Water Bowl Playtime

A feline behavior expert explains why a cat may have developed a sudden interest in her water bowl.

Q: I have two 15-year-old indoor cats, Harry and Sally. Recently, Sally began playing in the water bowl. She makes a big mess! Do you have any suggestions?

Pam Johnson-Bennett talks about renal failure in cats.Feline behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Think Like a Cat, says:
I have two suggestions for you. First, because of your cat’s age, I would recommend a trip to the veterinarian because older cats are prone to renal failure. Chronic renal failure (CRF) causes the cat to drink more water and so the cat may be playing around the water bowl or pawing at it due to an increased interest in it.

Many cats do play in the water and to help with that, you can get a pet water fountain. They are available at pet supply stores and the running water entertains the cat and encourages her to drink more.

To help with any spills, you can place the water fountain on a pet placemat that has raised edges also available at pet supply stores. If you can’t find a water fountain at your local pet supply store, they are easily found online.

Pam Johnson-Bennett, CABC
IAABC-Certified Animal Behavior Consultant

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Cats · Health and Care