What is the Fascination with my Cat and Water?

by Jo
(Brisbane, Australia)

My cat's behavior is really strange around water... Every time she hears a tap running she's there, all she does is get wet! She tries to drink it, and plays with it, same thing every time I run the shower or bath, even the toilet... (yes I have pulled her from there a few times!)...

...And yes there is a huge water bowl with fresh daily water...

Reply from Liz (Editor): This sort of cat behavior isn't as uncommon as you may think. The common perception is that cats hate getting wet - and a lot of them do - but equally there are some cats - and even some breeds in general (e.g. the Ragdoll cat) who love water and are totally fascinated by it.

If a cat suddenly develops a fixation with water where they haven't ever had one before, and starts drinking much more, or starts spending a lot of time hanging round their water bowl, they may be ill and it's worth getting them checked over by a vet.

However, I believe from what you've said that this isn't the case with your cat, and that in her case she's always loved water - especially running water - and there's the key. It's thought some cats prefer to drink running water because it's fresher than water that's been in a bowl. Also, the sight and the sound of the water running probably appeal to some cats - it's a bit like a moving toy!

You'll probably find it nigh on impossible to stop this fixation, but usually it doesn't cause too much of a problem. A good habit to get into is putting the toilet seat down, which you've no doubt realised anyway!

You can buy water fountain bowls for cats that re-circulate water so it's continuously coming out of a tap. However, these can be quite pricey. A much less expensive option is to just let her have a drink out of the tap as a treat a few times a day!

Thank you for your quetion.

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