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Drinking from Water Bottle?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does anybody have any experience teaching their cats to drink out of a water bottle? I am thinking of buying/making something like this for my boys:


Neither of my cats have any reason not to get wet, but Mulder is obsessed with water. He jumps into the sink or bathtub every time I go into the bathroom, and tries to join me in the shower if I don’t lock him out of the room. He likes to play in the water bowl and makes such an awful mess that I have had to resort to keeping their water in the bathtub so that when he splashes it all out it doesn’t destroy the carpet/flooring.

Currently I keep three large dog dishes in the bath in the hope that he will get bored before emptying all of them so they will still have something to drink until I get home. But he’s getting worse – I came home yesterday and they had no water left at all (I was gone 8-5) and were very thirsty when I got there. This worries me that they don’t have access to fresh water all day while I’m not home!

They used to have one of those auto-refill waterers (with the big reservoir you turned upside down into a bowl) but Mulder would splash it until all the water came out and he could knock the bottle over then chew on the bottle until it had holes all in it. I have considered a fountain for them because of how fascinated he is with water but I’m pretty sure he would obsess with it as well and just sit there splashing in the stream until all the water was on the floor instead.

So I was thinking if I could get a couple large glass water bottles (so he couldn’t chew them up) and a stand for them and train the boys to use it I could make sure they had water to drink, and give Mulder supervised water playtime instead.

Anybody had any luck with this kind of training or ideas where to start?
post #2 of 16
The bottles in the link look just like the rodent water bottles. Only they are on a stand.

It might work for you once your kitties learn how to use them. I'd try buying a rodent bottle and see if it works for you.

I would try showing them a few times by putting the bottle up to their mouths and pressing against the ball so the water comes out. (these bottles have a little ball in the spout to stop the water from just flowing out)

The one potential issue I see, is similiar to the issue you had with the waterer... Mulder may figure out how to empty it rather quickly. Or tip the stand...hmmm, you could anchor the stand to a wall to avoid the tipping.

Sorry, I'm not much help, just random thoughts outloud.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes it is just a rodent bottle, though most of the larger ones come with larger drinking spouts so those are what I was considering.

I was also concerned he would find a way to destroy the bottle so that all the water leaked out which is why I was initially considering maybe a glass bottle. I did some more searching and found these holders:


I created my own version last night using PVC pipe and a few changes -a larger weighted base and the bottle is fully enclosed inside the pipe with just the drinking tube sticking out of the side instead of part of the bottle protruding from the top so I don't think he could chew on this one. For added safety, I'll be installing a hook & eye on the back so that I can fasten it to the wall and prevent tipping altogether (although I haven't managed to get it to tip at all).

Now a matter of getting them to USE it. I've shown them both that water comes out of it but they just look at me like "Mom, why did you get me wet?" I think tonight I will try putting something tasty on the end - like some of their canned food, a bit of tuna or some meat baby food - to get them to lick it and get the point.
post #4 of 16
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
Now a matter of getting them to USE it. I've shown them both that water comes out of it but they just look at me like "Mom, why did you get me wet?" I think tonight I will try putting something tasty on the end - like some of their canned food, a bit of tuna or some meat baby food - to get them to lick it and get the point.
Please do let us know how it goes..... if you happen to have pics of the set up, would you mind showing them?

This is a great idea.....hopefully the food on the nozzle will help.

God luck, hopefully this solves your problem.
post #5 of 16
I'm just wondering how you made out with this idea???
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sorry I haven't updated! My father (who is handy like that) helped me build a more attractive (and sturdy) version after my prototype, and I replaced the oversized rodent bottle with a bottle designed for small dogs, which is basically the same thing except with a longer nozzle. I took some pictures but haven't uploaded (busy with the holidays...) I will upload those tonight.

The boys have only shown interest in the water bottle when I put the baby food on it, which I have been doing every day so that they will hopefully figure out that water comes out of it. I have seen them both get a drink from it while licking off the baby food.

It has been suggested that I take their regular bowl up/away whenever I am available to monitor them because they will not actively seek out a new water source if the one they are used to is still available. I have been hesitant to do this because I am afraid they won’t know to go to the water bottle for a drink and will go thirsty, but I will probably start doing this either tonight or tomorrow. Of course only when I am home until I see them both start drinking regularly from the bottle.

Thanks for checking in with me, hopefully I can get them using it and solve the water problem!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have had some success tonight with the "Tuna Water" technique I found on the Bottle Babies website. Basically you mix a can of tuna with the water, strain the tuna out and just put the flavored water into the bottle. Then you just show them the bottle by putting baby food on it and they get the taste of tuna in the water and want to drink it. So far Mulder has been very interested but Spooky has not. Spooky is more timid and won't push Mulder out of the way to get at it, so Mulder keeps getting all the baby food before Spooky gets there, and then there is no draw to Spooky to lick it... I tried locking Mulder in another room but being separated from his buddy was too upsetting to Spooky for him to focus on anything except finding Mulder. Their dedication is cute!

Here are the pictures, as promised. We added the little catch cup after my prototype version kept dripping. With this new one I haven't had any drip problems. Also, you can't see very well in this picture, but there is a pipe cap on the top to prevent Mulder from getting in there and chewing on the bottle at all.

And here is Mulder showing us how to drink from it. You can also see my 'safety catch' on the back in this view, to prevent tipping.

Granted its not very pretty but hopefully it will work. If they like it, I am going to use some sort of solvent to remove the marks from the outside of the pipe, or possibly paint it to make it look better.

Hopefully Spooky will come around soon!
post #8 of 16
So it can be done I'm glad it's starting to work for you.

The tuna water is a great idea, especially for those who have kitties that don't like to drink much in the first place.

By your pics, it looks like a piece of pipe (ABS or similiar) cut a slit in it large enough to cover the nozzle of the bottle, and then something on the bottom to help it stand. Very interesting indeed

Seems to have solved the problem with Mulder making a mess.

Great work, and thx for updating
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is just a piece of PVC pipe from Lowes with some sort of pipe fitting (I don't know what its originally intended for...) glued to the bottom and a notch cut down the side. I totally stole the idea from http://www.mrfooshihtzu.com/WaterBottleStands.html. We then modified it by creating the cup by taking a pipe cap, cutting part of one side off and turning that around and gluing it back to create the indent and then velcroing that back on the side to catch any drips. I also filled the bottom of the pipe with about 5lbs of gardening rocks. Since we had to wait for glue to dry, it took about 1.5 hours for my dad to put it together, at a cost of about $17 for the holder, and then the cost of the water bottle. I will keep you posted as to if I can get both cats drinking from it.
post #10 of 16
So, how did this work out for you?

Anna loves to play in the water bowl in the cat room and empty it all over the hardwood floor. I would love an alternative to mopping several times a day.
post #11 of 16
Yes, I'd love to see some pictures of the stand you made, Cruiser Maiden.
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Devanagara View Post
Yes, I'd love to see some pictures of the stand you made, Cruiser Maiden.
The pictures are already posted above.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
The pictures are already posted above.
I'm an idiot. I even looked at them before posting that.
post #14 of 16
interesting... 5 or 6 months ago I started letting my cats drink from a tall, clear plastic pitcher. they completely ignored their water bowls forever more. I'm starting to think that cats don't like leaning down to drink from a bowl. I was inspired to try because my cats try & drink from my glass & vases....
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
So far I have only been able to get them to drink from the bottle when I flavor the water with Tuna or put meat baby food on the nozzle. I will continue to work with them more again later. Currently plans are on hold because I have broken my ankle and we are having to stay at my father's house. I promise to keep everyone posted.
post #16 of 16
Thank you for the update.

for your ankle.
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