Tabby cat drinking from faucet in house.
(Photo credit: Sean Savery Photography / Getty Images)

Why Does My Cat Drink From the Faucet?

Many cat parents have experienced the curious behavior of their feline friends seeking out the faucet for a refreshing drink of water even if they have a clean, fresh bowl of water nearby. While it may seem peculiar, this faucet behavior is relatively common among cats. Nevertheless, just because it’s commonplace doesn’t mean it’s hygienic. If your cat treats your faucet like their personal drinking fountain, you’re probably eager to curb the behavior. We don’t blame you. That’s why we’re going to explore the reasons why cats drink from the faucet and discuss some tips on how to discourage your cat from using your kitchen sink as their own water spout.

Reasons why cats drink from the faucet

Preference for running water

Cats have a natural inclination for running water due to their ancestral instincts. In the wild, still water sources might be stagnant or contaminated, making running water a safer option. Cats are attracted to the sound and movement of running water, which makes it more appealing for drinking. The freshness and aeration of running water also enhance its taste, further encouraging cats to choose it over still water.

Temperature preferences

Cats are sensitive to temperature, and some prefer cool or even cold water. Faucet water tends to be cooler than water that has been sitting in a bowl for a while. The sensation of cool water flowing from the faucet can be refreshing and more satisfying for cats, especially during warmer months.

Play and stimulation

Drinking from the faucet can also be an entertaining activity for cats. The flowing water becomes an interactive element that engages their hunting instincts. The movement of the water can mimic the behavior of prey, providing mental and physical stimulation for your feline friend.

How to stop your cat from drinking from the faucet

Provide alternative water sources

Ensure that your cat has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Use multiple water bowls or fountains in different areas of your home. Experiment with different types of bowls, such as shallow dishes or wide-based ceramic bowls, as some cats may have preferences. Make sure to change the water regularly and clean the bowls to maintain cleanliness and freshness.

Invest in a cat water fountain

A cat water fountain can be an excellent solution for cats who enjoy drinking from the faucet. These fountains provide a continuous flow of filtered water, mimicking the appeal of a faucet. The sound and movement of the water can entice your cat to drink from the fountain instead of seeking out the faucet.

Amazon offers many styles of cat water fountains to suit any budget. If you don’t want to break the bank, try one of the entry-level models, like this one. If your cat takes to the water fountain, you can always upgrade later.

No matter what kind of cat water fountain you buy, remember to clean the fountain regularly to prevent bacteria or algae buildup.

Create a distraction

When your cat shows interest in the faucet, provide an alternative distraction to redirect their attention. Engage them with interactive toys, scratching posts, or playtime sessions. By offering alternative sources of entertainment, you can divert their focus from the faucet.

Environmental modifications

Consider modifying your faucet or sink to make it less accessible to your cat. You can try installing a motion-activated faucet or adding a sink attachment that restricts access. This physical barrier can discourage your cat from jumping up to the faucet.

Positive reinforcement

Reward your cat when they drink from their designated water sources. Offer praise, treats, or gentle petting to reinforce the behavior. Positive reinforcement can help create a habit of drinking from the appropriate sources and discourage them from seeking out the faucet.

Reclaim your faucet

While drinking from the faucet may be a bad habit for many felines, it is a natural behavior. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help you address it effectively. By providing alternative water sources, distractions to redirect their attention, and positive reinforcement, you can encourage your cat to drink from appropriate bowls or fountains. Remember, patience and consistency are key when trying to change your cat’s drinking habits. If your cat still insists on sharing the faucet with you, consider getting a water filter for your fridge. Hopefully, they won’t figure out how to drink from that too!

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