‘YOU can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’ is said to be the oldest proverb originating in the English language – and it applies equally well to our feline friends.
Cats conserve water extraordinarily well, which explains why they often survive days trapped in a shed when other animals might have perished from dehydration, but it can cause them problems.
Such was the case with Magnus, who’d developed a potentially life-threatening blockage from deposits that had collected in his bladder.
Urinary tract problems are common in cats, and are caused by a multitude of factors, meaning they are often difficult to resolve.
One of the most important things owners can do is encourage their cats to drink more to dilute the urine, but how on earth do you do that?
Magnus, it has to be said, was a lazy cat and he did not want to be bothered with more frequent trips to the litter tray, thank you very much!
Cats, being contrary creatures, will often prefer drinking from puddles rather than their bowl.
Chlorination of water may have something to do with it, though some will happily drink from a dripping tap.
But you can try providing bottled or filtered water, and sometimes flavouring the water can help, too.
There is nothing inherently wrong with dried food, and you can buy special ones from your vet if your cat has urinary tract problems.
But if your cat is reluctant to drink, you may prefer to feed wet food, and perhaps add a little water to it to increase fluid intake.
Magnus recovered well after he’d been catheterised to relieve the blockage, and his mum even brought him a fancy water bowl with a pump which circulated the water to try to tempt him.
But I think she had to carry it to him because he still refused to move!