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How to train your cat to drink from a fountain

So, you’ve bought a new water fountain for your cat! Pet fountains are the choice of many attentive pet parents because they offer a fresh source of water that is constantly renewing itself. Yet, what do you do if kitty won’t drink from it? Read more to find out.

Step One

Move your cat’s previous source of water close to the fountain and turn the fountain off. If your cat used to drink from a ceramic dish, for instance, place the dish very close the fountain. The fountain should also have water available in it, so that your cat gets used to the idea of it being a source of water as well.

Step Two

Stop refilling the previous source of water. Eventually, the water in the previous dish will taste stale and run out. If you have a kitty who enjoys drinking from the bathroom sink, avoid the temptation of opening the faucet for your kitty during this time.

Meanwhile, continue to wash and refill the fountain with the still water in it as if it were the new water dish. Turn the fountain on for a few hours at at time so that your cat gets used to the sound.

Step Three

After the water has run out in the previous dish, remove it completely. Once your cat is comfortable with drinking from the fountain while it is off, turn the fountain on more often. Eventually, your cat will even begin drinking from the spout.

What to do if these steps fail

If you’ve tried the steps above to no avail, give it one more shot. If the process fails twice, you might want to consider a different fountain. Some common “complaints” that cats have about fountains include the noise level and material, so opt for a gently trickling steel or ceramic fountain with a very quiet motor instead.

Fountains also have to be cleaned regularly, so a dirty fountain could be turning your kitty away. Other fountains splash water that can scare your cat, in which case you should adjust the pump.

Does your cat like his or her water fountain? Be sure to let your sitter know. Our sitters are happy to refresh all of the water sources in your home, even if you let your kitty drink from the sink. Book a visit with us today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

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