Does Your Cat Drink From The Water Faucet?
If you find that your cat runs to the sink everytime she hears you turn on the water faucet don't be surprised. Most cats prefer running water to water that is standing still, such as that found in their water bowl.
One theory as to why cats prefer running water is that it may be due to an evolutionary process. Before humans kept cats as pets and provided water bowls full of fresh water, cats had to find their own sources of fresh drinking water. Running water is generally much healthier and less poluted than stagnant, still water, and so the cats that preferred to drink running water may have survived longer and more of their genes may have gotten into the kitty genepool.
Another theory (mine) is that water running from the faucet just tastes better than the water in your cat's bowl. After all, would you like to drink water from a cup or glass that has been sitting around all day? In addition, water coming from the faucet is usually colder than water that has been sitting in your cat's water bowl.
Perhaps your cat isn't yet drinking from the faucet, but is using her paw to splash water out of her water bowl. She may do this because she wants to get the water moving or maybe she's checking the temperature. Or maybe your cat likes to tip over his bowl and drink the water directly off the floor. One theory as to why cats like to get the water in their bowl moving before they start drinking is because it is easier for them to see it once it is moving. If your cat can't see the water level as well when the water is still then your cat may accidentally stick her face down in the water bowl too far and then she will get her face wet when she tries to get a drink, which most cats don't enjoy.
If your cat is reluctant to drink the water from her bowl the list below provides some useful tips to try to get your cat to drink from his or her own bowl or some alternative place of your choosing (hopefully without splashing the water out all over the floor). The most important thing is that your cat get enough water to drink. In general cats don't need to drink a lot of water, especially if they eat canned food because it contains some water. However, kidney problems are common in older cats and so perhaps drinking more water throughout their life may help to prevent or delay this problem.
- Try putting ice in your cat's bowl so that the water will be colder.
- Move your cat's water bowl to a different location separate from your cat's food dish. It is possible that your cat doesn't like to smell her food while she drinks water.
- Try buying your cat a different type of water dish. Water bowls made from different materials may smell different to your cat. Perhaps your cat doesn't like the smell of the plastic that his or her water bowl is made from. So try ceramic or metal bowls. In addition, plastic bowls harbor more bacteria than the other types of bowls.
- If your cat tips over his water bowl then you can buy non-tippable bowls. These are usually metal bowls that have a rubber rim around the bottom. This makes it harder for your cat to slide the bowl across the floor and to tip it over. However, some very persistent cats can still manage to tip these bowls over.
- Buy your cat his or her very own cat water fountain. There are several types and they provide running water for your cat. I've not used one, but I've heard from several people that their cat loves drinking from their water fountain. The water will already be moving and so your cat won't need to splash water out all over before getting a drink.
- Or, just do what I do, put out water bowls for your cat, but several times a day turn on a small stream of water in the sink and let your cat drink his or her fill.