My Cat Only Drinks From the Faucet

CatChannel behavior expert Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, discusses why some cats are attracted to running water.

Q: My cat, Poodle Girl, will only drink water out of the bathroom faucet. She refuses to drink out of her water bowl even when I put it in front of her. I can’t leave the faucet on for her all day. My water bills are already sky-high because I occasionally forget to turn off the water when I leave for the day. While I’m at work, I am constantly worrying that she’s not getting enough water to drink. Why won’t she drink from her bowl? What can I do about this?

A: Running water is very attractive to many cats because it’s fresh, clean and it’s moving. Since water sitting in bowls for longer then a day can become stale, make sure that Poodle Girl’s water bowl is filled with fresh water every day. The bowls also need to be thoroughly washed out frequently since they can become dirty.

There is a faucet adopter available that will simultaneously accommodate Poodle Girl’s drinking preferences and will save your water bills. These motion-sensitive adopters easily connect directly to your faucet. They operate with an infrared sensor that turns the water on when it detects movement underneath or in front of it. Poodle Girl can easily turn the water on with a movement of her head or paw. Additionally, there is a button on the side which allows you to use the faucet as a standard water-delivery system if you choose. My cats love them; not only do they use them for drinking, but they play in the water and enjoy lying underneath the running water, getting sopping wet.

Another more unobvious reason that cats sometimes refuse to drink from their bowls is related to the bowl shape and size and the phenomena of cat whiskers. Since cat whiskers are very sensitive, small deep bowls can be uncomfortable and annoying to a cat when their whiskers touch the side. Many cats with water bowl challenges prefer to drink water from bowls that are large and shallow enough that their whiskers won’t brush the sides.

Many cats have a love affair with water. Some love to play in water; others enjoy a dip or cavorting with their favorite person in the shower. Turkish Vans and Bengals are two cat breeds known for their fondness for water.  Every cat, no matter the breed, is an individual, and some prefer keeping their favorite person company next to the bathtub instead of joining them for a bath. 


Article Categories:
Behavior and Training · Cats