Cats and Their Fondness for Water Play

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, offers her observations about cats and their love of playing with water.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: Sept. 11, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: My cat likes to play with water. Is that unusual?

A: No, not at all. The funny thing is some kitties will do anything to avoid water when not drinking it, and others can’t seem to get enough of it. In fact, there are many stories I could tell you about cats who like to play with water.

Sugar, a cute kitty I care for, enjoys splashing the water out of her bowls. She does this so much that her owner has to keep them in the bathtub! Then there is Lucy, a tuxedo cat who likes sitting under a faucet and letting the drips fall on her head. I only found this out when I reached down to pet her once and found a sopping wet head. I have even seen a cat put his paw in his water bowl and then lick the water off — we have finger bowls and he obviously wanted a “paw” bowl.

Some of my clients tell me their cat likes to sit on the edge of the tub while they take a shower and swat at the water stream. I believe they are attracted to the sound and movement of running water, but they rarely want to be immersed in it — that’s why bathing cats can sometimes be a challenge.

In short, playing with water is natural to many kitties. I always point out that a fun trick is to put ice cubes in water bowls. It creates an entertaining game and will encourage them to drink more. Readers also know I am very fond of water fountains for cats, found in most pet stores. As always, I encourage you to comment and share your stories.

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Reader Comments

Shirley    Tucson, AZ

9/14/2009 3:38:19 PM

One of our cats will come and watch me take a bath. She likes the bubbles.

Kim    Alpha, OH

9/14/2009 9:47:58 AM

I have two kitties that love to play in the water -in fact, I practically have to drink from a "sippie cup" because I can't have a glass of water to myself. There has to be a kitty nose or paw in the water too. Not to mention that you can't be in the bathroom that you don't have to turn the water on in the bathtub so they can play for a while!

Donna    Austin, TX

9/14/2009 7:00:16 AM

My beloved kitty whom I lost in February loved to play in the water!

Aimee    West Simsbury, CT

9/12/2009 6:32:30 PM

my cats used to come in the bathtub with me or sit on the side of the shower, but they've gotten over it, however they love their water fountain.

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