I need some waterguns that, you know, hold water
May 10, 2020 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Parents (and cat parents) of MetaFilter! I'm looking for small water pistols that don't leak.

I have two very adorable, but very naughty one-year-old cats. They like to jump on the counters, chew on the plants, and generally misbehave.

As every cat owner knows, there's no deterrent like a well-aimed squirt of water. So I keep a few water pistols stashed throughout the apartment.

But all of the pistols I've bought are cheap garbage – they leak all over my furniture, and some of them leak so badly that they're empty by the time I need them.

Have you found water pistols that don't leak so badly? I imagine that I'll pay a premium for such a thing, but I don't want some big, bulky Super Soaker type thing – preferably something simple and compact.
posted by escape from the potato planet to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Spray bottle, like ones that are used for cleaning products, often have a configuration for a single jet of water.
posted by Mistress at 5:27 AM on May 10, 2020 [21 favorites]

I agree with Mistress and recommend this 99 cent spray bottle from Ikea (turquoise/pink colour options), nozzle is adjustable from fine mist to thin high powered stream.
Also cat tax please.
posted by tangaroo at 5:50 AM on May 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

Empty spray bottles can also be found at beauty supply stores. Do check that they'll do what you want, though; the "mist" feature is what you need for makeup & hair & such, and so the designs sold at beauty supply stores don't always allow for a jet of water.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:12 AM on May 10, 2020

Nthing spray bottles with adjustable nozzles, if you're OK with "noticeably larger than a squirt gun." Readily available all over the place - at big box & (probably) smaller local hardware stores, dollar stores, probably a lot of drug stores, "department" stores like Target & WalMart.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:23 AM on May 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

We have a bottle that used to contain laundry stain remover, a couple that used to contain pet urine enzyme cleaner-upper, and one purpose-bought garden spray bottle. All of them have nozzles that can be adjusted to make an excellent jet that's still workably accurate at around four metres. All of them were thoroughly cleaned out with hot water before we started deterring our little interior dedecorators with plain water from inside them.

You can get a lot more force behind your jet with three fingers on a spray bottle lever than with one finger on a piddly little water pistol trigger.
posted by flabdablet at 7:28 AM on May 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Agree with above about spray types but add that using water on one of my cats did not solve her behaviour and made her into a mean cat. It took a lot of cuddles to resolve (and my use of water was quick squirts not abusive). I have stuck to firm no and lifting them off since. With varying degrees of success
posted by biggreenplant at 7:43 AM on May 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

As every cat owner knows, there's no deterrent like a well-aimed squirt of water.

Cat owner here. Most experts will tell you do not squirt cats for behavioral issues. This is a good way to get the cat to associate punishment with you. Positive reinforcement works much better.

We have seven cats. We've fostered more than thirty kittens in the past 3 years. In a pinch I will use canned air (they hate the sound) to break up two of the male cats that have a grudge with each other. But we do not use water guns or water spraying of any kind. It's not recommended by any of the vets I've ever talked to.
posted by jzb at 7:49 AM on May 10, 2020 [6 favorites]

I have had good luck just telling my cats when I don’t like what they’re doing by hissing.
posted by aubilenon at 10:19 AM on May 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Huh. Squirt bottles have worked well with my cats, to the point I don't have to actually squirt, just slosh the bottle, to get them to stop doing things. But it's only for high-level annoyance after all else fails. Honestly half the time the squirt doesn't actually touch them. I've also done a lot of moving breakables into storage and adding toys and a catio so they were less bored.

My cats are still pretty young. As they age I expect them to be less hyper and destructive.
posted by emjaybee at 10:30 AM on May 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

In a pinch I will use canned air (they hate the sound)

One of our hypercurious little fuzzybutts is totally deaf. FSSSST works well to tell Little Cat A that she needs to take ten to twenty percent of the top there, but Little Cat B remains completely oblivious until physically or visually intercepted.

Visual interception was doing almost nothing until a bit of the physical kind taught her what was was likely to happen next unless it did. A quick spritz from a squirt bottle has been the best thing for getting her attention when that needs to happen right now and not in a good way. We very rarely need it now; she knows what's up as soon as she sees somebody reach for one, though if she's engrossed in batting things along the benchtop toward the hotplates on the stove again she won't usually see that.

As for associating me with punishment, well, it doesn't seem to have altered her habit of seeking me out when she's finished attending to all her other hobbies for of an evening of lengthy snuggling sessions.

I don't believe our spray bottle use has been doing her, or our relationships with her, any harm whatsoever. And I know for sure that when she was younger it saved her from at least three episodes of second degree burns to the front paw pads.
posted by flabdablet at 12:57 PM on May 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

As a foster who has a spray bottle in every room..... I can tell you that this spray bottle is better than all the squirt guns I've tried. In Walgreens, you find them wherever the travel-sized personal care products are. If just water isn't enough, you can add a tiny bit of a nontoxic scent (like citrus), which most cats hate. When using scent, I avoid spraying them in the face.
posted by answergrape at 10:47 AM on May 12, 2020

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