Category Archives: Feline Hydration

The drinking preferences of cats

THE BENEFITS OF COPPER IN WATER

Copper Cat Tap

Having discovered the benefits of copper in drinking water  (see this link:

 

 

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimicrobial_properties_of_copper I have begun adding more copper components to my fountains. You can see these at http://www.catfountains.etsy.com. In fact, most of my fountains have at least a copper spout. Copper will not corrode in water or air and in fact is an antimicrobial which helps purify water – thus its use in ancient times and in high scale home building.

Above is the 1 Cat Cat Tap and below is the 2 Cat Cat Tap.

Note that these are handmade from pure copper and that the solder is lead-free. Great for the countless cats who like to drink from the tap. You can see these and other copper elements in my fountains at http://www.etsy.com/shop/catfountains

Why Cats Prefer Moving Water (Excerpted from Darla Rewers, DVM)

Running faucets, a slow drip in the bathtub, fountains, and rain puddles are often more enticing than water in bowls. The sound and movement of running water is more attractive to cats and  easier to identify. Otherwise, some cats will pat at water in a dish or submerge their whiskers to assess where the water level is. Some cats will not drink out of dishes near their food bowls. The primary reason for this is simple. In nature, standing water is far more likely to harbor parasites and harmful bacteria than is moving water.

The CatTap Fountain - Your cats' personal, always on faucet fountain

It is very important to have enticing drinking sources for your cats. This is especially true if your cat has a substantial diet of dry food.  With the very common diagnoses of kidney failure and kidney deficiency, this becomes a very important issue. In addition, periodontal disease, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and allergies could all be potentially prevented or minimized by increasing the amount of water your cat drinks.

Many commercial plastic pet fountains exist, however handmade ceramic fountains are available, which are much more chic, green, and won’t create skin break outs in cats sensitive to plastics. Check out http://www.catfountains.etsy.com.

Feline Hydration

We tend to think that given a bowl of  water a cat will drink all he needs. Turns out this is not at all the case. That’s why a cat water fountain can be a genuine life saver.

Cats Love Moving Water

In the wild cats got most of the water they needed from their natural food sources – primarily small rodents. The great majority of house cats are deprived of that source.

Canned food helps the situation but many cats don’t get wet food, or enough wet food and even those which do still need additional hydration. Add to this the fact that cats are not attracted to standing water (in the wild, standing water is rarely fresh and often filled with countless harmful bacteria – animals seek moving water whenever possible) – and you have the situation as it is today. Renal failure is the number one cause if death in pet cats and insufficient hydration is a major contributor to kidney failure.

For a cat, drinking plenty of water helps to ensure an overall healthy constitution – soft fur, moist gums and eyes and helps prevent constipation. Regular periodic urination greatly reduces incidences of bladder infections and the build up of crystals in the urinary tract, which can lead to blockages and many other negative consequences.

Drinking water is the primary way of flushing out waste material from the body. Without sufficient water, there can be a  buildup of waste,  preventing toxins from leaving the body. Should this happen, the kidneys will be damaged, leading to fatal renal failure – all of which can be avoided by a simple cat water fountain.

Now, I’ve written about this before but it seems there are still many individuals who do not realize that plastic fountains can be harmful – in fact are said to definitely be by many veterinarians. This is well documented and is the result of the plastic itself, which contains harmful chemicals, and from harmful bacteria that grow in the inevitable scratches to which a plastic cat water fountain is subject.

Ceramic cat water fountains, on the other hand have  several positive attributes and no negatives. Ceramic does not scratch so there is no harmful bacteria buildup. Ceramics cat water fountains, especially stoneware with certified food-safe glazes keep the water fresh, cool and well oxygenated.

Even more to the point, cats are attracted to the spout of water from the bubble-up cat fountains and the falling water from those with a waterleaf or spout so they drink more – which is actually, apart from making sure the water is cool and healthful – the whole point.

In terms of value, some plastic cat water fountains are cheaper than my ceramic fountains (and some are not) but when you consider longevity, mine are by far the greater value. The pumps in my fountains are very long lasting and replaceable (and the cost is minimal), while the fountain bowls will last a lifetime with reasonable care. (No throwing, dropping on hard surfaces…)

One last point – might not be of interest to your cat but will certainly be to you – ceramic cat water fountains are infinitely better looking and make no unpleasant noise, which most if not all plastic cat water fountains do. In addition, there is no cord draping over the side of the fountain bowl, as is the case with some of the manufactured, even manufactured ceramic cat water fountains.

So it seems pretty cut and dry to me. If you are looking for the best and best looking, longest lasting and all round most satisfying cat water fountain, go to my Catfountains.

Copper in Cat Fountains

Many of the indoor water fountains and the cat fountains and pet fountains I make have a copper component to them and occasionally I am asked if this is safe for drinking water. The short answer is that copper is absolutely safe as a material for delivering potable water, and in fact, is beneficial. Now here’s the long answer.

As you may or not know the building trades are heavily regulated by quite a number of government agencies which are designed to look out for the consumer. Copper pipe is an accepted  plumbing material for all building codes (and there are a lot of them.) It is safe for both hot and cold water, in your home and in your cat fountain.

Apart from the fact that copper is a necessary part of our diet which we consume by breathing, eating and drinking, copper in water delivery systems stabilizes. It does not absorb contaminants, it does not easily corrode unless exposed to very high or very low pH values. Water has neutral pH and has no corrosive effect on copper. Copper  is biostatic, meaning that it does not promote bacteria growth.

In fact, quite the contrary. Not only is copper not at all harmful, it has been fairly recently discovered that there are healthful benefits of drinking water supplied through copper tubing, and this includes the copper in your little cat fountain’s plumbing too.

The antimicrobial effects of copper helps copper plumbing tube to preserve the purity of drinking water. Copper plumbing tube has been found to inhibit water-borne microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, algae, and infectious parasites, in the drinking water supply that resides in the plumbing tube.

Since copper plumbing tube is non-porous, it can prevent petrochemicals, insecticides, and organic contaminants from absorbing into the tube and polluting the water supply, and copper plumbing lasts for decades and is 100% recyclable. Therefore, copper tubing does not contribute to the earth’s solid waste problem.

Now I ask you. Can any of this be said to be true of the plastic drinking fountains, such as the Drinkwell, the Catit and the Petmate fountains which are nearly 100% plastic? The short answer is NO.

A handmade cat fountain with a copper 'waterflower' and a drinkwell cat fountain

Where’s the Water?

Dogs couldn’t care less where you put the water and right next to the food bowl is fine with them. Not so with cats who are much more fastidious. We automatically put their water bowl by their food bowl and though cats can and do get used to that, it is not their preference, for at least 2 reasons.

In nature cats do their hunting where the prey is (and get a lot of their moisture from their kill) and they seek water where the water is, often miles from their food. Further, cats can be put off their water by the presence of food odors.

Much preferable for cats is to come across their water source in a completely separate area or room of the house. Now because of the look and noise of most cat fountains you wouldn’t want one in your living room or dining room – understandably – they’re pretty ugly. But not all are.

Bijou enjoying his handmade ceramic cat fountain

This is my cat (and the originator of my cat fountains) drinking from one of his fountains. It is on a low stand in the living room. (I put the cloth under it because there was a slight vibration sound. I now use high quality bumper feet on the bottoms of all fountains and they are all noiseless.) He seems to enjoy visiting it and lapping up lots of water, which is good for him.

I call him the inventor because I originally began making fountains for home decor and found Bijou drinking from the ones I’d put around the house, far more than I ever saw him use his water bowl. I did some research and discovered the very large subject of feline hydration. To learn more about that read the page about the Advent of the Handmade Cat Fountain.

The Cat Tap Fountain

Many of my customers have told me that they are frequently ‘asked’ by their cats to turn on the faucet. Some report how their cat stands under the leaking tap in the bath with their tongue out under the drip and still others how their cats rush over to the sink when they turn on the faucet.

These stories and the experiences of seeing my own cat lap up flowing water are what gave rise to the new design of cat fountains, I frequently call the CatTap fountain. You can see a video of on at this link:

The fountain functions beautifully. There is no splash-out on any pump setting (shown on low) and there is no pump noise. Additionally, the cord exits the base of the fountain, not over the rim as with so many fountains. To see more go to www.catfountains.etsy.com.