For humans, bottled water is hardly the next big thing. But it could be for cats. A Colorado-based company is bottling Catwater, which it says is mineral-free and pH optimized to help prevent UTIs in cats.
Just about the last thing the planet needs is more plastic bottles finding their way to recycling centers and the ocean. But more plastic might be the price you have to pay if you want to do one more thing to try to prevent UTIs in cats.
Enter Catwater, a new product from H&C Animal Health. Bottled in Canada, it’s ozonated and chlorine-free. H&C says its pH is “perfectly balanced” between 6.2-6.4 to minimize the minerals that can cause bladder stones and crystals in cats.
The issue, of course, is how to get your cat to drink it, even if it tastes great. Healthy cats are notoriously unenthusiastic drinkers. We can thank their desert wild cat ancestors for that almost nonexistent thirst drive.
Getting Your Cat To Drink More
Cats need between 5-10 ounces of water a day, but it doesn’t all have to come from a bowl.
Our cats’ desert wild cat ancestors got most of the moisture they needed from their food, and that should be true of our house cats, too.
If your cats eat all or mostly wet food, it could be days before you see them drinking from a bowl. But if they eat all or mostly dry food, they need to visit those water bowls several times a day. Here are some ways to help prevent UTIs in cats by encouraging them to drink.
- Scatter water bowls around your house. They should be wide bowls that won’t cause whisker fatigue.
- Put your cats’ water bowls as far from their food as possible. Another room is best! Cats taste their water, and they won’t drink it if there are crumbs of food in it.
- Some cats like to play with their water before they drink. Put an ice cube in their bowl for them to swat around. Or even more fun put a rattle ball in the bowl. Just make sure it’s too big for them to swallow. While even an ice cube could change the pH in Catwater, a rattle ball could be perfect.
- Many cats love drinking from a running faucet. If you leave one of yours dripping your cat might make frequent visits.
- Or try a fountain. Some cats love them, but others don’t. Choose one with a wide bowl, so it\ will be easy for your cat to drink.
- If your cats like catnip, crush a fresh leaf under the running water when you’re refilling their bowls.
Preventing UTIs In Cats
Although it could help, you don’t need Catwater to try to prevent bladder stones and crystals, or UTIs in cats.
The best ways to prevent them are to reduce stress and feed an all- or mostly-wet-food diet.
Cats’ bodies are designed to get most of the moisture they need from their food. And the higher moisture content in wet food keeps them well-hydrated and maintains the urine at the proper pH to discourage the formation of bladder stones and crystals.
Who’s most at risk of developing UTIs and bladder stones and crystals? Cats who are middle-aged, overweight, live strictly indoor, don’t get enough exercise and eat only dry food are the most likely to have problems.
Know The Signs Of A UTI
In male cats, UTIs or bladder stones or crystals can be life-threatening and are a medical emergency. Watch for these signs…
- Frequent unproductive trips to the litter box
- Straining to urinate
- Blood in the cat’s urine
- Urinating outside the litter box. For cats with bladder stone and crystals, the bathtub seems to be a popular place.
- Crying out when urinating
- Licking the genital area.
- Urine with an unusually strong ammonia smell
Cat Health In A Plastic Bottle
Catwater is available in four-liter and 500 ml bottles. The bottles, handles and caps are made of PET plastic and are recyclable if you’re in an area that still recycles plastic. If you can’t put the bottles in your curbside recycling, ask if your local supermarket will recycle them.