Cats and running water

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Some cats are very finicky about their water. You leave fresh water out for them all day, but the minute you turn on the tap they come rushing for a drink. So what is the attraction with cats and running water?

Maybe your cat will drink from a bowl but insist on splashing the water with their paw or keeps tipping the bowl inorder to drink from the floor. Your cat may even balance precariously on the toilet seat to drink from the toilet bowl. You may have an outdoor that favours dirty rain water rather than the fresh supply you provide.

Why the odd behaviour?

No-one is really sure exactly why cats can be so finicky about their water but there are a couple of theories. There may be an instinctual aversion to still water. In the wild, cats will usually only drink moving water which helps prevent them from becoming sick. Alternatively, it could be that your cat has learned that water tends to be cooler when it's rain water or from a tap.

It's also possible that the water is just a toy for your cat. To your cat, flipping over the water bowl or trying to catch the falling drips from a tap might make a great game, as well as having the added benefit of quenching their thirst.

Cats don't need much water to drink, especially if they eat et food which contains a lot of water in it. However, it is still important to make sure your cat has fresh water available at all times.

Drinking from a bowl

There are a few things you can do to encourage your cat to drink from the bowl.

Try moving the water bowl to somewhere that isn't alongside their food. Your cat may be picky about having food and water right next to each other.

If you think your cat doesn't like the temperature of the water, try adding a few ice cubes to the bowl.

You may want to try changing the bowl entirely. Different types of bowl will give different tastes to the water. If your cat currently has a plastic bowl, try a metal, ceramic, or even a glass one. If your cat is a bowl tipper, try looking for a wider bowl with a rubber base, this will foil even the most dedicated of cats.

Cat drinking fountains are also available that either constantly run water in a loop, or are activated by your cat approaching it. These require electricity so you'll need to find a suitable place close to a power socket.

You can occasionally leave the tap dripping for your cat to have a drink. Your cat will drink from any source if thirsty enough, but you may choose to occasionally offer water from the tap as a treat.

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