Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Plastic allergies in cats are very common so you did the right thing! Many cats have bad reactions to plastic and end up with cat acne, so if your cat is suffering form autoimmune disease, getting rid of a plastic water fountain will only help!

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

If your pet fountain is made of plastic it is not safe, for two reasons. According to countless authorities it has been proven that most plastics contains a chemical called BPA which is a known carcinogenic. It can give you, and your pet, cancer.
Dirty water fountains and dishes can also be linked to vomiting and diarrhea. Bacteria and algae growth will also alter the taste of the water, making it unappealing for cats to drink. They may even stop using the fountain altogether.
According to Dr. Murithi, plastic cat water fountains might harbor a lot of bacteria and can be a source of allergies. Stone and wood, on the other hand, can hold onto odors. Stainless steel and ceramic materials are best as they are easy to clean and are hygienic.
Drinkwell fountains have nice wide drinking areas that don`t affect a cat`s whiskers. Their constant water flow inhibits bacterial growth. The perpetual running of water through the fountain makes it more difficult for bacteria to set up shop than in a bowl of standing water. Their filters remove bad tastes and odors.
There are very solid reasons why veterinarians recommend cat fountains. Cats crave moving water because in the wild, which cats still very much are, only moving water is safe. Still water is often stagnant, filled with bacteria and can be lethal. Cats are instinctively aware of this.
Stainless steel, ceramic, or glass water dishes are preferred, says Dr. Byrd—but they`re even better if they have a running water or a fountain function. “Cats generally enjoy running water if it doesn`t scare them, so gently moving fountains are great for cats,” says Dr.
In most cases, experts say giving your pets hard water probably won`t cause any problems. The minerals in hard water (calcium, magnesium, and iron) shouldn`t lead to any health issues. However, some veterinarians do advise against giving cats and dogs untreated tap water, and that`s not because of the minerals.
Bottled Water

Bottled water is safe to share with cats and dogs. Opt for spring water or bottled tap water varieties.

In Summary, Stainless Steel is the Best Type of Cat Bowl

Unlike plastic and ceramic, bacteria from leftover food and saliva cannot enter stainless steel`s hard surface, so stainless steel cat bowls are more sanitary. They are also more durable and easier to clean.

The fountain should be cleaned at least once a month to avoid mineral buildup and to ensure clean drinking water for your pet. It is recommended to clean the pump and change the filter when cleaning the fountain. Multi-pet households may need to clean every two weeks.
A fountain or water feature requires upkeep. You`ll have to regularly drain, scrub, and refill the fountain to ensure there is no algae buildup. Keeping a fountain clean involves a lot of work, and if you let it fall into disrepair, it subtracts from the beauty of your landscape design.
Clean the fountain every 3 to 4 days for multiple cats, every 5 to 6 days for a single cat. Allow the number of cats you have to figure into the equation as well as if they are long or short hair. Longhairs will generally want a more frequent cleaning.
If the animals are free-roaming, such as cats and dogs, sharing a water bowl is fine if both pets are comfortable with the arrangement. Regardless of whether pets share a water bowl or not, it is important to take steps to keep the water safe and sanitary.
Yes, you can leave a cat water fountain on all the time. Cat fountains are designed to keep water fresh and cool for your cat. They also have a filter in them that keeps the water clean.
If you`re looking for the healthiest option for your cat, natural spring water is the best way to go. Bottled fresh water from a spring, spring water is free of harmful chemicals like too much chlorine and toxins that can leach into water from plastic water bottles and can cause health issues for your cat.
Place the pet fountain somewhere your pet feels safe.

Place your pet fountain in this favorite space. For instance, your cat might enjoy drinking from the pet fountain in the library, the living room, or even the basement. Cat owners often place their pet fountains on tables or stands.

Not necessarily. Running water doesn`t just provide a pleasant atmosphere in the home, but also encourages cats to drink more water. Even the classic water bowl has its advantages!
If you aren`t cleaning your cat`s water fountain, bacteria can build up and ultimately cause skin allergies and other issues. Clean your fountain by following the manufacturer-provided instructions.
Unfortunately, when black spots appear on the fountain filter, this points to a mold problem. Discard the filter and thoroughly clean the fountain before refilling it. Some types of mold can cause cats to get ill. Make sure to contact your vet in case your cat starts to display signs of illness.
Running Water Tastes Better

Just like us, running water from the faucet may tickle your cat`s tastebuds more than the stale, dusty water in their bowl. “Cats, like all of us, prefer fresh cool water,” Wieber says.

Many cats, like humans, prefer their beverages chilled. You`ll promote more water consumption if you serve it cold. It`s hard to keep refilling your kitty`s water bowl, but luckily you can buy products that keep it chilled for hours.
Many liquid potpourri products and essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous to cats. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.
Evian water is safe for cats to drink because the manufacturers produce the bottles without using BPA. That said, your cat may or may not like the taste.
Dear Readers: Does your dog or cat drink tap water? This could possibly lead to medical problems for the animal. Tap water can contain high amounts of calcium and magnesium, which can contribute to crystals forming in the urine, urinary tract infections and incontinence, among other issues.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I have a cat with an autoimmune disease. I know plastic is bad for cats so I removed the plastic water fountain. Was this the right move?
ANSWER : A. Plastic allergies in cats are very common so you did the right thing! Many cats have bad reactions to plastic and end up with cat acne, so if your cat is suffering form autoimmune disease, getting rid of a plastic water fountain will only help!

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. I want to know from a veterinarian that has owned indoor cats if they agree with declawing? Also, is the whole digit still removed?
ANSWER : A. I am not a veterinarian, but a certified dog trainer. I have studied cat behavior as well, so I have some knowledge in that area. Cats need their claws in my opinion. When a cat is declawed, it can sometimes cause serious anxiety and frustration in the declawed cat. This is because the cat can not de-stress by digging at a scratching post, and a cat feels defenceless without its nails. It is a sad sight to see when a cat who is declawed is dealing with anxiety. I’ve met declawed cats who seem very unstable. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the cats would be so unstable had they not been declawed, but I’ve never seen a cat who has all of its nails act the way a declawed cat acts.

That’s just my two cents.

Read Full Q/A … : snopes.com: Declawing cats

Q. I have a cat with that virur (aids) could u tell me about her disposition and care
ANSWER : A. Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately the discussion about what you asked has no straightforward answers and can be quite complex.

First thing that I would double check, considering that your cat is very young, is whether she is really infected. It is important to remember that kittens born to FIV-infected queens will receive antibodies from the queen via the milk, and so will test positive early in life though they may not be infected. Kittens with a positive test result should always be retested when they are 5-6 months of age.

Many FIV infected cats are able to live happily with the virus for a long period of time, and indeed the virus will not necessarily ever cause clinical disease.

Different factors will influence the onset of disease in your cat including:

– The ”subtype” of FIV your cat is infected with,

– Her immune response

– The presence or absence of other infectious agents.

To maintain a good quality of life for your cat, I will give you these general guidelines, but you will then find certainly helpful to speak with your veterinarian for specific cases.

– Some antiviral medications used in human patients with HIV infection have also been shown to help some cats with FIV infection. Interferons may have anti-viral effects and modify immune responses. A recombinant feline interferon (feline interferon omega) is available in some countries. Down side is the cost usually.

– Keep your cat away from other cats and possible source of infections;

– Maintain good quality nutrition;

– Keep your cat indoor if possible regularly checked by your veterinarian;

– Keep your cat away from non-infected cats.

Q. I have 6 cats, my 2 black, male, cats have small eruptions on the furry bridge area above & to the side of the nose. They dry and form crust scabs.
ANSWER : A. I do agree with the answer below that any time more than one animal in a household is affected with a skin condition we have to rule out contagious disease – even if not every animal in the house in infected. The changes you are describing to your cats’ noses definitely sound compatible with infectious diseases like ringworm and mites (mange). However, if your cats stay indoors and don’t have contact with cats outside of your other cats, and if none of your cats (not just the infected ones) came from a shelter recently it’s probably not something contagious.

I will add that I have seen non-affected cats that carry ringworm and pass it to other animals in the household, so if you have any new cats check for ringworm.

Once infectious causes have been ruled out you can think about strange things, like immune-mediated skin disease (lupus) and solar dermatitis. Diagnosing what exactly is causing the problem and how to treat it may require taking a biopsy from one or preferably both cats.

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.