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Cat drips (and drips) water

last month

My anxious male cat, Rocky, regurgitates food into his water bowl when he drinks, which is often. He's not diabetic; the vet says anxiety is behind both the frequent water intake and the regurgitation. My other cat, Scruffy, won't drink the water unless it's clean, and I don't blame her one bit. So I have to change the water often. But what concerns me more is when Rocky walks away from the water bowl, he drips water. Big drops, like little puddles, all over the kitchen floor and beyond, to the wood floors. It's gotten so bad and covers such a wide area that I keep a terry cloth rag on the floor, pushing it around with my foot to mop up.


I've had many cats, but I've never had one that did anything like this. Have you? The vet doesn't know what to make of it. She examined his mouth, but found nothing wrong.


Good thing he's beautiful. lol





Comments (36)

  • last month

    I never heard of the regurgitation problem...I might want to get a 2nd opinion. I had a cat once who would somehow always push water out of the bowl when he drank, so there was always a puddle on the floor. I finally put a very big bowl that I would only fill part way on a tray with sides to contain his mess.

    Do you have treated water? I might try giving him bottled water for a bit and see if it makes any difference.

    Alisande thanked Olychick
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    If it matters enough to you, I suggest taking Rocky to a veterinary internist. A boarded specialist in internal medicine. An admitted prejudice of mine is that vets in general practice often tend to not be among that profession's best and brightest - their training is limited- and too often conduct themselves putting the best interests of themselves ahead of those of their patients and clients.

    Good luck to Rocky and to you.

    Alisande thanked Elmer J Fudd
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  • last month

    Olychick, we have well water. It's good . . . when we had the tofu business we were required to have it tested reguarly, and I had it tested myself a couple of years ago. Rocky is 12, and he just started doing this in the past year. I might consider putting a cookie sheet or something under the water bowl, but although it might catch the worst of the drips it wouldn't cover the whole mess.

    Elmer, medical options for both animals and humans are limited in this rural area. I could get a second opinion, but it would be another vet in general practice. Rocky doesn't seem to be bothered by the dripping at all--he eats, sleeps, and plays with the speed and enthusiasm of a star athlete. I'm the one who wishes the drips would stop.

  • last month

    How old is Rocky? Has he always had the regurgitation? There are so many physical issues that can cause it, such as an incompetent sphincter or a gastric outlet obstruction.

    One of my cats when about 18-19 years old, suddenly developed trouble swallowing. In her case I believe that she had a small stroke that affected her ability to swallow, but her problem was mostly with solid food.

    Alisande thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Long story made short, my cat ivan eats too much, then regurgitates. A lot of times, it comes up in the dish of food he's eating from. My solution: I feed "grain free" and only a Tablespoon at a time, three times a day plus treats, plus Iams or Blue Buffalo dry food, sitting in a dish ALL day. Occasionally he gets in a mood...stuffs himself on dry food...and I have a mess to clean up. It's usually the wet food he over consumes. My cat has over eating-gorging issues. Does Rocky?

    Alisande thanked nicole___
  • last month

    Raee, Rocky is 12, and he started regurgitating around 6 or 8 months ago. It happens as he drinks. It's not a discrete event that we would notice; it's only when he steps away from the bowl that we can see the partially digested dry food in the water.

    Nicole, he doesn't vomit very often; this happens only while he drinks--every time he drinks. He has free access to dry food, but only one meal of canned food. He'd like to have more, plus the "people food" he tries to steal from the kitchen, but too much of either results in digestive issues.

    He's been underweight for years. He's a big cat, and when he was young he weighed a healthy 16 lbs. Now he weighs 7.5 lbs. The weight loss started when he developed anxiety a few years ago. He has dominant Siamese genes, and the Siamese are prone to anxiety. It can cause a lot of issues, and it changed him in several ways.

    I don't know why he doesn't just swallow the water in his mouth instead of dripping it all over the floor. I thought maybe something in his mouth was bothering him, but apparently not.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Perhaps he has trouble swallowing?

    And can you keep a towel or bathmat under his drinking area - something absorbent?

    Alisande thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • last month

    Carol, he has no trouble swallowing his food, so I don't think that's it. I could put something absorbent under his water bowl--good idea, thanks!--but I'll still have to clean up the path he makes when he leaves that area (many times a day). I taught my kids with their wet boots, "Water is the enemy of wood," but Rocky doesn't get it. :-)

  • last month

    Maybe try raising the water dish a bit? Sometimes the angle down into the dish can be leveled out some by raising the dish.

    Alisande thanked beesneeds
  • last month

    It sounds like a swallowing or throat issue to me too. It may be partially chewed food in his dish, not regurgitated . That could be why his weight has dropped. If he's drinking more than he used to, it could be because he isn't swallowing the water. He then lets it dribble. Did the vet think he was dehydrated?

    Alisande thanked Eileen
  • last month

    The thing is, the regurgitated food is slimy, thready, as though it has gone through at leaat some of the digestive process. There are no pieces of food in it, but it's the beige color of his dry food. I hope that wasn't TMI for anyone. lol

    No, the vet didn't think he was dehydrated. He's being treated for a UTI. He used to get them often (also anxiety related, they told me), but this one was the first in many months. He doesn't seem sick at all. He's certainly not lethargic.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I'm sorry to see that Rocky (and you) are having problems. Are his water and food dishes stainless steel or ceramic? Cats and dogs can have problems when fed from plastic bowls/dishes. Also, as was mentioned by beesneeds, an elevated feeding bowl/dish can solve issues. They're easy to find on Amazon, and I'm sure pet stores would have them, too.

    Alisande thanked Lindsey_CA
  • last month

    I'll look those up tomorrow. Thanks, Llindsey and Beesneeds! All Rocky's dishes are stainless steel. Many years ago it occurred to me that our dogs were living proportionally longer than our cats, and I wondered why. When I realized the dogs ate out of stainless dishes, but the cats' dishes were plastic, I got rid of the latter and bought stainless for all. I don't know if the change contributed to their longevity, but it was a good thing to do.

  • last month

    I‘d try raised bowls for both food and especially water. Maybe he's like a dog who eats too fast? If so, you could try a product designed to slow his eating. I would also investigate the meds he is on. The anxiety med could be causing an upset stomach or reflux perhaps. Not sure how long he’s been on them, but maybe its affecting his appetite. Thats a substantial weight loss. The usual bad things with a weight loss don’t seem to be happening since otherwise he seems fine. A calming collar wouldn’t hurt, especially if you discontinue or change meds to see whether there is a difference.

    Alisande thanked lisa_fla
  • last month

    Rocky isn't on anxiety meds. I talked about it with a couple of vets at one point. Both advised making meds my last resort, and I'm fine with that. One of them suggested I start letting him outside. I did so reluctantly, but it was a good idea. My daughter bought him some calming catnip, and that seems to have helped with his spraying. It still happens once in a while, but if I keep a sharp eye on him I can tell when the urge to spray hits. Then it's time for him to go out.

    I never heard of a calming collar. I live in tick country (although given the way ticks have spread out, I suspect everyone lives in tick country these days) and was considering trying a tick/flea collar instead of the monthly ointment this year. But they're expensive, and I suspect he might make it his mission to get the collar off him.

  • last month

    Alisande, I was taking care of a neighbor's cats while she was in the hospital and then nursing home for awhile. I was talking to a woman at a pet store who had come from working at a shelter for cats. She recommended Feliway disffuser to reduce/eliminate anxiety. It made a big difference for the two cats I was caring for (in their own home). It plugs in. There is no odor for humans but whatever is in it is great for the cats. Just a thought. Good luck to Rocky. He is a beauty for sure.

    Alisande thanked murraysmom Zone 6a OH
  • last month

    Like nicole, I feed my inside cat small amounts up to three times a day, then another tablespoon or two in the evening when the other two cats are fed in the cellar. She's very routine oriented (like all cats), so will demand that. ha She goes through periods of throwing up both canned and dry. I attribute it to hair balls and give her the Cat Lax. Not sure if it's hairball related but things seem to calm down when I give the Lax.


    Water dribbling? Hmmm. I would say a teeth issue or lack of teeth, but the vet surely would point that out if it were the case.

    Alisande thanked schoolhouse_gwagain
  • last month

    Be cautious of using a collar, especially if you let him out. If it's not a break away collar your cat could potentially get hung up on something. If you use one, make sure it's the break away kind.

    Alisande thanked beesneeds
  • last month

    I am reminded of something I heard some years ago —- that some people with dementia cannot swallow thin liquids and liquids for them have to be thickened. Perhaps there is some neurological thing going on with Rocky which impairs his swallowing thin liquids.


    If Rocky is up for it, have you tried this:

    with one of those plastic eyedroppers, hold him as you might a baby, with his head back, and feed him some water through the eyedropper. See if he swallows the water and if this approach/test eliminates his dripping or regurgitation. Take your time (as Rocky allows) and administer a few teaspons of water this way.


    Of course this is only as a test, and unlikely to serve as a way to regularly have him drink.


    If you were to mix up a thickened liquid, like canned cat food, cream with thickener, would kitty keep that mix down?


    It looks like his ”bib” and left paw are stained (from his refluxed kibble and water mix.


    A human in your area would probably be given an esophageal scoping and / or a barium on contrast media ”swallow” or GI Series to rule out strictures, narrowing or any degree of obstruction.


    I adopted an abandoned Siamese and even after being in the cold and snow outside for weeks, she was relaxed, affectionate and confident. My other cat had spotted her from the window and kept asking if he could have her move in.


    I wish Rocky the best.

    Alisande thanked petalique
  • last month

    when rocky drinks, does he seem to gorge on water? one of my past danes did this and it often caused him to puke shortly after drinking. i switched from a water bowl to a fountain where he could drink as much as he wanted but it took him longer to lap from a bubbly stream. never had a problem after that.

    maybe something like this...

    https://www.chewy.com/petsafe-drinkwell-360-stainless-steel/dp/48105

    Alisande thanked Ninapearl
  • last month

    Has he had blood work recently to check his kidney function?

  • last month

    Have you thought about a lick mat?

    http://foodpuzzlesforcats.com/the-lickimat


    Alisande thanked rob333 (zone 7b)
  • last month

    this is the one i have. my girl dane loves it, it's the only thing she will drink from. my goofy dane boy has NEVER gone near it, i have to keep a bucket of water for him and he is the worst slob ever! i keep a small submersible aquarium pump in the bucket to keep the water circulating.

    this would probably not work well for a cat but the beauty of it is that there is no reservoir that holds water. the only way to get a drink is from the bubbly part in the center. i've had this one for over 2 years and have never had a problem with it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Dogit-Alfresco-Outdoor-Drinking-Fountain/dp/B004ERFA1Y?source=ps-sl-shoppingads-lpcontext&ref_=fplfs&psc=1&smid=A2A02U6YIW6LGE




  • last month

    The mat helps him slow down his eating.

  • last month

    Interesting, Rob. I never heard of those. I'm not sure I want to slow down his eating though. He's so underweight, and he eats many times a day. It doesn't look to me as though he's eating too quickly, although it's possible. He certainly doesn't regurgitate all of it into the water. It's also complicated because I have two cats. Scruffy is a dainty eater and drinker who has maintained the same weight for years.

    I meant to ask: Are we thinking of the elevated cat bowl for food or for water? I might trythis one for water. Rocky is a big cat with fairly long legs. Scruffy, under her very long fur, is a very small cat with short legs and itty-bitty feet. I don't know how she'll react to elevated anything, but we could find out.

  • last month

    He's underweight? Does he have thyroid issues?

  • last month

    Thyroid problems haven't shown up in his bloodwork. He's been the same weight for over a year, but he used to weigh a lot more (pre-anxiety).

  • last month

    ((((Hugs to that six toed baby)))

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Kidney disease is so common in older cats and losing weight and vomiting are symptoms. I have observed where they want to eat and drink but they don't, maybe because it causes discomfort. So perhaps he's drinking but not swallowing. I'd ask the vet to send you the blood work results.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I have used Feliway for many years with several cats. It's great for calming stressed, anxious, frightened, angry cats. I wouldn't be without it. I use the plug in type. You don't smell anything at all.

  • last month

    I tried Feliway last year but thought it made my asthma worse. I still have it, so I suppose I should try it again.

    Rocky pees a lot, so I think he must be swallowing. Frequent drinking + excessive urination (starting a few years ago) made me think he might have diabetes, so I took him to the vet. That's when they started doing bloodwork. No diabetes or anything else.

    Well, he certainly doesn't seem like a sick cat. Loves to play! I took this picture a couple of days ago when my grandson was trying out a feather toy my daughter bought for Rocky. That grey thing is my knee. :-)



  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Da Bird! Mine love it! Don't let him catch it because he'll "kill" it immediately. I put tape around the swivel because I was afraid that it could catch a claw and tear it out.

    Alisande thanked Eileen
  • last month

    Good idea about the tape, Eileen--thanks! The grandson playing with Rocky in this picture is taller than I, so he has no trouble keeping the "bird" in the air. But it's a challenge for the 4-year-old! He tries hard, holding the rod over his head.

  • last month

    We use Feliway and it does help with anxious cats. The other thing is - have they checked his blood for allergies? I had a cat that threw up every time she ate. We tested allergies before anything else because she was so young. It turned out she was allergic to sugar beets, corn, duck, and cow milk. And dust. Go figure. I have had cats with thyroid issues too - but wonder about allergies.

  • last month

    It's too bad you don't have many options as to vets. When our elderly little kitty's health began to fail, we were fortunate to have an emergency vet in town that's open 24/7, and a cat hospital just down the street - one of the vets was a specialist in geriatric and palliative care. Such a vet might know more about what may be going on with your guy.