Cats despise drinking from stagnant, motionless water sources. Because cats enjoy flowing water, some of them may tap the water in their dish with their paws before drinking it. Cats may be finicky when it comes to what they eat and drink. Cats may be put off by scents or tastes in tap water.
Cats like to drink running water since it is ‘natural,’ thus they are less likely to drink standing water from a dish.
There are a variety of other reasons why cats do this, so keep reading to learn about them all, as well as what you can do to encourage your cat to drink more water!
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Cat Only Drinks Running Water
The major reason cats prefer flowing water is that they perceive it to be safe. Running water is fresh and clean, but still and stagnant water is more prone to carry illnesses and nasty germs.
Domestic cats are also descended from desert cats. This cat species is noted for having a low thirst drive, and when they do drink, they frequently choose running sources.
So it’s not surprising that your cat runs to the potty once they hear running water. Many cats like drinking from the cool, fresh tap water but refuse to approach their bowl.
1. Instinct Tells
As you might expect, your cat’s ancestors did not have a sophisticated water bowl to sip from. It was all about remaining safe and healthy for them, which meant sticking to flowing water sources that were less likely to be infected with germs.
Domestic cats have retained this instinct, which warns them that drinking fresh water is considerably safer than drinking stale water. They want a cool, refreshing drink, so they go for the faucet rather than the bowl.
2. Sound Of Water
The sound of rushing water is both entertaining and appealing to cats. Because they can’t see or hear properly, these fantastic animals might be scared out by motionless surfaces. Because cats are attracted to the sound of flowing water, this will not happen. For them, it’s more like a game!
3. Refreshing Drink
Another reason your kitten may be infatuated with tap water is that cats enjoy the taste of fresh water. Because these organisms are extremely sensitive to taste, even after an hour in the bowl, the bowl water does not always taste fresh to them. Food and dirt may very easily find their way into the water dish, especially if your cat likes to tap it with his paws.
Running water, on the other hand, is colder, fresher, cleaner, and contains more oxygen, all of which make it better-tasting for your pet.
4. Whiskers Touch
Whiskers in cats aren’t merely a nice physical feature. They’re a component of your cat’s complex sensory system that keeps it aware of its surroundings. When the cat’s whiskers detect anything close, they convey signals to the brain, which aids the cat in better navigating the surroundings. Whiskers are quite sensitive, and they can even sense minute air currents!
Whiskers, however, can cause problems for cats when they drink from a water dish. The bowl and water level are likely too near to or touching the whiskers, causing them to become overstimulated and transmit messages to the cat’s brain all the time. This is referred to as “whisker weariness.” The stimulation will divert the cat’s attention away from the dish and toward a nearby source of flowing water.
5. Position Of Bowl
The position of the bowl is crucial! Your cat may feel uneasy drinking from a water bowl that is next to a wall or in a corner, which might be another reason why your cat likes rushing water. Cats like open, flowing sources where they can see what’s going on around them in the wild.
Felines are predators, and they don’t like to be exposed with their backs to an open space and restricted mobility choices in front of them. This is another tendency that has survived evolution and been passed down to domestic cats. They don’t like being surrounded, so they turn to a new source… your running faucet!
6. It’s Playtime!
Cats are full of surprises, as you surely well know. If you’ve ever wondered why cats enjoy playing with running water, the solution might be as simple as this: it’s enjoyable for them to play with!
Many cats like playing with tap water and will rush to the faucet if they hear it turn on. You may find it difficult to believe, especially if you’ve provided your cat with lots of toys to keep him occupied, but cats are unpredictable creatures!
7. Low Vision
Despite having multiple enhanced senses, cats have difficulty detecting water. They have excellent night vision, although spotting objects that are too near to them can be problematic. Your furry buddy will frequently tap their paws into the bowl, indicating that they are looking for water and monitoring the levels.
Cats, on the other hand, have a lot easier time seeing running water. As a result, felines may not only feel more at ease near rushing water, but they may also be able to see it more clearly.
Why Does My Cat Only Drink Running Water?
Your cat only drinks running water because he likes the taste of it and thinks it is safe for it to consume.
Even if you change your cat’s water bowl every day, the flavour of flowing water will be difficult to beat. Not only will it be colder, but it will also be more oxygenated, which may enhance your cat’s taste.
While you may assume that a furry creature that eats the same meal every day would be content to drink anything, many cats have extremely specific tastes in their water!
While it’s usually entertaining to see your cat’s fascination with flowing water play out, you should visit your veterinarian if you believe your cat is getting obsessed with drinking moving water or water in general. Excessive water consumption can indicate a serious illness, the most prevalent of which is renal disease.
Why Do Cats Prefer Running Water?
Cats prefer running water because in the wild, a cat usually drinks moving water which helps to help prevent him from diseases.
Alternatively, it’s possible that your cat has discovered that water from a faucet or rainwater is colder.
It’s also conceivable that your cat is using the water as a toy. Flipping over your cat’s water bowl or attempting to catch the drips from a faucet might be a fun pastime for your cat, with the added bonus of relieving its thirst.
Cats don’t require a lot of water to drink, especially if they eat canned or pouched food that is high in water. It is, nevertheless, critical to ensure that your cat has access to fresh water at all times.
You may encourage your cat to drink from her bowl by doing a few things.
Try placing her water dish somewhere other than next to her meal. It’s possible that your cat is finicky about having food and water close to one other.
Try putting a few ice cubes in the dish if you suspect your cat doesn’t enjoy the temperature of its water.
You might want to try using a different bowl completely. The water will taste vary depending on whatever bowl you use. If your cat has a plastic bowl then you can switch it out with one made of metal, ceramic, or even glass.
If your cat is prone to tipping over bowls, search for a larger bowl with a rubber base. Even the most devoted of cats will be defeated by this.
There are also cat drinking fountains that either stream water in a continuous loop or activate when your cat approaches. Because they require energy to operate, you’ll need to locate them near a socket outlet.
You may leave the tap dripping for your cat to sip from on occasion. If your cat is thirsty enough, she will drink from any source, but you may want to reward her with water from the tap every now and again.
Is Running Water Better For Cats?
Running water will be beneficial for those cats that are not drinking enough water.
Many doctors prescribe a cat water fountain to keep your cat hydrated. These fountains can encourage your cat to drink more — and stay healthy and hydrated — since many cats prefer rushing water (like your kitchen sink!) over still water.
Standing water is typically dirtier than rushing water. Streams and rivers are not always cleaner or more drinkable than still bodies of water like lakes or ponds. Unfortunately, no matter how pure the water from a natural source appears, it will still need to be processed in 90% of cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do cats need running water?
Cats prefer to drink from a flowing water source, such as a tap or a fountain – cat water fountains are available for purchase, and some cats prefer these. In the event that a favoured outdoor drinking source becomes inaccessible, water should always be available indoors.
Can you leave a cat water fountain on all the time?
Fountains may be left running indefinitely as long as the pump is kept submerged. If the pump becomes damaged as a result of running dry, it will need to be replaced.
When cats drink water directly from the source, they feel considerably safer. Running water is less bacterially polluted, as well as being colder, fresher, and more oxygenated.
Other reasons your cat avoids the bowl include the fact that still water is harder to see, the bowl is in the incorrect place, or the bowl water brushes their whiskers, producing whisker tiredness.
Please feel free to use the suggestions I provided above, and you will notice that your cat will begin to drink more water than previously.