Do Pet Water Fountains Really Increase Water Intake?
Our cat, Jasper, loves drinking fresh water from a tap or his fountain. When notice on days when he has his fountain running and/or he drinks from the faucet as we brush our teeth that he urinates more often. Additionally, he loves it and comes running everything he hears the tap being used or the fountain being plugged in. We believe the Jasper has increased his water intake as a result of having a fountain, but do not have a conclusive way to measure that.
Our other cat, Belle, doesn’t have as strong of an attachment to running water. Though she drinks from the fountain (even when her regular bowl is available), we do not see an increase in urinary output.
But these are two cases, what about other cats? A small published study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20005758) couldn’t report increased water intake for cats given the fountain option. To date, I am not aware of any further studies that confirms nor denies an increase in water intake for cats who have the option of fountains. Whether your cat increases its daily intake of water is likely something your cat will tell you if you give them the option of a fountain.
Additionally, online comments from other pet owners discussing fountain options seem to give a mixed result – some believe their cat does drink more as a result of a fountain, others are not convinced. In each case, you won’t know until you try!
For cats who do drink from fountains, what is evident is the pleasure they get from it! If you are looking for ways for cats to increase their water intake, trying a pet fountain is certainly an option and, at the least, hopefully makes their lives even more enjoyable.
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