Competing With Your Cat for the Kitchen Sink?
What it Means When You Have a Water Obsessed Cat
More 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.Unfortunately, there can be medical issues contributing to the behavior of your water obsessed cat:
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary Blockages
- Kidney Stones
- Kidney Disease/Failure
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.
Accomodating 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.