TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Water aversion or other problem?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Water aversion or other problem?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I don't know if any of you have ever experienced this, but my 10 year old cat seems to have recently developed a strange aversion to water. The strange part about it is that she really wants to drink water, but she just sniffs the bowl then taps the water with her paws, sniffs again and gives up. It's like she has forgotten how to drink! She keeps going back to the water bowl and repeating this like she is really thirsty. After she sniffs and bats at it for a minute she'll then look up at me and cry as if saying "Mommy fix it!". I can't tell if the water is the problem or if it may have something to do with her mouth/nose/whiskers. I don't see anything wrong there and she's eating plenty fine.

This morning I tried several things to get her to drink. I tried plastic bowls, ceramic bowls, a creamic plate, her cat-it water fountain and even a plastic cup. In different ones I have also varied the actual water from tap to bottled to filtered fridge water but all to no avail. She just walks around from bowl to bowl to test them out but never drinks. She did finally drink out of the taller plastic bowl last night and that is the one she apparently favors, but this morning she kept going back to it and sniffing, batting and licking air above the water then giving up. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen!

I have been giving her some water by syringe to make sure she is staying hydrated, but clearly she wants to drink on her own if only mommy can figure out what she wants. Agh! I'm so frustrated. Tonight I'm going to try the homemade chicken broth to see if I can slowly start her on that. I may have to also go buy another type of fountain to see if she'll drink from the pouring spout kind. She used to LOVE her cat-it dome fountain so I'm not
sure why she now refuses it.

Any ideas on what she may be wanting or how I can help her? By the way, I think this started after a recent problem with her fountain that has now been resolved as she is showing no signs of any physical problems.
post #2 of 13
All that I can really add is that my 12-yr old female also bats her water bowl, usually slopping the water out of the bowl. It seems to me that she wants to see the water move before she'll drink it. Almost as if she can't see the water in the bowl.

Do you try to add water to her wet food....in that way, she's getting hydration through that method.

I don't really think it's the water container....perhaps her eyesight is not the best...and she wants to 'see' the water move.

Good luck.
post #3 of 13
Try running water from the tap.....slowly. Bathroom sinks work best. Show her the sink with the water running, she may not beable to judge the bowl. If this works get a foutain. My old lady use to drink from the sink 5 or 6 times a day. But her favorite was the toilet. I use to scrub it every day to make sure it was clean for the Queen Kitty. She was a finiky cat, and I did everything as she wanted, cuz she was my baby. Mamma hated foutains I tried them all.
K.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamgirl99 View Post
This morning I tried several things to get her to drink. I tried plastic bowls, ceramic bowls, a creamic plate, her cat-it water fountain and even a plastic cup.
Seeing as she already has a fountain, it clearly isn't because the water isn't moving.

I have no advice other than to get her thoroughly checked out by the vet, including a senior panel.
Really, it could be anything.

Water aversion is actually one of the symptoms of rabies.
post #5 of 13
I'm not sure where you water comes from, but this time of year, the lakes are starting to turn over and the water tastes bad. She might be more sensitive to the smell or taste.
Just for grins, offer her some bottled water....
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
I'm not sure where you water comes from, but this time of year, the lakes are starting to turn over and the water tastes bad. She might be more sensitive to the smell or taste.
Just for grins, offer her some bottled water....
That's what I was thinking too which is why I tried bottled this morning to no avail. My cat is not yet transitioned to wet food so I can't go that route. I am going to try homemade chicken broth tonight to see if she'll drink that. I even put up a Feliway plug-in by her bowls in case this was stress related but it doesn't seem to be.

The only reason I feel this is just a complete aversion instead of a sign of illness is that she is eating better and walking around more than she has in a while. She did just switch to Orijen two days ago so it's possible that it is upsetting her tummy to where she doesn't drink, but I still don't think that's it. If she didn't want to drink she wouldn't be "testing" every water bowl and then crying at me like she wants some but it just isn't "right" yet. Hopefully the broth or running tap trick will work. She's definitely not a fan of the syringe! If things don't improve by Saturday I plan to take her back to the vet. She did just have her senior panel done and everything looked great, but I want to make sure she hasn't recently developed anything.
post #7 of 13
Just a thought, but my 14 year old avoids water two-three days before bringing up a hairball.
I always thought it was weird, but completely normal for her.

I always add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to their canned food daily just for peace of mind.
At least it's better than a syringe.
post #8 of 13
there's a test you can do yourself to check her hydration: - Check your cat's skin for hydration: If you gently lifting the skin along your cat's back, often around the shoulder area the skin should snap back into place very quickly. A dehydrated cat's skin will not have this elasticity, and stays up in a ridge. If this condition shows you should take your kitty in to your vet immediately for hydration therapy. -Coat condition. A cats coat should be lustrous and smooth, unless it is a breed trait. Dull coats, coats with excess dander and coats that are shedding need to be checked by your vet.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
there's a test you can do yourself to check her hydration: - Check your cat's skin for hydration: If you gently lifting the skin along your cat's back, often around the shoulder area the skin should snap back into place very quickly. A dehydrated cat's skin will not have this elasticity, and stays up in a ridge. If this condition shows you should take your kitty in to your vet immediately for hydration therapy. -Coat condition. A cats coat should be lustrous and smooth, unless it is a breed trait. Dull coats, coats with excess dander and coats that are shedding need to be checked by your vet.
Yes, I have been checking this but unfortunately she's so obese that it's pretty hard to tell. Her scruff is SO tight I can't get much of a grip on it. At least it isn't more loose than before. I've been checking her gums too as lack of color is another sign of dehydration. She seems to be okay in this category but then again I am syringe water feeding her so she doesn't get that way.

Someone mentioned to me that she may have a depth perception problem. This makes a lot of sense to me b/c she keeps sniffing, then patting once, then sniffing again, patting, etc. Like she's trying to figure out where the water line is. They suggested a bowl with something colorful in the bottom like marbles. I'm going to give that a go as well.
post #10 of 13
Have you looked in her mouth? I'm sure you have, but it sure sounds like it could be a sore tongue.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Have you looked in her mouth? I'm sure you have, but it sure sounds like it could be a sore tongue.
Yep but nothing unusual there. Besides she's eating fine and I would think she'd prefer water over dry food if it was a mouth problem.

Okay so I figured out what the problem was....DEPTH PERCEPTION! Yea! That's what I had guessed after reading about that tip from a friend and sure enough as soon as I put something dark colored in the bottom of her clear bowl, she immediately started drinking. She didn't even sniff the water or bat at it first. I highly recommend you try this if your cat bats at their water bowl. My cat sat there and drank for literally 4-5 minutes straight after I put the color at the bottom. Thank you all for you help!
post #12 of 13
Like I said in my last post, she could not judge the bowl. I keep a night light in the area of my cats dishes too. We all say cats see well in the dark, but you must have some light for the eyes to work with. I am happy you figured it out.
K.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingss2fly View Post
Like I said in my last post, she could not judge the bowl. I keep a night light in the area of my cats dishes too. We all say cats see well in the dark, but you must have some light for the eyes to work with. I am happy you figured it out.
K.
It turns out that she actually now prefers water in a tall plastic cup and in another room. I guess you just have to try lots of options but I'm glad I found something for her that works. I see her drinking from the cup often now.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Water aversion or other problem?