet.
It is not a good idea to force them to drink from the drinking water fountains by completely removing other water sources. That may not help but to cause some adverse reactions.
Reward Your Cat for Making Attempts
When your cats take a sip of the water, even sniff and walk around the cat water fountain, reward them.
Treats for better performance. Giving treats as positive behavior helps them to know that getting close to the cat water fountain is nothing but good. Other positive reinforcements also work, such as a hug, a kiss, or a new toy regarding their efforts.
Start the Drinking Fountain
When your cats start drinking from the fountain, you're one step left to success.
Once your cats show a positive response towards the cat water fountain and start drinking more, turn the fountain on, and you can leave the running fountain for your cats. You can take some engagement this time if your cats are frightened of the running fountain.
Slowly Remove Other Water Resource
As long as they develop a solid association with the power-on cat water fountain, you can slowly remove their previous bowls and take action to stop drinking from other water sources.
Then, monitor how much and how often they drink after their first "water fountain drinks." Understanding these drinking data assists you in determining when to remove other water bowls and how often you should refill the tank based on your cat's consumption.
When cats have steady drinking fountain habits, you can slowly taper back on rewards but verbally praise them.
6 Don’ts When Training Cats to Use Drinking Fountains
Don’t Turn On the Fountain at First
If your cats are sensitive to sounds, keep the cat fountain power-off until they get used to the fountain. Animals share a lot more different hearing from humans, and noises can easily make them pissed and alarmed. So, once cats set a high boundary, getting them to drink from the fountain is even harder than starting with a non-plug-in fountain.
But the most reasonable method is to get a quiet fountain. Otherwise, cats may still be scared of the cat fountain when it's on.
Don’t Place the Fountain Near Their Food
Cats don't like their food to get wet. The probability of this happening is high if the cat water fountain is placed near your furry friend's food bowl.
Your cats won't show any significant interest in drinking from the fountain, as they are cautious of their food getting wet by the splashes from the fountain.
Here, a cat water fountain with a wide and gentle water spout reduces the chance of splashing. But if your cats are messy drinkers, you'd better keep the cat water fountain away from their food bowl.
Don’t Eliminate Other Water Sources at Once
Allow your cats to drink from other sources of water. It might seem the action of removing cats' water bowls will force cats to drink from the cat fountain, but it's not. Same as stopping cats from drinking from the tap and toilet right away.
Now, you're reading this, for what? To get your cat to drink more freshwater, to keep them hydrated, then cats' well-being is all we care about. So, the last thing we want is cats running out of water. And that would be true if you force them to use cat fountains by eliminating their bowls and tap water.
If available water sources that cats used to drink from being removed, they may still feel too fearful of approaching the fountain and drinking from it, which could result in dehydration but not affection.
The bowls can be gradually removed while cats drink from the fountain.
Don’t Punish for Not Drinking from the Fountains
Never will you punish your cats for not cooperating with the training. Both physical and mental punishments are not advised. Punishment focuses on stopping the undesirable behaviors but does no good for training to use cat water fountains because cats do drink water, but just do not drink from where you desire them to.
Once you yell and strike, cats may consider the fountain as a source of anger but not water and trigger some adverse effects, making cats become increasingly more fearful of getting to use the drinking fountain.
Don’t Be Rush or Stressed If Low Performance Happens
Steps by steps. Cats are not water drinking lovers in their instincts. Getting them enough drinking can be tricky, and drinking from a cat water fountain is a rather challenging task.
The process of training your cat to drink water from the cat water fountain varies from cat to cat. When your cats take more time than your friend's cats, you do not have to feel stressed and failed. With time and effort, there is a way.
Encourage Cats to Drink More
A cat water fountain is a highly effective gadget to encourage your furry friends to consume more water and stay healthy.
Conduct regular maintenance for your cat fountains, always keep the container clean, and change the water and filter often to make sure only fresh, pure water be cycled through, so as to entice cats to drink more.
Cat water fountains are Hydration Stations for pets, not an exaggeration. So to make the gadget does its magic, take patience. You'll train them well on drinking from the fountain. It is also a rule that works for every pet training and relationship building.