When the season changes from winter to spring, I find that Ivy the Wonder Cat also seems to go through some changes. After being cooped up in the house with the windows closed for a harsh Canadian winter, those first blasts of fresh air with all of the delightful aromas of spring, seem to get her senses and her excitement levels running high again.
In doing so, she also starts shedding her winter coat and her tastes shift from heartier comfort foods to lighter meals (maybe I’m projecting a little on that last one), but true enough, she starts turning her nose up on some of the heavier pâté style cat foods.
But for the last two springs I also noticed that she seems prone to short periods of kitty constipation. Without going into too many details, when I finally do see the nuggets in the litter box coming at 3 or 4 day intervals, I think that passing those little rocks mustn’t be fun for my feline friend.
Last year, I tried adding pumpkin puree to her food to add a bit more gentle fiber to her meals, but Miss Ivy sees right through my mixing and masking. My little carnivore would rather eat more dry food than eat something from the fruit and vegetable food group.
The issue is that no matter how many times I clean and freshen her food bowl, I never see her drink much water, at least not on my watch. If she eats more dry food, that interval between trips to the litter box could get longer and get me more concerned.
After much research online for solutions, the theme of water fountains came up. Apparently some cats prefer drinking from a source of running water than a stagnant bowl of water. Fair enough. It sounds better to me too.
My greatest concern was with the price tag. What if she doesn’t take to it (as sometimes happens with new toys) and she starts ignoring it?
I went to a nearby pet supply store and had a chat with the manager. She offered me the opportunity to buy one, try it out, and if Miss Ivy truly does not use it, just wash it and bring it back in new condition and I could get a refund.
Talking it out certainly helped. Her offer took the risk and concern out of the transaction, so how could I go wrong?
As soon as I got home, I read the instructions meticulously, washed the individual pieces of the mechanism and assembled the fountain with the greatest of care. Before I knew it, I had a wonderful little feline fountain in a corner of my kitchen, which also seemed to act as a zen fountain for me, making gentle bubbling noises for spontaneous moments of serenity.
I didn’t even have to page Ivy, as moments later, she was in the kitchen investigating the new unfamiliar noise. She took her time sniffing it, examining it and I hoped getting acquainted with it on the best of terms. She then took one lick from the bubbling water and ran like the dickens. I felt defeated.
In the days that followed, as much as I tried to shake her noisy toys around the fountain to lure her to the general vicinity, she seemed uninterested. I was glad that I had taken great care when opening the packaging because it was looking more and more like this thing was going back, even though I was enjoying my… I mean, her… little serenity fountain.
But a few days later something happened. One day after cleaning and changing the litter box, I realized that there were three clumps waiting to be scooped up. Up to that point, she was generally a once-per-day kind of gal, if you know what I mean. I monitored in the coming days and even though I was never actually witnessing her drinking from the fountain, her tripled output was clearly telling a different story. I could not have been happier, she was indeed using the fountain!
With that, I also noticed that the intervals between her other deposits were also stabilized to once per day with no further concerns over kitty constipation.
Was getting a fountain a necessity? Many sources on the web suggest that it isn’t, given that cats are known to have survived well and thrived in the desert, thanks to their efficient physiology.
Just the same, PetMd.com suggests that a ten pound cat should take in 261 ml of water per day, give or take 52 ml. Fortunately, wet food can account for much of that intake.
But for the rest, for a house cat like Ivy who seems to avoid any liquid like the plague when I am around, why shouldn’t I offer her the means to supplement her intake with a fountain? If a bubbling source of fresh, filtered and cooled water is the way to get her to meet her “quota”, especially in warmer weather, then I am more than happy to oblige.
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