2019 journal article

Quantified water intake in laboratory cats from still, free-falling and circulating water bowls, and its effects on selected urinary parameters


By: M. Robbins*, M. Cline*, J. Bartges *, E. Felty*, K. Saker n, R. Bastian*, A. Witzel*

co-author countries: United States of America πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
author keywords: Water intake; FLUTD; feline lower urinary tract disease; RSS; relative super saturation; urine specific gravity; urolith
MeSH headings : Animals; Animals, Laboratory; Calcium Oxalate / urine; Cats; Drinking / physiology; Drinking Water / analysis; Laboratory Animal Science / instrumentation; Struvite / urine; Urinalysis / veterinary
Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 12, 2019

Objectives The study objectives were to determine if the method of water presentation (still [S], circulating [C] or free-falling [FF] bowl systems) influences daily water consumption in cats in a controlled environment, and whether differences in water intake affect urine relative super saturation (RSS) for calcium oxalate and struvite, urine specific gravity (USG), urine osmolality (Uosmol) and urine volume. Methods Sixteen healthy laboratory cats fed a dry diet were individually housed with urine collection systems. Each cat underwent a randomized 2 week crossover period with all bowl systems, allowing a 1 week acclimation period between each crossover. Water intake was measured daily by bowl weight, accounting for spillage and evaporation. USG and urine volume were measured daily, whereas other urinary parameters were measured at various time points throughout each 14 day crossover period. Results Fourteen cats completed the study. Average daily water intake (ml/kg/day), urine volume, USG and urine RSS for struvite and calcium oxalate were not significantly different between water bowls. Uosmol was significantly higher in C compared with S and FF bowl systems ( P = 0.009 for both). Three individual cats demonstrated a significant water bowl preference (Cat 4: C >S, P = 0.039; Cat 10: FF >C, P = 0.005; Cat 11: S >C, P = 0.037). Conclusions and relevance Overall, water bowl type had no appreciable effect on water intake. Uosmol was the only urinary parameter found to be significantly different, and was higher for the C bowl. The implication of this is unknown, considering water intake did not differ significantly between bowls. Alternative methods to increase water intake should be implemented beyond providing unique water bowls in patients where augmented water intake would be beneficial for disease management.