She weighs six pounds, and according to the chart on that page, the contents of the fountain should last her for ~31 days.
She's had it for a week and a half and when I checked today she had nearly emptied the reservoir. Granted, I can't remember if I filled it up all the way when I first gave it to her, but it was definitely at least halfway full.
She loves running water and loves drinking from the fountain. She played with it a little, but I haven't noticed any water spilled on the mat so it's not a matter of her removing a significant amount of water by spilling it.
Here's the kicker; her urine output has been at least 3 times more than normal. She's very fastidious about her litter box (not to the point that she'll pee elsewhere if she doesn't like its state, but she'll spend a long time covering everything until all smells are gone). Very uncharacteristically, she keeps saturating the litter (Arm and Hammer) to the point that it doesn't even clump anymore. She's not happy about this.
I thought that the fountain would keep her hydrated, but I'm worried about the amount she's drinking, or rather, the amount she's peeing. Am I being paranoid? I'm hoping that maybe she'll stop hitting the water bar so hard after some of the novelty wears off, but I guess we'll have to find out.
I should mention that she's otherwise healthy. Eating well, playing well, hasn't exhibited unusual behavior besides the significant increase in urination. Before the fountain arrived, she drank a normal amount. Her old water bowl still sits by her food and she still uses it, but not as much.
Has anyone else had experience introducing their cat to a fountain? Or one that seems to compulsively drink from running water?
They strongly prefer the running water and often drink LOTS more. This is actually a good thing, most pet cats are chronically dehydrated. She may taper off some, but I would be happy with the more drinking. Also, lots of the water in those is lost to evaporation, especially in the winter when our homes are drier- I had to refill our fountain weekly when I have 1 cat using it, and daily for more than one. I have a very similar one.
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At her young age, I doubt it could be something physically wrong with her (i.e., diabetes, kidney, thyroid, etc.), but to be on the safe side, I would take away the fountain and replace it with a regular water bowl for a week or so to see the effect. If she's still drinking & peeing more than normal, I'd say it's time for a vet check. Otherwise, I'd give her back the fountain. I hope she's just really thrilled with the running water!
I had a running water fountain, until the hard water killed the motor. My cats adored it! I felt like I had to pee all the time, though, since it was set up next to my couch! I wouldn't worry about the extra drinking at this point. I'd let some time pass and see how it goes. Now you've got me wanting to buy another fountain to spoil my cats yet again!
Another vote to wait a bit, as the novelty may wear off some. One of our cats is & always has been berserkly attracted to running water, & even if he's just had his fill at the regular water bowl, will come a-running as soon as a faucet is turned on to drink a lot more!
There can behavioral over-drinking (polydipsia) though it's usually seen in dogs. With cats the problem is usually that they don't drink enough. I'm with the others in that she's probably just enjoying her new toy. And more water in means more urine out when things are functioning properly. The urine will also be more dilute as she doesn't have to concentrate it to conserve fluid.
That said, one of the reasons I'm not a super big fan of auto waterer or feeder type deals is that it can be hard to keep track of just how much they are drinking/eating(or not). So if I were in your shoes, I might jot down on the calendar when you fill the thing and just keep track so you know where "normal" consumption lies. One of the first clues critters often give us that there's a problem is going off of their food or water.
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I have that same fountain. The reservoir holds about 1/2 a gallon, but there's an internal reservoir that holds at least a quart and a half. If it's totally empty and you fill up the reservoir, it will almost completely empty to the inside reservoir.
Also, because the water is moving there will be more surface area and greater loss from evaporation.
However, it's obvious that she's drinking more because of the litterbox issue. I'd just clean more often/replace the litter more often.
She might taper off some, but she might not. We have a cat who will drink what seems like gallons if you run water from the faucet for her - she begs for it to the point we sometimes just say"nope, not this time" and if she's actually thirsty, she'll go drink from a bowl (of which there are several around the house, all in the vicinity of various sinks).
Also, this time of year, water in the open evaporates quickly in most places, as the air is drier, plus heat is usually running which further reduces humidity. So, she's probably not drinking nearly as much as you think, but obviously more than she used to.
I agree with putting out another litter box for her.
How often do you clean her box? If just once a day, maybe try 2x instead of a 2nd box. Or even 3-4x, giving it a brief scoop first thing in the morning, then before you head to work, then as soon as you get home, then right before bed, something like that.
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I have read (on the internet so...) that some cats can't see the surface of still water which is why they like moving water. That may explain why all of my cats like to drink out of the sink or stick their paws in the water in the water bowl to make it move before they drink. Who knows?
Thank you for the replies! She's a good drinker as is (didn't slack even when battling an upper respiratory infection with awful congestion) but I guess it's a good "problem" to have since kidney problems and underhydration can be so much more difficult in cats.
After a bit of research, I decided to switch from clay litter to silica crystal litter. She's a little obsessive about digging after urinating and I think the giant clumps of clay were driving her nuts (she was spending a good 15 min trying to cover them after peeing). Since the crystals won't clump, I'm hoping they'll keep her happier. I went out and got some today and she used them as soon as they were in the box. Success so far!