Archie + Annabel – a muddy puddle or the family silver?

Dogs and Cats are soooo different! Look at Archie and Annabel for instance. Archie bounces off the walls, he’s everyone’s friend, and he’s a dirt collector extraordinaire. Annabel is reserved, aloof, noble, and well groomed. You wouldn’t see her racing around a park chasing squirrels or terrifying the postman. There are definitely more differences than similarities between dogs and cats.

Even the way that dogs and cats drink is different and their techniques match their personalities too. The area around the dogs bowl will be splattered with drool and water and they really don’t seem to care how stagnant or grotty the water is or where it is. Cats however want their water to resemble a crystal clear babbling brook and be positioned ‘just so’ away from their food. There is no need for a ‘beer mat’ around cats drinking area, they drink like a duchess.

So why do dogs drink like they’re downing a yard of ale at a fresher’s week and cats sip silently with their little finger extended? Recently scientists have analysed how dogs and cats drink using high quality slow motion footage and, no surprise, realised that they’re completely different! David Derbyshire of the Daily Mail says ‘Cats lap using sophisticated hydrodynamics, having struck a perfect balance between the forces of inertia and gravity – where as dogs messily slurp water using their tongue as a crude ladle.’ No wonder dogs are so messy – yuck!

Cats from the humble alley cat to the tiger, the king of the jungle, have all mastered the art of extending their tongue towards the surface of a liquid with the tip curled slightly back wards in a ‘J’ shape. The curled tip just touches the surface of the liquid just before the cat quickly withdraws it. As it does so a column of fluid is drawn up from the surface. The cat then closes its mouth chopping off the top of the column of fluid and drinking it. Timing is everything – if the cat was too close or moved its mouth too slowly the column would fall back towards the liquids surface and it would miss it.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, and Princeton University in the US estimate that your average domestic cat typically laps four times a second and with each lap consumes 0.1ml of liquid!

Cats on dried biscuit diets have to drink two and a half times more water than a cat fed tinned food to achieve their average daily water requirement 300ml of water! With each lap providing just 0.1ml of fluid and at rate of four laps a second, cats on dry food need to lap for over 12 minutes a day and cats on tinned food need to lap for just under 5 minutes. Cats can be fussy drinkers and need all of the encouragement they can have to drink. The Drinkwell® Pet Fountain literally brings that babbling brook into your home giving your cat an optimum drinking opportunity.

A Pet Fountain may not be high up on your average healthy dog’s wish list; however, when dogs are unwell and they need to be encouraged to drink, pet fountains come into their own. So Annabel will always love her Drinkwell® but Archie won’t necessarily appreciate it until he has ‘dog-flu’!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, General