cats prefer running water

9 Interesting Reasons Why Cats Prefer Running Water From a Faucet

Cats have a natural affinity for running water, which is why it’s not uncommon to find them curled up in bathroom sinks or trying to drink from the tap. My cats also enjoy sipping from the kitchen sink and sometimes sneak into the shower just to slurp on the shower.

Cats prefer drinking running water due to a combination of safety, entertainment, and physical comfort. They are attracted to the sound and movement of running water, as well as its potential health benefits.

Why Do Cats Like Running Water

1. Cats Want to Play With It

Cats are naturally curious creatures and are drawn to the sound and movement of running water. They love to watch and interact with the water, as it provides an opportunity for play.

They enjoy the sound and the way it moves and are often captivated by the unpredictable way it falls.

Picture cat drinking water from a tap
Photo by leo Pekaar on Pexels

Cats also enjoy the sensation of the water dripping or splashing on their heads, and may even stick out their paws to bat at the drops.

The random intervals of the water falling, combined with their instinctive curiosity and love of play, make running water a fascinating and inviting option for cats.

Why Do Cats Like Running Water
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels webp

2. Cats Are Attracted to Water Sounds

Cats naturally prefer drinking running water rather than still water because of its cleanliness and movement.

Running water is cleaner than standing water in nature, making it more appealing to cats.

Additionally, the movement of running water is more visually stimulating to cats and generally triggers their interest.

3. Flowing Water Tastes Better

Standing water can quickly become contaminated with dirt, sediment, insects, and other debris which can taint the water and change its flavor.

Running water, however, does not have the same issue, as it never has the chance to sit and become contaminated.

4. Some Cats Prefer Cold Water

Can cats drink ice water
Photo by Pixabay on pexels

Flowing water is always cooler compared to still water sitting in the same place for hours. Your cat knows this and that’s why they are avoiding drinking from their water bowl.

Also read: Why some cats like cold over hot water

If you don’t have the budget for a fountain, you can try adding ice cubes to their water bowl to make it cooler. If you’re having trouble with your kitto drinking water, you can check out this cool article on how to encourage your cat to drink more water.

Image by Clker Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

5. Cats Don’t Like it When Still Water Touches Their Whiskers

Still water can cause discomfort or irritation to their sensitive whiskers when it touches them and can lead to whisker fatigue, overstimulation, and stress to the feline.

6. Cats Sense Running Water Is Safer

Cats prefer drinking running water primarily because they feel it is safer than still water. This is backed by the fact that cats have an ancestral instinct that tells them running water is a safer option than still water.

Cats Can Drink More Water With a Fountain

Furthermore, cats rely on their hearing to find their way in the wild, and running water is much easier for them to detect than still water.

There are different ways your catto can enjoy running water. Some include a dripping faucet, a pet water fountain, and a cat-specific fountain.

Dripping FaucetA faucet that drips slowly and continuouslyProvides fresh water for your catCan waste water
Pet Water FountainA device that circulates water through a filter and back into a bowlKeeps water clean and oxygenatedRequires regular maintenance and cleaning
Cat-Specific FountainA fountain designed specifically for cats, often with multiple levels and waterfallsEncourages drinking and adds interest to your cat’s environmentCan be more expensive than other options

7. Cats Just Prefer and Like It

Just like humans, cats also have their preferences. When I was a kid and visited my grandma, I loved drinking straight from the tap and would just use my hands. So I can totally relate with cats who just like moving water.

8. Cats Can’t See Water Well

The inability of cats to see water well can affect their drinking habits.

Since cats rely more on hearing and smell than sight when navigating their environment, they often use their ears to locate running water rather than still water in a bowl.

This explains why your kitto may paw at their water so they can see the water movements.

9. Cats Don’t Like Their Water Bowl Placement

When it comes to drinking, cats are much pickier than dogs. They may feel uncomfortable drinking still water out of a bowl because it is often times in a corner where their backs are exposed, leaving them vulnerable to attack.

Running water from a faucet provides more safety and comfort, as cats can protect their backs with their tails and ears while drinking, as well as ensure that the water is clean.

Furthermore, cats may have an aversion to still water that is too close to their food bowl, as this could potentially contaminate their food.

If you’re having problems with your cat drinking from their water bowl, you can check out this cool article I wrote on why your cat isn’t drinking water from their water bowl.

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Running Water for Cats?

1. Running Water Is Cleaner Than Bowl Water

Running water is constantly flowing, which makes it harder for bacteria and parasites to survive.

The Triple Action water-softening filter of the Catit Flower Fountains can remove bacteria while also making sure there is no open reservoir in which dirt can build up. (This is not an affiliate link)

2. Cats Can Drink More Water With a Fountain

When it comes to providing water for cats, the traditional bowl is still a popular option, but a water fountain can provide a much more enticing and enjoyable experience.

A regular water bowl can typically hold up to 2 to 3 cups of water, while a fountain can hold up to 8 cups of water.

According to a study done on feline water consumption, cats drinking from a flowing source took more water compared to those who were drinking from a still source.

3. Fountains Can Help Reduce Litter Box and Weight Problems

The moving water encourages cats to drink more, which in turn helps to keep their urinary system functioning optimally. As a result, the risk of bladder and urinary tract issues can be significantly reduced.

Is cold water good for cats
Photo by litter robot on Unsplash

The increase in water intake can also help in maintaining a healthy weight and prevent them from overindulging in food.

4. Fountains Can Make Cats Healthier

Fountains can prevent kittos from becoming ill due to the accumulation of bacteria in regular bowls that can lead to urinary tract and kidney diseases.

The filters in the fountains also help clean the water, removing impurities, dust, dirt, and other particles and eliminating unpleasant odors.


How Do Cats Sense Running Water

Cats have amazing hearing and sight, so it’s no surprise that they have a keen sense of running water.

First, cats have a heightened sense of hearing, which allows them to detect the sound of running water from far away. They can also detect the motion of the water, as well as its temperature.

Additionally, cats have excellent vision, which helps them detect the movement of running water more easily than still water in a bowl. As a result, cats are naturally drawn to running water because it tends to be cleaner than standing water in nature.

Can Running Water Help Prevent Whisker Fatigue in Cats

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Cats suffer from whisker fatigue when their whiskers come into contact with the sides of their bowl or the water itself when they drink from it.

This can cause stress and over-stimulation, leading cats to become uncomfortable with drinking from their bowl.

By providing a source of running water, cats can drink with ease and comfort, as their whiskers will not come into contact with anything.

What Type of Water Fountains Are Best for Cats

Water fountains are the way to go when it comes to providing your cat with the best drinking experience.

They come in a variety of shapes and forms, so you can find the best one to suit your cat’s needs.

An excellent water fountain for cats is the Drinkwell Pagoda, which is ceramic so it won’t scratch or hold onto smells and stains.

It also has a wide lower drinking surface and square shape which allows it to fit into a corner or look great on a countertop.

(This is not an affiliate link. I’ve recommended it because I also use it).

What Should Be Considered When Choosing a Water Fountain for Cats

When it comes to choosing a water fountain for cats, there are several factors to consider. First, it’s important to ensure that the fountain has a large enough capacity for your cat.

Secondly, a good quality multi-filtration system is important for keeping the water clean and fresh for your pet.

Thirdly, the fountain should have a quiet operation and two drinking modes, so that it appeals to your cat and is not too noisy.

Fourthly, a water reminder feature is beneficial to let you know when the water level is low.

Finally, a stylish design and LED light are great features to look for if you want a fountain that fits with the rest of your home décor.

Battery-operated cat water fountains are also a great option as they are cordless and can be placed anywhere.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which features are most important for your cat and home.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Providing Cats With Running Water

The short answer is no. Cats are naturally drawn to running water as a source of hydration due to their instinctual avoidance of still water. This is because running water is generally believed to be fresher and less likely to be contaminated compared to still water sources.

Nevertheless, it is important to make sure that the water is clean and free of bacteria or parasites.

Additionally, it is important to keep an eye on your cat while they are drinking to ensure they are not drinking too much or too quickly.

Finally, be sure to regularly change the water in the fountain to ensure it is always clean and fresh.

How Often Should a Water Fountain for Cats Be Cleaned

It is recommended to clean a water fountain for cats at least once a week. However, if the water fountain is in a dusty or humid environment, it should be cleaned more often.

Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to properly clean a water fountain for cats.

  1. Disassemble the water fountain by removing the reservoir, filter, and pump.
  2. Place the filter and reservoir into a sink filled with warm water and mild soap.
  3. Scrub the filter and reservoir with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  4. Dry the filter and reservoir and reassemble the water fountain.
  5. Fill the water fountain with fresh water and then plug it in.
  6. Monitor the fountain for any signs of buildup or debris and clean it as needed.

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