We all need to drink more water. For humans, there are apps and even smart water bottles to keep us on track. For our pets, it isn’t as easy. We can encourage them to drink more by keeping water fresh and away from food and litter, but if we aren’t watching their every move it’s hard to be sure they’re drinking enough. And forget trying to answer a vet asking how often they drink.
I’ve been testing Sure Petcare’s app-supported Felaqua Connect water bowl for nearly a month, and it has kept me better informed without annoying my two cats more than I usually do. It tracks which pet drank from it and how many ounces were consumed. Small dogs can use the Felaqua too, but it’s made for cats as they tend to not feel as thirsty as dogs, which could lead to real problems real fast. We feel dehydration, but your kitty friend might not.
For the Sure Petcare app (iOS, Google Play) to accurately track which cat is drinking in a multi-pet household, your pets need to be microchipped or you’ll need to attach an RFID tag to their collar. Microchipping is standard among veterinarians, and it can help get your pet back to you if they’re lost. Without a chip or tag, the Felaqua will still deliver notifications on how much your cats are drinking, you just won’t know which cat is lapping up.
The downside is you have to set up the hub to use the app — it plugs into your router and lets you access notifications and controls from anywhere in the world. I prefer smart home gadgets that don’t need a hub, but this one is small and cute with its light-up cat ears. (You can dim them or turn them off in the app.) If you get other products from Sure Petcare, like its feeder or door flap, you won’t need to add any more hubs.
Once I set up the hub and connected the water bowl, adding each cat was easy. The app walks you through getting them close enough to the bowl so it can scan their chips. Just assign their name to their respective microchip number.
The rest of the app is straightforward and informative. The homepage shows quick info on each pet, like when they last drank. Clicking on your pet’s profile opens up more individual information, like how many ounces of water they drank that day and what their daily average is (how many drinks per day and average time spent at the bowl). It also gives you a picture graph of how much water is remaining in the reservoir. You can scroll back a few days, or open a calendar graph. If you also have Sure Petcare’s feeder, you can toggle between the two stats on the pet profiles.