Shilly-Shallying around

Time for a little of this and a little of that.  Soapbox derby first!  About that dry food versus dehydration versus poor starving kitties in the night.  Here’s a little study that I found very interesting:

Effect of water source on intake and urine concentration in healthy cats.

J Feline Med Surg. 2010 Jun;12(6):431-4. Epub 2009 Dec 14. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442, USA. dgrant@vt.edu

Increasing water intake and decreasing urine concentration are recommended for cats with urolithiasis and with idiopathic cystitis. Fountains are advocated to encourage drinking; however, effects on drinking of fountains have not been reported in cats living in pet owners homes. Thirteen healthy cats were assigned to have 24-h water intake and urine osmolality and specific gravity measured when water was offered from a bowl or fountain. One cat developed excessive barbering, vomiting, and refusal to drink water offered from the fountain. For the remaining 12 cats, intake was slightly greater from the fountain. However, urine osmolality was not significantly different. In this study, a fountain failed to substantially increase water intake and dilute urine in cats. A similar study including a greater period of time and additional cats may clarify the results of this study.

How many of you have water fountains for your cats?  I’ve personally tried several.  I LOVE gadgets!  I think I’ve mentioned that before.  The idea of a fountain or fountains (yes, at one time I had two!) for my cats is captivating.  I pictured the little darlings playing in the water and myself enjoying the meditative sound of the fountains gurgling away.  I learned the hard way that they do take a certain amount of maintenance when the pumps ground to a halt and I found them clogged with green slime.  Who woulda thought??  Oh, and the filters need to be changed periodically which are an ongoing expense no one needs.  Still, I stuck with it for a while before I figured out that water fountains are much like automatic litter boxes.  Minimal daily maintenance of a simple water bowl or a simple litter box beats taking a gadget apart on a weekly basis and doing the toothbrush cleaning routine in order to just keep it running.  Plus cats on wet food drink so little water in any case.

Speaking of gadgets!  I just had to try ONE MORE!  This one might actually be a possibility for those of you who can’t bear the idea of ‘Fluffy’ going through the night without her kibble snack – or through the day if you are gone at work.  I purchased a timed feeder.   Why?  Let’s face it I ran out of things to buy my cats and needed an excuse, but here’s what I told myself:  if I pre-load it before I go to bed and put it in my master bathroom with one bin set to open a little earlier than the other, Nugget can have a little breakfast early since she sleeps with me, and then I can set the other bin to pop open just before I let the rest of the gang in for the morning snuggle and they can have a little snack which keeps the hungrier ones out of my hair and from picking fights in order to get me out of bed.  It’s been working quite well.  The timers are not exact — about + or – an hour.  It has an ice pack that fits under the dishes.  The photo below shows what’s left of the rabbit that was put in the night before.  It looks pretty fresh.  I add water to it to keep it moist.

Cat Mate C20

The latest update at Mythicbells:

I’ve been busy with planning an overhaul of my downstairs bathroom. Wish me luck! I plan to do this myself! Well, most of it. I had a tub shower enclosure installed this week which looks very nice and has foiled Kalahari on the shower curtain issue. No more playing with the shower curtain! Next to go will be the sink vanity, the doors of which he loves to bang just to hear the noise.  It will be replaced with a pedestal sink and give me more floor room for, you guessed it!–another litter box when needed.  I’ve already painted the walls and installed a new light fixture. Wall and floor tiles are on order which will be the next phase and will possibly start next week. In the meantime, the domino effect has begun.  The carpet in the rest of the house started getting on my nerves, so I’m having new carpeting installed soon as well. I’m not taking any bets as to how long it will take eight cats and sundry litters of kittens to destroy it.

On the cat front which I’m sure you are all MUCH more interested in–no kittens on the horizon–I’m thinking next spring.  Sahara will probably come through for us, but Sequoia remains to be seen. She’s a healthy, sturdy little girl, but anything can happen. Nugget is doing SO much better. I attribute this to the Prozac. She is much more outgoing and less fearful in general. Some nights she even chooses not to follow me up to bed. Tiny Bear is still Queen Mother of the domain and lets everyone know it. Simba Kahn has been feeling and looking good – unusually playful for some reason. You all saw in the previous post that Gypsy Rose is looking splendid and is attempting to outdo herself again this winter in the fur department. Oh, and Sahara!! I assume that most of you have seen the excitement over the squirrel in the enclosure videos by now. Sahara is as sleek and athletic as a cat can be. She ALMOST caught that squirrel!! Sirocco is her darling little self. She still won’t use the cat door, but enjoys going out and she, oddly, loves playing by herself. I will often see her racing up and down the stairs for no good reason. She engages with Kalahari a little, but in general does not play with the other cats. Kalahari, of course is into everything and just gets more handsome every day. His winter fur is slowly filling in. He’s going to be a very striking cat. I guess he already is pretty darn beautiful, but not quite the Persian standard – i.e. short, cobby body, etc.  though it’s not uncommon for these cats to go through a number of phases in regards to body proportions, then settle in at maturity.  Regardless of how he ‘settles’ he’s always going to be a PuppyCat, no doubt!  His eye color is finally coming in and will be a fabulous green like his parents.

Oh, one more thing.  I found time to finish the Mythicbells 2011 calendar. It actually went together pretty fast since it features just one cat or kitten per month — the seven kittens from “G” and “H” litters, and various adults. I’ll make it available on CafePress sometime in the next month or two, and publish the link.

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13 responses to “Shilly-Shallying around

  1. Molly, Thanks for the newsie update. I also have a water fountain as one of my kitties LOVES to drink running water (thus begging at the sink for me to turn water on) but I don’t mind the maintenance part. Very interesting gadget, a timed feeder…I’m sure it gives you a LITTLE more time in the morning as I know what it’s like to be in bed with kitties demand you wake up (and the “picking” fights that shortly follows). So glad Nugget is doing better and it sounds like YOU are keeping yourself busy when you don’t have kittens to tend to. Can’t wait to see the results in your future videos 🙂

  2. I had some fountains, too, but just like you said, one of them died — the motor just stopped. And the cleaning was just so tiresome after a while. Of course, like you suggested, after the cats went to an all-canned diet, they hardly drink water anymore. Regarding Nugget, I’m so glad she’s feeling more confident! Yay! Good for Nugget, and good for you (because you don’t have to worry about her quite so much). And regarding Kalahari’s eyes…Mickey’s are starting to turn. They are about a third green (inner third, next to his pupils) , so that’s a start finally. Maybe it will take another six months to get to his full color like Kalahari — glad to know how long it’s taking him.

  3. popponessetbandit

    Thanks for all the news of your troupe. Glad all are doing well, especially Nugget. I used to have a drinking fountain for my elderly girl (18 yrs young) as she is diabetic and drinks water more often…..I thought the fountain would keep the water fresh. But as you said, the maintenance of the thing got beyond me, having to scrub out the slime, hair and other weird things was too much. My cat began refusing to drink out of it. As you may know with refusal, once it happens that is usually it!! I am back to using a small chinese rice bowl that I refresh constantly, even with ice cubes!! As I am around most of the time, it works for us. When I’m away for a long time during the day, I put out 2 bowls. Another note, we have city water which apparently is unacceptable to her, so we use bottled water. When we travel to our beach house, she loves the tap water which is from the well. Go figure. What we do for our cats!!!!!!!! Good luck with your renno!

  4. Love the update Molly. I’ve seen ads for those fountains, and thought of buying one for my neighbors cat, but on reflection that doesn’t sound like a good idea. Just one more thing to clean, and her cat seems quite happy drinking from her bowl.

  5. Phoebe & Zoey LOVE to drink from the bathroom faucet! They have a bowl of water, but the faucet is a definite preference. I have thought about getting one of those fountains, but I hate to clean anything so I can’t imagine I would enjoy the maintenance one requires!

    I am finally switching to the new vet as their annual grease & oil (what my mom nicknamed it in the 80s when we got out first dog) is due and I have no idea when I will be moving as it has taken a lot longer than I thought for the whole foreclosure process…believe me I’m not complaining about that! The new vet is a GI specialist so the #1 topic on my list to discuss is food and switching to a wet diet.

    • Let us know your new vet’s “take” on feline nutrition … I’d love to hear.

      • I’ll definitely fill you in!

        I forgot to add in my reply how happy I am to hear that Nugget is feeling better! Antidepressants can work wonders on how someone, human or animal, is feeling… : )

  6. What an amazingly full and detailed post. Thanks Molly.

    Glad all doing well esp Nugget.

    So NOW we know why you had to take the power off, a few days ago…

    Trying to make th bathroom KF-proof? Impossible. He will surely find something else to play with. Preferably somehing just installed… new… shiny (and was expensive!)

    And the domino effect -redecorate one thing and the next door thing seems to need a change … well … its an ekndless process…

    Thanks again Molly.

    Bobin

  7. Thanks for your newsy newsletter!
    Both my cats love drinking from their fountain; Floppy was scared of it at first, till he saw little sister Toulouse drink out of it. Now they are both running water addicts! I haven’t noticed much change in drinking since the raw meat transition. Interestingly, Floppy took right to his raw meat and Toulouse will have no part of that; she will sometimes eat the Fancy Feast classic you have reccommended. Go figure!
    Like everyone else, I’m glad Nugget is more relaxed, and that you can get more snuggle time in the AM before the troops demand to be fed.
    Thanks again for your information, and your humor!! You are truly an inspiration.

  8. My vet recommended a fountain to get them to drink more water. As I never see them drink from a bowl (all that extra water in the Fancy Feast), I couldn’t justify the expense. Interesting to hear what you think. That timed feeder looks like the one I bought when I went on that trip 2 years ago after Tiger was sick. I was gone and a friend set it up daily. When I got home, there were scratch marks on both lids… I did get a really great picture of both cats eating from it when I tested it before my trip.

    • I saw that picture TM! LOL. I remember you sending it to me. And I thought of you when I bought this… I suppose it could come in handy if I need to leave home at some time except I’d need about 6 of them. Yes, I thought the study about the fountains was interesting because like so many seemingly great ideas, they didn’t product the desired result… of course I’d HAVE to have one if it amused even one of my cats. I was totally taken by the fountain that cascades down a dome … it’s so pretty. The problem with it was that the pump blew out on me twice and it was impossible to get a replacement pump. It was cheaper to buy a whole new fountain. Ridiculous!

  9. Thanks for all the news Molly, it’s always good to hear that all the kittys are doing well, especially Nugget, bless her.

    Can’t wait for the new calendar to be ready!

  10. Another great informative post Molly. I’ve always been intrigued by the fountains, but after reading the comments i don’t think it would be worth the aggravation. I can hardly wait for the calender.

    Little Molly’s Dad

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