According to the Feline Health Center at Cornell University, cats should consume approximately 4 ounces (roughly 118 milliliters) of water daily for every 5 pounds of lean body weight. Although cats are considered to be arid, or able to live in dry settings, they do need to drink water daily.
When you are at home, it is simple to assist your cat in maintaining proper hydration levels by monitoring the level of water in its dish and providing fresh water on a daily basis. However, keeping track of how much your cat consumes while you are absent can be a difficult task, especially if you have many pets that drink from the same water bowls.
The Felaqua Connect from Sure Petcare is a “smart” water bowl for cats. It makes use of Bluetooth to keep track of how much your cat is drinking and updates you on its progress using an app on your smartphone. We gave it a shot for a month with our kitten, who was just four months old at the time, and she used the drinking fountain alongside our dog and an older cat.
Our evaluation of the Felaqua Connect pet water dispenser for cats
The Felaqua Connect consists of three primary parts: the inverted water reservoir that is Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered, and mounts to a shallow bowl; the Hub, which is available separately and connects to WiFi; and the software that you download on your phone to control the Felaqua Connect. The water reservoir contains sensors that can determine when the cat comes to drink, how long they stay there, and how much water they consume on each visit. The app receives a transmission of all of this information.
How it feels to make use of it
The simplest part of the process was setting up the Felaqua. It took approximately 20 minutes to complete the process, which included downloading the app onto my phone, unwrapping the Hub, connecting it to my WiFi network, registering my kitten’s microchip, and getting the Hub to “speak” to the Bluetooth.
The most challenging aspect was getting Mr. Kitten comfortable with the idea of drinking from the fountain. He merely gave off the impression of being wary of it, which was also the response of our test cats when they used the Sure Petcare Feeder. When the water from the reservoir is dispensed into the bowl, the fountain generates a distinct bubbling and blurping sound, which, according to a Frequently Asked Questions section on the Sure Petcare website, might scare certain cats. It is recommended that you fill the shallow bowl manually for a few days prior to using the reservoir. This will allow you to avoid the blurping noise while acclimating your cat to the fountain.
The readout on the Felaqua app indicated the 15 to 20 milliliters of water that our kitten consumed each time he drank from the fountain. It also displayed his photo (which we had uploaded) and his microchip number. Then, however, after a couple of days had passed, the app readout revealed that the kitten had consumed 52 milliliters of water in a single session. It seemed ridiculous considering how little he weighed, about 6 pounds. The following day, the app noted that he drank 58 milliliters, which was, once again, a significant amount for such a little individual. Did he have a health problem, or was the problem with the device?
After about a day or two, we noticed that our dog, who does not have a microchip, was drinking water from the fountain at the same time that the kitten was using it. We inferred that the dog drank from it on her own because the readout on the app revealed that there was sometimes an unexplained “removal” of 60 to 70 milliliters of water from the bowl. It is possible that the dog drank from the bowl on her own (next to a question mark on the timestamp).
Due to the fact that only the kitten had a microchip, the readout would always show the kitten’s picture and give him all of the “credit” whenever the two of them shared a drink of water. Even though it is possible to use a RIFD tag instead of a microchip (RIFD tags are sold separately and are linked to the pet’s collar), I was skeptical that this would assist me in monitoring the amount of water that my cat consumes. This is due to the fact that the Bluetooth cannot determine who drank how much when pets drink together or even when they “gather round the water cooler” at the same time, as stated on the Sure Petcare website.
Why does it stand out from other things?
The reservoir of the Felaqua was simple to assemble, clean, and replenish because it consisted of only two parts that needed to be unscrewed. It has a capacity of 946 milliliters (1 quart) and will notify the app when the water level is getting dangerously low. When it came to setting up the entire system, one feature that stood out to me was how the cat “ears” on the Hub would flash red whenever there was a problem with the WiFi connection. With the assistance of the troubleshooting guide on the Sure Petcare website, I was able to fix the problem in a short amount of time.
Other types of water dispensers for pets make use of carbon filters and battery-operated pumps to create a fountain-like movement in the water. However, very few people monitor the amount of water that their pets drink. There is a product available called the Pawbo Spring Dog and Cat Fountain. This fountain has a tracker that can be attached to the collar of the pet in order to provide readouts on how much water the pet is drinking. In addition, it filters the water, and its price is comparable to that of the Felaqua. Although we have not put it through our own testing, it has received highly varied reviews.
It took some time for a timid young cat to become used to drinking from the Felaqua fountain because the noise caused by the water being dispensed from the fountain’s reservoir into the bowl shocked him at first. Despite the fact that this problem has been fixed, the Felaqua is still not a good option for households that have more than one creature that drinks from it at the same time. The website for Sure Petcare provides solutions to this problem, such as tilting the feeder so that only one pet may access it at a time or purchasing a second device to use in its place. Neither of these choices is perfect, and for some people, the costs may make them unfeasible.
The bare essentials
The Felaqua has the potential to correctly track your pets’ water intake, which is an essential component of your pet’s overall health and wellness if all of your creatures are either microchipped or attached to the device via an RFID tag. The application is user-friendly and entertaining to use, and it provides detailed readouts alongside a picture of your pet. However, the readouts will be confusing unless all of the creatures are taught to take turns sipping from the bowl and to wait their time before doing so. Those who live in households with only one cat, on the other hand, will find it to be an extremely helpful tool for monitoring their feline family member’s well-being.
Pros: The setup and troubleshooting are both simple, and the app is helpful.
Cons: The reservoir is small and needs to be refilled frequently; the noise from the reservoir scares away skittish cats; the device is unable to collect reliable data for multiple pets drinking at the same time.