Does your cat rush to the tap when it’s dripping or dive into the toilet to have a quick drink even though his drinking bowl is full to the brim? Your cat is not alone! This is quite common drinking behaviour amongst cats, but why do they do it?

Many cat owners feed their pets directly next to their cat’s food bowl. Cats might be put off drinking near their food due to the smell or because they perceive the water to be unclean because it is being served near their food. This leads them to seek water elsewhere, such as a toilet bowl (which we know to be far from clean!)

In the wild, cats instinctively look for running water to quench their thirst, steering clear of still water that may have become stagnant. Running water from a tap at home would therefore seem more appealing to a cat.

Another theory as to why cats might not like drinking out of a water bowl is that they can’t see where the water level comes to and they don’t want to get their faces wet.

To encourage your cat to drink from his water bowl, try placing it well away from his food bowl. If he likes drinking from a running tap, you could turn it on from time to time to allow him to have a drink. There are also drinking fountains available designed specifically for cats.

Cats sometimes prefer drinking water that is cold, because they might perceive cold water to be fresher. Keep your cat’s water cold by replenishing it regularly. You could even pop a few ice cubes in the bowl if the weather is particularly warm.

Does your cat have an unusual drinking habit? Tell us about it by leaving a comment on this blog post!

3 Comments
  • Kirk:

    Tap water is horrible for cats … too many chemicals they can not filter.

  • Lynnette:

    Yes, My cat only wants to drink from my drinking glasses. He will run up and smell the side of the glass to see if it has my smell and then he does his little dance on the table with his front paws and then settles down to drink. He loves ice cubes and will bat them around and then shake his paws getting water all over. I put out his own glass which is a coffee mug so he can see the bottom – clear glasses bother him – and I take a drink out of the side so he will drink out of it. Funny

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