Cat behavior: Why is my cat scratching the floor when drinking water?
Cats love water, especially when it’s in a bowl. The problem is the cats are not always drinking from their bowls and are instead scratching up your floor, furniture, or carpet!
If you’re like me then you’ve tried to train your cat but it just has been a huge failure. Here I’ll share why they do this and some tips on how to stop this behavior before they ruin anything else in the house.
1. Natural Instincts
Cats have inherited the scratching habit from their ancestors. This behavior comes naturally to them as they have to sharpen their claws and/or mark their territories.
Cats may express a habit they formed during kittenhood when they were learning to drink from a bowl and use the litter box.
3. Releasing Pheromones
When cats scratch they release pheromones through scent glands on their paws. these pheromones mark territories and keep other cats and animals away.
Your cat scratching the ground while drinking water means they are marking that area as theirs.
4. To Move the Water Dish
Some cats love watching the water move around. For this reason, they might scratch the ground or tap on their water dish to create water ripples. Some furballs find this very entertaining.
5. To Signal they’re Not Happy with their Water
Cats express themselves differently and sometimes use very strange behaviors, scratching being one of them.
Your furball may be scratching the ground to show you there is something they don’t like about their water.
Sigh* If only cats could talk and express themselves clearly.
6. Not Able To See
Felines are far-sighted meaning it is difficult for them to see objects close to their eyes. They might scratch around as they try to figure out where the water bowl is.
7. Dirty Water
I’ve seen this with my cat previously. Whenever the water had some dust, Chacha would scratch the ground while meowing and I would change her water.
It’s a means of communication for them.
Why Do Cats Paw Around Their Water Dish?
Reason 1: Water Is Entertaining
Cats love anything wiggly and shiny including water dishes. Some glass bowls can be reflective especially with water which can send cats into a curiosity frenzy.
Kittens are more curious and maybe more entertained. Stainless bowls are a good option for them as well.
Some cats will paw the water to create ripples and reflections. They enjoy watching as the ripples form and move about in the water bowl.
Reason 2: That’s How Your Cat Drinks
Cats are different and every cat has their own unique habits. While some cats will only drink moving water, others only want water in a bowl.
For instance, my Chacha only drinks still water. Whenever she sees a running tap, she tries her best to get away from it.
If you provide still water for your cat who loves drinking running water, s/he might decide to scratch the ground near the water dish. This will cause some movement in the water and please your cat.
Your furry friend might also be having focus issues. They make lack the ability to change eye lens shapes and have difficulty determining the distance.
Additionally, they might decide to scratch the water bowl to decide the depths of the water dish.
Reason 3: Whisker Discomfort
Whiskers help guide cats through their environment.
The end of the mystacial whiskers is equipped with proprioceptors, which help them perceive the size of an object such as a water dish.
Cats will paw around the water dish because of the stress and pressure on their whiskers.
This is especially common in cats who have sensitive whiskers and suffer from “whisker fatigue”.
They will constantly paw at their water dish since their whiskers are constantly rubbing the surface.
Whisker fatigue makes cats uncomfortable. This is why they will tap on the surface to kind of “refresh” themselves.
Some will opt to dip their paws in the water dish and lick them instead of drinking directly.
Reason 4: It’s A Compulsive Behavior
Cats can develop compulsive behavior especially when they are unhappy.
If your cat is constantly pawing at their water dish, it might be a sign of OCD. It is important to visit your vet to rule out this option.
Some cats will also paw at the water dish after it has been changed as a sign of dissatisfaction with the taste.
Stressed cats will also paw at their water dishes to help them deal with their overpowering emotions.
Make sure to keep an eye on your fur bestie to identify any overall behavior for signs of distress.
Reason 5: It’s A Territorial Instinct
Normally, cats will use their paws to mark their territory. Their paws have scent glands that release pheromones.
These pheromones are a clear warning to other cats that the area belongs to another cat.
Marking territory is most common where there are multiple cats or near a window where other cats might be marking their territory.
Cats are insecure with other cats around and will try to mark the water dish.
To deal with this behavior, it is best to provide multiple drinking areas enough for all the cats.
Is My Cat Trying To Bury Their Water Bowl?
Cats are known for their strange behaviors, and one of the most puzzling is when they scratch around their water bowl.
It’s natural to wonder why your cat is doing this – is he trying to bury his water bowl?
There are a few different reasons that your cat might be scratching his bowl, so let’s take a look at some of them.
One possibility is that your furry friend is trying to cover his waste.
If he doesn’t feel like the area around his water bowl is clean, he may start scratching it as a way of trying to hide what he’s done.
Another reason could be that your cat doesn’t like the taste or smell of his water, and is trying to get rid of it.
Cats are known to be picky eaters and will only consume what they feel is safe for them.
Some cats also scratch around their water dish as an indication that they may be trying to get away from them.
Finally, the location of the water bowl can also play a role in whether or not your cat drinks from it.
If it’s too close to an electrical outlet, for example, she may not want to drink from it because she’s afraid of getting shocked.
Should I Be Worried If My Cat Paws Around In Their Water Bowl?
No, you should not be worried about your cat pawing or scratching around their water dish. This is a normal behavior in felines and should not be a reason for concern.
However, should the scratching behavior become obsessive, you should consult the vet since it may be a sign of illness.
You should also pay close attention to how much water your kitty is drinking as it may indicate a medical issue.
Lethargy, decreased appetite, excessive meowing or yowling, and avoiding human company can all be signs that something is wrong.
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately.
Reasons cats might dip their paws in the water
Cats will dip their paws in the water to mark their territories. Their paws contain scent glands that leave their pheromones.
Additionally, cats will drink their water in whichever way they like.
Some will view dipping their paws and licking as a simple process compared to bending and drinking straight from the bowl.
Sometimes, a cat may stretch and find its paws deep in the water bowl.
How can I stop my cat from splashing water out of their bowls?
If you’re having trouble with your cat splashing water out of their bowl, there are a few things you can do to help stop the behavior.
This behavior is more common in kittens since they have not properly mastered how to do most activities.
If your older cat is still tippling the water bowl, don’t worry, you can still train them out of this behavior with some love and patience.
One solution is to try a different type of water bowl.
Cats can be quite picky about what they drink. Maybe the water bowl is too deep and your furball doesn’t like it.
You might also want to place the bowl in a more secluded spot.
Try spending more time with your furry bestie to reduce separation anxiety in them.
Cats tend to splash more when they’re feeling anxious or separated from their owners.
If your cat often does this, spend some extra time playing and petting them. This may help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
Finally, make sure that your cat has plenty of fresh water available at all times as it’s important for their health!
Indoor cats typically drink around 1-2 cups of water per day.
Why does my cat act like he’s digging when he drinks water?
Cats will dig and knead the floor for comfort, especially during stressful times for them.
This behavior may be an attempt to make themselves feel better when insecure.
Digging also releases pheromones which help in marking territory. This in turn helps in making them feel secure about their surroundings.
Insecurity stems from changes in their environment e.g introduction of a new pet, human, or furniture.
Keep in mind cats are intelligent creatures and learn habits from humans. If your kitty is digging the ground before drinking their water, there’s a high chance they picked this habit from you.
How you ask? Maybe there’s a child who taps the table during dinner? Or do you tap kitchen counters while you eat?
Cats might also paw at the ground before drinking because they’re bored with their surroundings.
A lack of stimulation can lead cats to look for ways to entertain themselves, and drinking from a water bowl may not be enough entertainment for them.
If the scratching and digging are excessive, your furry friend may be suffering from OCD. Observe how your cat behaves and consult a vet to rule out any underlying problem.
Some cats drink a lot of water and end up having a compulsive habit of worrying about where the next source of safe drinking water is coming from.
To deal with this, provide your cat with adequate water during the day.
Your cat might also act like he’s digging when drinking because of discomfort stemming from digestive issues.
If your furry bestie has been having problems with its stomach, it may start pawing at the ground as a way of trying to alleviate the pain.
Cats may also be tipping the water bowl in an attempt to locate a clean spot on the bottom of the dish.
Whatever the reason for your cat’s behavior, it’s important to understand why it’s doing this in order to help correct the issue.
Why do cats move their paws when drinking water?
Cats shake their paws when they drink to remove any unpleasant water.
Sometimes when they are drinking, some water gets on their paws and for some kitties, this is an unpleasant feeling.
If your furball has an unpleasant experience with the water, s/he will try shaking off the annoyances with their paws.
You should note that when some cats are displeased with the water’s taste or smell, they will abruptly leave without even touching the water.
Why do cats splash water before drinking?
Cats prefer drinking moving water and will splash and spill everywhere as they try to give the water some movement. This explains why some cats love drinking water from a running tap.
Additionally, your kitty may be pawing and splashing water if they don’t like their current water dish.
You can deal with this issue by getting your furry bestie a water fountain. Fountains are a great option for cats who love seeing moving water.
Cats may just be playing and exploring their world in a harmless way; it’s not always worth knowing why they do things before jumping to conclusions.
Related article: Find out why your cat is scratching the wall at night.
Why do my cats knock over their water bowl?
Cats tap the water bowl (and sometimes knock it over) to know where it starts. They are near-sighted and have challenges seeing objects that are very close to their eyes.
Additionally, your kitty may also knock over their water bowl because of medical reasons such as renal disease or diabetes.
It is important to visit the vet for a check-up and rule out these options.
Why do these cats dip a paw in the water and then use it almost as if they’re licking a popsicle?
Cats will prefer using their paws to drink water to prevent their whiskers from rubbing on the water bowl.
A cat’s whiskers are very sensitive and may be uncomfortable with the rubbing as they drink water.
You can deal with this by providing a wide shallow water dish. This reduces the friction between your cat’s whiskers and the water bowl.
However, cats are creatures of habit and once they start using their paws to drink water, most likely they won’t stop.
Why does my cat keep tipping his water bowl?
Your furball may be tipping his water bowl for attention. Cats are suckers for attention and will do anything and everything just to get some.
Additionally, your furry bestie may be viewing the water bowl as a toy and playing with it. It is important to provide your kitty with toys and keep them entertained.
In some instances, your cat may tip the water bowl since they are frustrated by the way the water dish is positioned.
Why do cats cry before drinking water?
Cats may cry before drinking because of gum disease and decayed teeth, which can make it difficult for cats to drink cold water comfortably.
Additionally, they can cry as they are worried about how the experience will be. They may also be terrified of the consequences that will follow after drinking the water.
Elderly cats however may howl before drinking water because of dementia. Early-stage dementia could be caused by air pollution, which is a serious issue in today’s world.
Some cats may also cry before drinking water to show their bewilderment.
What are the benefits of scratching the floor while drinking water?
There are a few benefits to your cat scratching the floor while drinking water. First and foremost, it helps them groom themselves before eating.
This is important because it makes sure that their presence is hidden from other predators.
Additionally, pawing or scratching the food is not harmful on its own, but can be when combined with over-grooming and an unhealthy diet.
So, by allowing them to scratch around their food, you’re actually helping them stay healthy!
Lastly, scratching is a natural instinct for cats and they do it for a number of reasons including marking their territory or relieving boredom.
So don’t stop your cat from scratching; it’s perfectly normal behavior!