This will be obvious to a great many cat owners, but for the newbs… these aren’t just froofy toys for pampered kitties. It is really important that you get a good water fountain for your cat.
Cats have a very specific desire for running water. This is an evolutionary trait which has served them well during the course of their evolution and you’re not going to be able to train them out of it in a million years. In nature running water sources are usually cleaner and carry much less bacteria than stale stagnant water. So you need to accept that your cat would rather get severely dehydrated than drink still water and if you put out a bowl of water for your cat, it is just going to get ignored until your cat is really really thirsty.
On top of this, dehydration can cause all sorts of urinary and kidney problems including bladder stones (which happen when your cat does not pass water often enough and so suffers a build up of minerals with no place else to go.) Ewwww!
So a water fountain is exactly what your cat needs to stay healthy and hydrated. They’re an absolute essential. You can get a good one for about £25 or a swish one for about £40…
…Or a ridiculous one if you are the owner of a cat like Teabag who won’t drink from any fountain other than the PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain Honestly, he’ll dive into a flushing toilet, but won’t drink out of anything made of plastic. He assures me that style is also an aspect of cat evolution which can have serious life or death consequences but I think he just likes that fountain because it’s shiny and expensive. Ah well, at least it’s dishwasher safe.