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Constantly spills water? Tail Sucking?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Right, well I joined up here quite a few months ago, and then unfortunately lost my internet connection until now. So I'm back with 2 more questions haha.

Behavior Number 1:
Well, I've got 1 kitten (about 10 months) that has one of the most annoying behaviors ever, I swear lol. Every time she goes to drink water out of whatever dish she is at (since we have 5 cats, we keep 4-6 bowls/containers of water all around the house to make sure there's enough for everyone) she moves the bowl/container around with her paws (taps at the bottom with her paw, pushes with her nose, pushes with her paws) and spills the water everywhere. You can't walk around the house with socks on for longer than 15 minutes without getting them soaked She does this will small bowls, weighted water dishes (the ones that are supposed to keep them from moving them around lol) and we've got 2 containers similar to this: (but much smaller) that we bought in the hopes that this would stop her habit, but nope. She still manages to make a huge mess. Other than this being a huge inconvenience, it also worries me on days when I'm gone (at work) for up to 14 hours a day that she'll spill all the waters and the other cats won't get enough. So any suggestions/ideas why she does this, and any ways to get her to stop? I've considered getting a couple large water fountain type gismos to see if that does anything, since she sticks her paw right in the water a lot to push it around. Maybe if it was moving water she'd be more likely to drink without pawing it?

Behavior Number 2:
This involves my sister kittens which are 10 months old. We got them last May when they were approx. 7 and a half weeks old and have had this problem ever since. A few days after we got them they began sucking their tails. And they did it a lot The smack-smack-smack-suck noise (to me) is just like nails on a chalk board. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. -shudder- We bought 3 or 4 different brands of the bitter tasting stuff (2 from the vet's office) and nearly soaked their tails with it, and it made no difference. It just got all over us 2 legged folk and made everything taste nasty lol. When they suck their tails they knead whatever they're lying on and purr like they're an engine that belongs in a jet lol. We just recently (2 weeks ago) began being able to let them sleep in the bedroom at night because they've stopped sucking their tails quite a bit. But they still do it, and I can't seem to understand why. In certain situations, I can guarantee with 100% accurancy that they will suck their tails. If I'm lying in bed, and one of the kittens jumps up and lies down near my upper body, they'll start sucking their tails. If they sleep at the end of the bed, they normally won't. If I lie there and pet them (even just once) they'll start sucking away I'm at a loss with this one. I just can't figure out what to do. So any insight here would be greatly appreciated
post #2 of 13
The first situation is a cat-thing I guess. I have a 7 1/2 year old Maine Coon cross that will pick up the end of the water bowl and slam it down on the floor. He just loves to see the water slosh all over the place. The only way I'm going to stop him is to cut out all of his teeth. lol.

The second situation is because those babies were taken away from their mother too soon. 7 weeks or so is way too soon for babies to leave their moms. If I get a kitten I insist that the kitten be at least 12 weeks old.

I have no idea how to stop the tail sucking unless you get something like bitter apple and use it on the tails. It may stop may not.

Hugs and kitty kisses from KittenKiya's Clan.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick reply KittenKiya I thought that the tail sucking may be due to the kittens being taken away from their mother too soon as well, but we've talked to the woman we got the kittens from and she said all of the other kittens from the litter never exhibited this behavior. I know we got them too young, but unfortunately I had no control over when we got them since the woman came over and dropped them off without warning. She had already delivered the rest of the litter to their homes and wouldn't take them back for any period of time. I guess that's the main problem with taking in free kittens from people who 'accidentaly' end up with a pregrant cat and haven't got a clue what to do But as for the bitter apple, we've tried that, and a few other types as well, but they didn't work.

And I guess I'm not the only one with a crazy water-loving cat lol. Unfortunately for me and my carpets

*edited to fix awful typos lol
post #4 of 13
my cat also plays with water. He just scoots it around though, not as much mess

as for the other problem, I've seen in in another cat that was also taken too young. The only thing I can suggest is to "mock-wean" them, Like wean them a second time. Allow them to suck for a bit and then gradually make them stop.. you might even consider allowing them to drink baby formula (for cats) again and with the bottle tip, re-wean the off of it.

I'm not sure, but I know a cat that would do it with the palm of a person. The kneading is part of the milk from the mom, so they are just trying to suckle again. good luck.
post #5 of 13
Oh my goodness Shiraz, one of my cats does exactly the same thing (spilling water) and it drives me nutts. She is a little over a year old and does it when drinking then afterwards plays with it and topples it over. I have one other cat and do the same thing have other little bowls of water so she has water too. At this point I'm unsure of what to do about this water problem. I haven't tried one of the weighted bowls yet, so maybe I'll go out to one of the pet stores to try one of those. Grrrrrr.
post #6 of 13
Dulcinea LOVES water. When we do the dishes, she parks herself on the counter and stares into the sink just fasinated by the water bouncing up and down in the sink. She can watch water for hours and hours. She also moves her water bowl all over the kitchen and spills most of it out and makes messes with water everywhere. Dulcinea also loves to drink water out of glasses standing in the sink awaiting washing.---something that I don't like and worry about...because often they have other things in them that are not so good for her. She seems to prefer getting her own water...and I've often thought of getting her a tiny pale and let her carry her own! I haven't found a solution yet...but am open to any suggestions that don't involve something costly...we've already spent a king's ransom on this 'member of the family'...and any more $$$ is going to put us in the poor house.

fr. gregg
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
haha, well if everyone else has the same water lovin' cats as we do, I guess there's not much hope to stop 'em. :P

As for re-weaning them, we might try that. They've almost stopped the behavior now, so maybe they're weaning themselves (they're smart enough to I'm sure lol) But thanks for the suggestion
post #8 of 13
Niles was/is a water lover, and prompt bowl spiller. Drove me to the point of insanity, and several different water bowls, and then I just put a regular bowl into a small rectangular dish. He couldnt knock over the rectangle, and if he spilled the waterbowl, it spilled into the rectangular dish.....
post #9 of 13
Our little St. John Dundee doesn't have to suck his tail -- he uses a chenille bedspread instead. It has little tufts that he nurses on while purring and making biscuits as he goes to sleep, and it's the sweetest thing I've ever seen! The sound bothers you? Your babies must be noisier than St. John! :-)

St. John was thrown out of a car at six weeks (!), rescued by a trucker, brought to the shelter, and given to us to foster -- but we fell in love and adopted him.

Poor little guy, after what he went through, it's amazing how well-adjusted he is. It seems to reassure him, to remember his mama that way.

I really think it's probably healthy for your kitties, except for the wear and tear on their tails. Maybe you could give them a fluffy toy or piece of chenille to use instead... maybe even soak it in some KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer)!
post #10 of 13
Pepper likes to push her water dispenser around and knock the jug out of it. She will stand on her back feet and push it with her paws like a shopping cart. She will push until it comes apart and spills. It is less messy since I set the whole thing into a palstic shoe box, but if it fills the box, or she manages to get it out of the box, it still spills every where.
She has started doing the same thing with the dry food dispensers, too. I have 2 of them and they are in a tray to keep the food off the floor at least. She will smack it until the part that holds the food comes loose and falls over. I feel like giving her a good spanking every time she does it! (Don't worry, I would never actually spank her.) It is beginning to get very tiresome, and the other cats hate it. Scooter will nip her if he sees her doing it, and come tattle on her.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by Februa View Post
Niles was/is a water lover, and prompt bowl spiller. Drove me to the point of insanity, and several different water bowls, and then I just put a regular bowl into a small rectangular dish. He couldnt knock over the rectangle, and if he spilled the waterbowl, it spilled into the rectangular dish.....
That sounds like the arrangement I have for the water bowls. Palekana loves to move the bowls and there was water all over the floor until I put the bowls in a larger dish. I finally decided that she does it so that the water will move in the bowl. That helps her judge the water level. The others who have trouble with the water level just put their paws in the water briefly.
post #12 of 13
Try elevating food and water bowls, something with a rim so they can't tip it off....
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I was out shopping at Canadian Tire for some car parts, and noticed a cat aisle I wandered down and noticed a rubber mat-thing with a lifted edge, and brought it home to give it a try. While Socks spilled all the water within minutes of me filling out large dish, the mat kept it all off the floor So I guess I solved that problem (for now anyways) who knows what they'll think up next!
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