Those who have been following the fortunes of my Siamese princess will be pleased to know that she is doing very well. Her health appears good, her litter-box visits are regular and give good results, and her behaviour is back to normal.
However, the episode of Cammie’s discomfort has taught me something. In the old house, I had four bowls of water (one downstairs) for the beasts’ refreshment; in the new apartment, there are three: one by the food dish, one in the library, and a small one in the bathroom. Each cat seems to have a favourite and each seems never to drink from at least one. In any case, I thought that there were enough sources of water.
During the course of Cammie’s illness, I tried to supplement her diminished water intake by bringing the fluid to her. I have continued to do this, as I have found that more often than not, she drinks when the bowl is offered. This made me realise that there were probably numerous occasions when she was thirsty enough to drink, but not thirsty enough to go through the effort of climbing down from her cat-tree and finding a bowl herself.
(I read an interesting explanation of why cats instinctively do not drink enough water. When all cats were feral, or at least found their own food, they obtained much of their moisture from eating freshly killed prey. They didn’t know they were sating their body’s demand for water as they did so, however, so when the erstwhile nutrition was replaced by human-supplied food, especially hard food, cats were deprived of a great deal of their water supply, yet they didn’t feel any thirstier for it.)
After my discovery, I felt that Cammie’s reluctance to go for water much of the time (ie. laziness) was both a reason and an opportunity to provide more water to the animals. The solution is simple: another water-bowl. I purchased three at a second-hand shop.
This one is in the bedroom, along the ledge that runs around the room’s exterior wall. (Why so many ground-level apartments are given these ledges I know not; considering the result, it may be to catch the dust that blows in through even closed windows.) I have tried this already and have seen Cammie climb down from a perch to drink, then return to her comfortable reclination. This distance, much shorter than that from the cat-tree to the other, far away, water-bowls, seems to be worth covering for a drink.
So, provided the cats do not continually knock the bowl onto the floor, I will keep a small dish of water in the bedroom, half-way between floor and cat-tree-top. It may produce positive change, especially in Cammie; at the least, it will give some of them another excuse for moving even less than they do.