9539 Liberty Road, Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: 301-898-4009 ~ Fax: 240-668-3664
Gentle, complete veterinary care for the felines in your family
Link map for Frederick Cat Vet for directions, hours, bio of the veterinarian and staff, veterinary services offered and a tour of the veterinary practice

Does your cat drink from the faucet?

Many cats go out of their way to drink from a dripping faucet rather than use their more convenient water bowl. The simple reason is that they instinctively recognize running water to be fresher than still water. A cat in the wild will always choose a clear, running stream over a rain puddle.

Getting cats to drink their full amount of water is essential for good kidney and urinary tract health. Water bowls are often not appealing enough for cats to drink their full amount, and running water can provide this encouragement. A small aquarium pump (2-3 watts) and a big ceramic, glass or steel bowl is all you need to set up a fountain. The commercial pet fountains work fine, but many cats are allergic to plastic and can develop a chin rash from contacting the plastic. There is also much more to clean; a simple pump in a bowl may not be as decorative, but it is much easier to clean than a more elaborate setup. Clean the pump with a toothbrush frequently. We stock these small pumps at Frederick Cat Vet.

Many cats are reluctant to use a fountain at first and need time to inspect it and grow accustomed to it, often within a few weeks. Experiment with the intensity of flow and placement of the pump- soft trickle is usually preferred. Continue to use the regular water bowls as well to provide them with both options.

-Mike Karg, DVM