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Is there a way to prevent mold from forming in a cat's water bowl?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Lord Vader, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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    For my cat I have a Drinkwell water fountain bowl that I use. I've used it for a few years and have no complaints with it, and it provides a constant stream of fresh water with its additional reservoir attached. Lately, however, I've noticed that after I clean it and refill it, within a day or two green mold starts to grow in the main bowl area. I then have to clean it and refill it, only to have the mold come back again.

    This began happening within the last two weeks. Just an FYI--I moved the water bowl along with his main litter box and his main food bowl onto my outdoor balcony, which is a huge, deeply recessed and covered balcony. I assume the mold build-up is partially because the bowl is in an outside environment, and the Houston area can get a bit humid, to say the least. However, the water bowl has been on the balcony for at least 2 months, and it has been humid off and on during those times, but not terribly humid. The mold just started popping up; it wasn't there when the bowl was first moved outside.

    I know there are water treatment items for such situations, but they're designed for other entities and not for drinking water for animals--or are there? I've looked around and can find only items that are designed for fish tanks. Even a Google search couldn't find something that could be safely added to the water to prevent or delay mold build-up while be harmless to a cat drinking that water.

    If anyone has any ideas on how, or even IF, I can tackle this minor issue, I'm all ears.
     
  2. gov

    gov Legend

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    Mold? Or is it algae?
     
  3. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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  4. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I was about to suggest that... We have dog bowls outside, and I do need to rinse them every day due to dirt (and this time of year pollen)... but I've never seen mold in the metal bowls.
     
  5. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    Feline water need to be replace daily.

    I have one cat that insist he drinks only from the tap.
     
  6. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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  7. Charise

    Charise AllStar/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    And I've only seen one aerated water system that's ceramic instead of plastic. I don't know why these manufacturers insist on using plastic instead of something cats like to drink from such as metal or ceramic.

    I could only suggest washing the bowl well with bleach and thoroughly cleaning it before setting it out again. I'm thinking that it might clean all the minerals from the crevices in the bowl and retard the growth of algae or mold. Obviously, that's only a guess.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Number Six

    Number Six Cool Member

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    My outside cats seem to prefer the filth in the bird bath to the bowl of fresh water I put out most days.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. jdh8668

    jdh8668 Legend

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    You mentioned you cleaned the bowl, but have you changed the filter lately? Ours gets dirty because one of our two, loves dropping their food into their water. No one's fessed up yet.
     
  10. shuye

    shuye AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    Could it be pollen? We live in SW Houston and get a lot of Oak and grass pollen at this time of year.
     
  11. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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    The filter is new--I changed it last week--and it's enclosed in its own tank in the back of the unit.

    No, I don't think so, because even the reservoir, which is totally closed except for the spout opening on the bottom (and that stays under water), has this yello-green appearance to it.
     
  12. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    The OP mentioned he had a Drinkwell water fountain. Since the water continually recirculates itself and goes through a filtering process each time, it does not need to be changed as often. Still, it should be changed out at least twice a week.


    I have the same system and have used it for years and have seen the same thing. The first question is the mold/algae appearing in the same location? If so, do you notice anything different about that area (gnawing, plastic feels different). In our case, I believe the cat wore out a section of the bowl (through gnawing or something else) that caused bacteria from saliva to stick to the worn area causing the mold/alage to be formed.
     
  13. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

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    Agreed. I have seen this algae grow on my pet's water dishes, including my cat's, dog's, and chicken's watering bowls. Just a quick shot of chlorine bleach mixed with water and scrub it out. That should kill any algae that's in there.
     
  14. gov

    gov Legend

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    don't know if positioning can be changed, but algae won't grow in the dark
     
  15. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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    That's a good point. I had wondered about that as well, so what I did this morning was to place a covering over the whole fountain. I used the purple, plastic, house-like cover from my Scoop Free litter box (the cover wasn't being used) and placed it over the fountain. It has a large opening in the front so my cat can easily access the large water bowl.
     
  16. tsmacro

    tsmacro Hall Of Fame

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    I do know that Algae loves sunshine so hopefully covering it will help. I had a fish tank where sunshine would hit just one side of it through a window and there was always algae on that side that needed cleaning off.
     
  17. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    Didn't know it had a filtering system.

    But does raise the Q - when was the last time the filter was changed?
     
  18. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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    As I mentioned above, the charcoal based filter was changed just last week when I cleaned the entire apparatus. I always keep the filters clean between cleanings, too.
     
  19. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    When you did your cleaning, did you happen to check the submersible pump? Sometimes that needs a good cleaning as well..
     
  20. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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    Yup. When I clean this thing, I go all out. I go through every component and part with a fine tooth comb. :)
     

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