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Do you leave a water bowl outside for your feral cats? Do you see them drinking it?

I have a water bowl outside for mr.smokey and it doesnt look like hes been drinking from it. I change the water every week. I would think he would want to drink fresh clean water out of a bowl..then from a stream or a pond or a puddle on the driveway.

Is there a reason that hes not drinking the water that im giving him?
 

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I leave 1 large bowl of water for the cats at the feeding station.
I have to rinse it out and put new water in every morning, because the raccoons have used it for washing during the night and when I get to it, it's icky with both dirt (and random debris) at the bottom, and some slimy film floating on the top.
I take a gallon jug of water with me when I go feed. I toss out the icky water, swish some new water to get all the lose junk out, wipe the bowl with my fingers, rinse, and fill. Once a week I do put it in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.

Whether they drink from it, I dunno. There is a small stream (not much more than a trickle, really) from a nearby artesian well... they could be drinking from that, for all I know.
 

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Midnight, the wild cat who lives in the garage, has access to a dish with fresh water (heated in Winter). I have seen him drink from it, but he also still drinks from the heated birdbath that is on the ground in the back yard during the winter. In the summer, when the birdbath is back on the pedestal, he still stretches up and drinks out of it. I have explained to him what the birds do in there, but he is not impressed. :p I think it goes back to what he was used to doing as he roamed the area looking for food and water before he landed in my woods.
 

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I try to remember to leave out a bowl of water (a bowl that won't be stolen....), especially now that it is getting warm. If it rains or will be raining shortly, I don't obsess about it as much.
I do feed them some canned wet food in addition to the dry (I'd feed more of the wet but $$$$). I make a point of giving them the food with gravy or sauce--more liquid.
 

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I leave out a bowl in the feeding station and also I have one on top of our deck railing. Shadow drinks from both. I have to bring in the one from the feeding station each night or the racoons will wash their feet in it and leave it a muddy mess. The racoons cannot get up on the deck railing, but Shadow will jump up there. He will usually get a drink after eating. Shadow also comes in the house and will drink from the water bowl in the house that Misty and Jake use.

During the winter, I have a heated water bowl that Shadow, the birds and other wild life would all share. Now that it's warmer, I have put it away until next year.
 

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Yup, I forgot about the bird baths! LOL
You can see that they have TWO bowls (white) of water... yet they use the bird bath instead. Cynthia (mother) in the first pic, and Disco (daughter) in the second





Zinny (sister to Disco) just uses it for shade

 

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In the Summer, I also put out a big, round, shallow plastic pan filled with water for use by the ground critters. Even though it is right alongside one of their favorite trees, the squirrels still like to jump up and drink from the birdbath. :?:
 

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I change the water every night when I feed the colony, because they won't drink water that's been lying for more than 1 day. When it rains, I don't bother much because they prefer the puddles. In summer, they prefer to drink from the air conditioning draining pipes, so the water I leave them will be mostly untouched.
 

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We joke about green water in my family. Cats and dogs will walk right past a bowl of fresh, clean, cool water just to drink out of a scummy mud puddle with green water in it.

You should always provide good water for them of course. But for whatever reason, a lot of them prefer the crap water over the people water. Go figure.
 

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I've read it's the chlorine we're fed that they don't like.

And Goldtanker, please do not make me laugh outloud after 9 pm. You just woke Prince up. LOL @ those photos :)
 

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That is way cool. How did you get the pictures of all the animals using the dish? Guess leaving water available helps not just ferals!

 

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Food Guy, you're very lucky to have the freedom to feed any animals you want, without neighbors threatening and harrassing you every step of your way. I had a hard day today on the subject.
 
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