How to get a cat to drink from a water bottle

Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
edited 1 February, 2009 in Behavior & Training
I\'m not a believer in cages for cats, but since I\'ve become a \"breeder\" (legally speaking; this is Japan; I now have a license from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government), one is required to have one cage per cat that is part of the breeding program. (Desexed cats are \"pets\" and don\'t count.) So, I bought two cages for my two queens, thinking I\'d never use them. Still, they have come in handy when I\'ve had to quarantine sick kittens, or, for that matter, to keep the kittens quiet when it was my sleepy time. The adult cats also appreciate having the occasional \"grown-ups only\" time, when there are no kittens running around. The kittens are only caged for a few hours max, and it\'s not every day, so it\'s not like being in Alcatraz. Anyway, the issue is not caging, but how to feed and water caged cats. Feeding is easy; I use the metal bowls that hang inside the cage. But watering is the problem. I bought the same kind of water dispensers that you use for guinea pigs and such--the ones that have a metal spout with a bead that, if licked, gives water. Of course, these are made specifically for caged dogs and cats. The pet shop people said that the cats would figure out how to lick the drop of water from the lip of the tube, but not my gang. So, how do I teach them? Putting a bowl of water in a cage dehydrates quickly and gets sloshed around, especially when you have Maine Coons. I may add that these cages are over six feet in height, have three levels, and space for a kitty toilet. They are easily kept clean, and although the kittens don\'t particularly like being cooped up, once I open the cage, some of them will return for naps. Go figure. Seriously, for people living in limited space, a cage is useful, the way an extra room would be. I am raising my kittens under foot (sometimes underfoot; several have almost bit the dust when they decided to dash right under where I was stepping at the time). I may also add that many Japanese consider caging their cats during most of the day a normal practice, which I am against. Still, cages have their unexpected uses. I have the cages as required by law; I am finding unexpected uses for them. Please do not criticize me for having cages. At this very moment, the kittens are very much uncaged; I have seven rambunctious kittens running up and down the length of the apartment; it\'s dawn, and my landlord lives downstairs. Kittens are motors that keep on going until they klonk out and go into deep, deep sleep. Anyway, the question is as stated: how to teach a cat to drink from a water bottle?

Comments

  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 29 January, 2009
    Sorry, I don't know about training cats to drink from a water bottle and I know you said about "sloshing" with bowls, but what about a heavy ceramic dog bowl with water in, placed on a plastic or other waterpoof material tray, to catch the sloshes? Evaporation shouldn't be an issue with a big dog bowl in just a couple of hours cage time - I wouldn't have thought:? Or maybe even putting water in the same type of hook on food bowls? I think it could be a bit much to ask to get cats to learn to drink from a water bottle for the sake of just a couple of hours cage time - I think most cats/kittens would probably just wait out the time for a drink from a bowl but I could be judging all felines on my own laziness!
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 29 January, 2009
    I have no idea how to do it either, mol, but at the shows, some of the Persian people use them, to keep the cats clean, in between classes, and this is for the whole 2 day show, so I know it can be done. :D I agree with the other poster, if its just for a few hours, I would just use the bowls they can't tip over, thats what I use for Bumpurr for shows in his bench cage. :D Or, since its a cage, and not a carrier, couldn't you just get extra hanging dishes, and put the water in there? :D If you really want to teach them to drink from a water bottle, the only thing I can think of, is to contact some Persian show people, and ask them how they taught their cats to use them. :D Or if your going to a show soon, walk around, and look for the people who use them, and ask them. :D My next show isn't until the end of March, I can look around and ask them, but that might be too late, mol, you might need an anser sooner than that. Let me know, be glad to ask them. :D If your real desperate, mol, I can throw it on the CFA board, and see what they say, but its supposed to be for show stuff only, and sometimes the ans you get, is not as nice, as you would like, but glad to take a "hit" mol, for a fellow catster person, would not be the first time, mol, I get a less than nice ans, or "told". :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 29 January, 2009
    Probably the easiest thing would be to ask the pet store people, as their poor little kittens (some so young their eyes haven\'t changed color yet!) use them in their display cases. If a six week old kitten can use a water bottle, so can my crew! Actually, probably the best idea is to use the same hanging dishes I use for food, as in cat show cages. It\'s just that the tube containers are less likely to spill and/or evaporate. Not to mention the fact that they look so neat-o, and that three of them cost me around $100....
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 30 January, 2009
    You could try flavouring the water with tuna water in one of the bottles- it might make it more tempting and get them motivated to figure out how to use it. You could even smear a bit of food on the end to get them to have a go. Good luck with it! :)
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 30 January, 2009
    I think Suey's idea of smearing something tasty on the end of the tube is good (well, I guess to have to TRY, being as you spent $100 on the bottles!). The cats would start licking the end of the tube and find out that water is despensed when they do that.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 1 February, 2009
    At present, the kittens are becoming much less hyperactive, and since no one\'s sick at the moment (knock on wood!), I\'m not using the cages--although the kittens and cats are finding them to be nice napping spots. I agree that Suey has a good idea. I\'ll try it the next time I need to cage anybody. Thanks as always, Suey! :-h
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