Why Cats Refuse to Drink Water Near Their Food: 4 Key Reasons
Most cats have a really weird relationship with fluids and are really finicky about water. For one, some cats will not dare take a sip if their water bowl is near their food bowl. Others will only drink from water fountains and others like mine prefer dripping taps.
In this blog post, I will explain some of the reasons why cats do not like water near their food.
4 Reasons Why Cats Turn Their Nose Up at Water Near Their Food
1. Hiding Place
If you have a new or shy cat then they may avoid the water dish next to the food bowl because they may feel to exposed. Separating the two may ease some anxiety the cat may have and make them more comfortable to take a sip.
The Madison Cat Care Clinic found that giving cats a choice gives them a sense of control and they are more likely to thrive.
Having multiple bowls also helps since they can drink from whichever they feel comfortable accessing. For example, when you have guests over or when a room is compromised by loud noises such as a noisy AC or a blender.
I’m pretty sure my cat, Chacha, is not the only kitto afraid of the sound blenders make. She completely avoids the kitchen when I’m making smoothies. This is exactly why I don’t have her water and food bowls in the kitchen.
2. Hunting Instincts
Cats are apex predators meaning they are at the top of the food chain. They love hunting and chasing their prey down.
Presenting them with water right next to their food cuts the chase and can be boring for them. However, putting their water dish away and gives your kitto the chance to ‘hunt it down’.
3. Avoiding Predators
Although cats are predators, they are also prey. Eating and drinking in the same place concentrates their scent in one place making it easy for them to be hunted down.
To make it worse, their heads are down while eating and drinking. Predators have a chance to sneak up on them.
Now to deal with this, cats in the wild tend to eat, drink and go to the toilet all in different places. It’s no surprise that your indoor cat still feels the same. It’s an instinct.
4. Avoiding Sickness
Have you ever observed your cat eat? They always eat while spilling food and are messy eaters. Now imagine these food particles getting in your kitto’s water dish. This only spell one thing, contamination.
Water at room temperature provides the perfect atmosphere for the water to get oldy. Especially if you do not change it every day.
Cats are very particular about what they take in. Once they notice their water has particles or is a little slimy, they immediately stop drinking the water.
Some cats simply do not like the smell of food while they are drinking their water. It’s just that simple.
Why Do Cats Put Food in Their Water Bowl
Sometimes cats are just plain weird. You’ve noticed they don’t take their water next to their food. So you decided to change the location. But then your kitto decides to drop their food in their water dish. Now what next?
Your cat may put food in their water bowl because it is a safe space for them. There, they can comfortably eat without worrying about its stressors or predators.
Cats tend to eat where they feel safe. In the wild, felines will take their hunted meal back to their pride where they are in huge numbers or where they feel safe. So, it’s not a surprise that your house cat will try to do the same.
If you live in an apartment like me and your catto does not have much space where they can hide, then their water spot may just be their safe space.
Having multiple water bowls solves this. You can also opt to frequently change their water. This prevent contamination because surprise surprise, your cat won’t take water with food particles.
Should a Cat’s Water Be Away From Their Food
Where should I place my cat’s water dish
Ideally, you should place your cat’s water dish 3-5 feet away from their food bowl. This will help avoid water contamination while the cat is eating. The distance also favors cats who dislike smelling food as they drink water.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself, how do you encourage your cat to take more water? Simple, understand your cat and the reasons why they are drinking less water. If you’re interested in knowing how to up your catto’s water intake, check out this cool blog post on tricks and tips to encourage your cat to drink more water.
Reasons cats don’t like drinking from water bowls
Now with that being said, some cats generally do not like drinking from water bowls. Here’s why.
Cats will avoid drinking from water bowls if it is too deep or narrow. Narrow bowls tend to rub a cat’s whiskers as they drink making it very uncomfortable for them.
Some other reasons include the shape of the bowl and cats love running water. There is a lot to explain on this topic that cannot fit in this post. That’s why I prepared a different post on that. To understand more on this topic, you can check out my post on why cats do not like water in a bowl.