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I would do the same, and change out my cats' water bowl each morning. They were particular about fresh water as well. And as soon as I got them a fountain, they started drinking from it A LOT more often. They loved it! Mine has a little charcoal filter in the intake, so it's been lasting pretty well. Cats really prefer moving water, which is why they love it so much. Mine specifically drink out of the mini waterfall part. Cats also usually like it better when their food and water are separated, in different spots.
Not OP, but I got a really nice one from Amazon. Just make sure you get one where the motor is replaceable. They stop working after a while, and I didn't realize this, and my first cat fountain didn't have a replaceable motor, so I had to buy a new fountain all together. I ended up getting this one, and my cats love it.
I have one kitty who I seriously never saw drink water before buying the fountain. She was an only cat for a while, too, and I never noticed her water level changing in her bowl. She drinks from this though quite a lot, and so does her newer pal :-)
Side note, but you have to clean them pretty regularly, and I have found that pipe cleaners work great for the water spouts in them!
We have this multi-tier fountain from PetSafe that we got from amazon.
My cat never drank water from a bowl, no matter how many different materials/shapes/places/temperatures that we tried to encourage her. But she loves her water fountain and drinks from it daily. It does get annoying to have to wash, and you'll probably have to do it more frequently with 3 cats, but it's worth it.
I would definitely take the cat to the vet first off to make sure to get a good exam and that it is up to date with shots. Definitely get a litter box and litter. When it comes to feeding be sure to feed both dry and wet food. For food definitely look for food that has chicken as the main ingredient. I recently learned grain free is the best. As for water source I use a drinking fountain for my boys. (I got it on amazon and here is the link. [link]) Definitely have a range of toys: from dancers, little balls, laser points, etc) Have treats when they do a good deed. Give him time to explore and let him come to you rather you force him to snuggle and cuddle, etc. Hope this helps and keep us posted and post pictures too!
I have a cat that does this with bowls of water and we have a water fountain. He will flip bowls and can't flip the fountain so he just sticks his paws in or stands on the top tier with his front paws so I have to clean it way more often. The other cat is normal and just drinks from the fountain.
My cat was absolutely the same. She never had a problem drinking from them, but just loved to see it move or splash. Got her a fountain and she goes crazy with it, and only spills whatever she flicks off her paws
Both of ours had very rusty looking beards that no amount of shampooing removed. About a year ago we purchased a filtered water drinking bowl from Amazon for 30 bucks and have had mostly white beards since making the switch. You do need to change the filter every two weeks, or at least we do with the water in our area. We also use a product called Blueberry Facial for washing their faces.
I first bought a plastic one with the flower on top and he tore the top off, then tipped it over to flood the floor. Then I bought a metal one that was bigger and he wouldn't even drink out of it, but again ripped the top off. This is what I finally bought from Amazon and he drinks out of it and can't take it apart: PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Cat and Dog Water Fountain - Automatic Drinking Fountain for Pets - 100 oz. Water Capacity [link]
I had this fountain, and my cats became adept at knocking it over. If that sounds like something your cat would do, look for one that's bottom-heavy. I got this one and it's great:
PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Dog and Cat Water Fountain, Automatic Drinking Fountain for Pets, 100 oz. Water Capacity [link]
I would recommend a pet fountain just so you don't have to constantly fill it. [link] and I give a teaspoon of wet food in the morning and evening when I feed them to help with moister. But yeah let us know what the vet says though.
I got this for my cat, and put the water bowl out of sight from the food dish in the kitchen, and my cat seems to drink more which made his litter box a little less ammonia smelling, I felt like his urine wasn't as concentrated. Just wanted to throw it out there because it was a huge help for me.
You do need to change the filters every few weeks or so, but luckily you can buy a 12 pk of filters for less than $10 too. I actually got screwed and bought the unit itself from Petsmart for like $50-$60 and it's on Amazon now for $30.
petsafe drinkwell multi-tier
Easy to clean, charcoal filters, holds almost 1 gallon of water
This the one I have for almost the last 2 years. It's plastic but cleans pretty well. He shouldn't be able to tip this over. [link]
I've used this for about a year, and it still works well: https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Drinkwell-Multi-Tier-Fountain-Automatic/dp/B0056ASTES/ref=sr_1_17
Generic replacement filters are pretty cheap on Amazon too
I don't have that particular fountain, so I can't comment on it. But I've purchased fountains in the past for a multi pet household (2 cats, 2 dogs around 20 pounds each). Due to the glory or horror that is Amazon, I can tell you that I purchased this one over 3 years ago, this one 2.5 years ago, this one a little over 2 years ago, and this one just under 2 years ago. I purchased the multiple ones because I wanted to have them available in multiple rooms of the house. At any given time, 3 of them are out and running, and one of them is either being cleaned or is in storage until I clean the next one. (I clean one fountain out about every 3-4 days, so no fountain in my house goes longer than about 1.5 weeks without being cleaned. I can't get them to go longer.) All of the fountains and pumps are the original parts and are still running well.
The PetSafe fountains are kind of nice because many of them use the same type of pump, and it's one that's readily available for reorder. I haven't had to replace a pump yet, but I ordered a backup just in case, just because it was cheap and easy to do. With cleaning a fountain every 2-4 weeks, one thing that might happen is that the pump might wear out faster.
Of the ones I have, I do find that the Cat H2O and Dog H2O fountains do the best at both keeping the surface water clean and being easiest to clean. They each have parts around the pump, where hair and gunk are most likely to accumulate, that pull off and are easy to clean. There aren't really a whole lot of nooks and crannies elsewhere in the fountain for that to accumulate, so it's possible to do an intermediate cleaning job on those without dumping and disassembling the whole fountain. (For what it's worth, I bought the Cat H2O fountain first and bought the Dog H2O one after because I liked the design but wanted more capacity. I would tell you that with a single 13 pound dog, the cat size would be fine.) The drawback is that the pump itself is encased in a plastic cover, so I can't clean it directly. It does look like replacement pumps are available right now, but I don't remember seeing them as easily when I was first looking.
With 3 cats, I offer you should using some fountain capacity more than 70 oz.
Here is some best idea for your cats:
You can read full the article I just done here: https://pawsometalk.com/best-cat-water-fountains/
PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Pet Fountain, 100 oz.