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No Water – How Long is Safe?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have been trying to train my two boy kitties to drink from a water bottle for about 6 weeks with limited success. They both will lick the tube and drink from the bottle when I put flavored water in it or baby food on the nozzle but they do not go to it just to drink since their bowl is still available. From what I have read it is time to take up their water bowl and they should start drinking from the bottle.

I am ready to take them to the next step so I plan to show them the water bottle again tonight and then take up the bowl and if I don’t notice them drinking from the bottle by tomorrow evening (approx 18-24 hours) I will put the bowl back down and start training again from the beginning. I believe that since they already know there is water in the bottle they will instinctively go to it when they need to drink and their bowl is missing. My issue is if they don’t figure out the bottle right away they will have no access to water until I give the bowl back. I will be home with them this evening but I will be sleeping for part of that time, and at work for a large part of tomorrow. How long is it safe for them to (potentially) be without water?

Additional Info: They are both males under 2 years of age with no known medical issues. They have unrestricted access to dry kibble and each get one can of wet food at night.
post #2 of 12
IMHO and it is just that opinion ... I would just leave down the bowl and not try to bottle teach
post #3 of 12
Do you have a specific reason for wanting them to drink from a bottle instead of a bowl? It would never have occurred to me to even try to train cats to drink from a bottle. Gerbils yes , but not cats.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am trying to teach them to drink from a bottle due to my Mulder’s obsession with water. Whenever I put a bowl of water down he will splash in it with his paw constantly until there is no water left, then roll in the water playing and tip the bowl over (if he can) looking for more. If he can’t tip the bowl he just splashes in it and the location, size and type of the bowl don’t seem to matter. He does not get bored of his ‘game’ even when I put out 6 bowls of water he just played longer. Because of this they are usually out of water within a very short time of me putting it out. I have to work all day during the week leaving at about 7:30AM and getting home at about 5:30PM and I am uncomfortable knowing that the cats have little or no water for most of that time.

I read about Persian breeders using water bottles to help keep their show cats faces clean and thought that would be an answer so they would have access to water and Mulder wouldn’t be able to spill it all to play. This is their bottle:



I did leave them with just the bottle today. I refilled their bowl last night and let them get a good drink and just didn’t refill it before bedtime after Mulder spilled it. I showed them both the water bottle again and also filled the ‘drip cup’ with water hoping that would draw their attention. Mulder was already drinking from the bottle this morning but did not disturb the water in the cup for some reason. Spooky drank some water from the cup, I am hoping he will pick up on using the bottle by seeing Mulder do it.
post #5 of 12
I would think they'd be fine for 24hrs without. They are healthy cats, just being a wee bit stubborn. It sounds like this is the only choice you have left. (kinda like Kizzy, if I want him to eat wet food, I have to take away his dry for at least 12hrs). Of course if you leave them what they like, they won't use the water bottle. Water in the drip tray is a good idea If Spooky empties the drip cup, he may turn to the bottle

If all else fails I would also continue the flavored water, once they get so they are both drinking well, then water it down more and more till its just plain water.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
I am trying to teach them to drink from a bottle due to my Mulder’s obsession with water. Whenever I put a bowl of water down he will splash in it with his paw constantly until there is no water left, then roll in the water playing and tip the bowl over (if he can) looking for more. If he can’t tip the bowl he just splashes in it and the location, size and type of the bowl don’t seem to matter. He does not get bored of his ‘game’ even when I put out 6 bowls of water he just played longer. Because of this they are usually out of water within a very short time of me putting it out. I have to work all day during the week leaving at about 7:30AM and getting home at about 5:30PM and I am uncomfortable knowing that the cats have little or no water for most of that time.


.
I got quite the chuckle out of your description about how Mulder plays with his water....I know it isn't funny and it's very important that cats have access to water when eating kibble. My youngest kitty..just 8 months old...will drop all his toys into the water bowl...I don't know if he's taking charge of the bowl or what he's thinking....it's a good thing that Phoebe...13 yrs...just laps up the water irregardless of the toys in the bowl. She's been known to move the bowl to make the water move. I think she has a hard time seeing how much water there is....maybe the toys give her a better idea...LOL

Good luck with the bottle training..I hope it works.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiecat03 View Post
I got quite the chuckle out of your description about how Mulder plays with his water...
Oh yes, its incredibly cute. If he would leave one bowl alone so they could have something to drink I wouldn’t mind it at all. Its just water in general with him. He also jumps in the shower and sink when I turn them on and is fascinated by the dishwasher when it is running. I call him my little goldfish (he’s orange).
post #8 of 12
Don't know if you want to do this with your guy's obsession with water, but you could leave the water in the tub running slowly for them.

I'd hate to see what he'd do with a water fountain!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
Don't know if you want to do this with your guy's obsession with water, but you could leave the water in the tub running slowly for them.
I tried leaving the sink dripping, that was ugly! Water EVERYWHERE when I got home.

Their bowl has been in the bathtub with the stopper pulled so that when it spills it doesn’t destroy the floors and then the water has nowhere to go so it is still available. Mulder rolls in it and gets it all dirty, and Spooky won’t get in the bathtub to drink it because he gets his feet wet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
I'd hate to see what he'd do with a water fountain!
Yea I tried that. I thought maybe his obsession was that he wanted the water to move. It drove him insane so I took it back after 1 day because he decided that he was going to destroy it or die trying.
post #10 of 12
THIS IS SO FUNNY!!! I know it is a problem, but at first I could not figure out WHAT you meant by water bottle, I thought like for a rabbit cage or something, wondering how I would get my cats to drink from THAT

Then I saw your pic. Is the water TOWER white that you call a water bottle?? Cuz I have a small blue water THING that I fill and tip so water goes in the tray BUT Levi can't tip it over like he does with EVERY water filled glass!! He has broken about 8 glasses. Now we only use water bottles because of him LOL The water dispenser that I have makes it so I don't have to fill it EVERY night too!

I don't have any valuable ideas, I just thought it funny that I thought you were training them for a rabbit bottle or something!!

GOOD LUCK!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well the white ‘tower’ is actually a PVC pipe stand my dad and I worked out to hold a rodent style water bottle so I had something to hold the bottle up. The bottle in it is actually designed to be hooked to a dog crate but it is the same thing just a little bigger.

We had to fully enclose the water bottle in something Mulder couldn’t chew. I used to have one of those water cooler style automatic watering systems and it drove him crazy. He would splash the water out until it was empty and then knock the bottle off and chew on it. Those things don’t work anymore once they have holes in the sides…

Most of the water was gone from the drip cup (but still a little left) when I got home and only a little bit gone from the water bottle. I refilled the drip cup today, I think I am going to try that for a week or so until they get accustomed to going to the water bottle holder for water, and then we’ll try a day without filling the cup and see what happens.
post #12 of 12
You certainly have a character on your hands! And here I thougth Wickett's water obsession was excessive! He only paws in the water. Good luck with your bottle training!
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