Why Your Cat Doesn’t Drink From A Water Bowl And Tips to Resolve It

f you have this problem I understand the frustration. You can’t to force your cat to drink water from a water bowl and the risk of your cat getting dehydrated can be overwhelming. Let’s check the origin of this problem to understand cats a little better.


When Cats Don’t Drink Very Much It’s Because They Prefer Moving Water

There are many theories why most cats prefer to drink moving water. If we look at the cat in an evolutionary perspective, cat’s ancestors would drink water from rivers, Lagoons, lakes or little fresh water ponds from rain and domestic cats keep this instinctive behavior of drinking fresh or moving water.

Cat Drinking from faucet (Wikipedia photo)

Cat Drinking from faucet (Wikipedia photo)

Another theory is that cats have a very sensitive urinary system and they need to drink clean water, free of bacteria or other agents and running water is associated with freshness and coolness in the nature. So drinking water from these sources is a survival way to keep their urinary system healthy.

The first theory doesn’t exclude the second one, they both make sense.

Another theory is that cats like to move the water to see it better since they can’t see the water in front of its nose because their eyes are different than humans. So moving the water creates better vision for them to see where the water surface starts and this way they don’t get their noses wet which they hate (some cats like to get wet though, but they are rare). Another idea of this behavior is that they check the water temperature with their paws or simply they like to refresh their paws and cool down themselves.

Cat and Water

Christian Holmér photo, Flickr

Finally, flowing water taste better, much better than a water bowl sitting still all day, especially on a hot day. We people like to drink fresh oxygenated glass of cold water and cats are not different than us.

Whatever the cause of this behavior is, if you are reading this article most likely you don’t belong to the percentage of lucky cat owners whose cats drink happily from a water bowl.

If your cat drinks from a bowl enough water according to its daily requirement without showing bad behavior and if you have time to change its water bowl often then you are a lucky cat owner.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality for a lot of cat owners because once the cat discovers a fresher source of water in the house and drinks from it (faucet, dripping pipe, toilette, etc.) most likely it won’t drink from a water bowl again.


5 Signs Your Cat Wants To Drink From Moving Water

The following cat’s behaviors are a sign that your cat needs to drink from moving water:

1- If your cat keeps pushing its water bowl trying to create waves and spilling water

2.- If your cat tips the water bowl over and spills all the water onto the floor

3.- If your cat plays with the water with its paws, splashing and making a mess

4- If your cat paws at the water before drinking and doesn’t drink very much

5- If your cat simply doesn’t drink enough water from the water bowl

Some cat owners try to fix this problem buying elevated water bowls trying to deter the cat’s behavior of pushing the water bowl or tipping it over.

This works in some cases if the cat is just a playful kitty, but most of the time this doesn’t work either and your cat still keeps playing with the water, splashing all over the place or simply ignoring the new elevated water bowl.


What You Can Do If Your Cat Refuses To Drink From The Water Bowl

Usually when a cat doesn’t drink enough water Vets recommend to get a cat water fountain that helps your cat to drink more because they all work with a pump that recirculates the water, keeping the freshness and coolness cats love. They also aerate the water providing more oxygen to it.

Cat water fountains are a great idea for cats that show any of these behaviors and that are currently drinking from water bowls.

However, cat water fountains need maintenance, you need to clean them deeply almost every week and make sure the pump is free of cat hair so it keeps operating. This could be overwhelming if you are a busy person and just want to relax on the weekends. But if you love your cat as I know you do and cleaning the water fountain is not really a big deal for you (time approx. to deeply clean it takes between 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the brand) then a water fountain is the perfect solution for you!




If Your Cat Drinks Only From The Faucet 

If your cat is already drinking from the faucet it’s more unlikely that it will take to the water fountain. Believe it or not, there are many cats that won’t drink from a water fountain even the fanciest one. They just are stubborn and love to drink only from faucets.




As you see on this video, this cat owner needs to be opening the faucet every time this cat wants to drink. This is especially inconvenient if you are busy or you just want to relax and not worry of opening the faucet for your cat. Not only that but you might forget to open the faucet for your little guy or you simply aren’t home. Whichever your situation is, if your cat doesn’t drink enough water it risks dehydration and urinary problems.


Finally A Solution For Cats that Only Drink From Faucets

I want to share with you an excellent solution for cats that only drink from the faucet.

Your cat will be able to drink from the faucet anytime by itself without your assistance, reliably, safely and without depending on the electricity. How? Check here this innovative solution with demonstrative videos.