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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.