My Cat Only Drinks From the Faucet

CatChannel behavior expert Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, discusses why some cats are attracted to running water.

By Marilyn Krieger | Posted: October 16, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: My cat, Poodle Girl, will only drink water out of the bathroom faucet. She refuses to drink out of her water bowl even when I put it in front of her. I can’t leave the faucet on for her all day. My water bills are already sky-high because I occasionally forget to turn off the water when I leave for the day. While I’m at work, I am constantly worrying that she’s not getting enough water to drink. Why won’t she drink from her bowl? What can I do about this?

A: Running water is very attractive to many cats because it’s fresh, clean and it’s moving. Since water sitting in bowls for longer then a day can become stale, make sure that Poodle Girl’s water bowl is filled with fresh water every day. The bowls also need to be thoroughly washed out frequently since they can become dirty.

There is a faucet adopter available that will simultaneously accommodate Poodle Girl’s drinking preferences and will save your water bills. These motion-sensitive adopters easily connect directly to your faucet. They operate with an infrared sensor that turns the water on when it detects movement underneath or in front of it. Poodle Girl can easily turn the water on with a movement of her head or paw. Additionally, there is a button on the side which allows you to use the faucet as a standard water-delivery system if you choose. My cats love them; not only do they use them for drinking, but they play in the water and enjoy lying underneath the running water, getting sopping wet.

Another more unobvious reason that cats sometimes refuse to drink from their bowls is related to the bowl shape and size and the phenomena of cat whiskers. Since cat whiskers are very sensitive, small deep bowls can be uncomfortable and annoying to a cat when their whiskers touch the side. Many cats with water bowl challenges prefer to drink water from bowls that are large and shallow enough that their whiskers won’t brush the sides.

Many cats have a love affair with water. Some love to play in water; others enjoy a dip or cavorting with their favorite person in the shower. Turkish Vans and Bengals are two cat breeds known for their fondness for water.  Every cat, no matter the breed, is an individual, and some prefer keeping their favorite person company next to the bathtub instead of joining them for a bath. 

 

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My Cat Only Drinks From the Faucet

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Reader Comments

Pamela    Lawrenceville, NJ

9/25/2014 4:27:40 PM

I find this article fits my cat who is 20 years old. The article is great except for the fact that it does not tell the cat owner where one can purchase these sensors. I have not heard of them and I would like to find out how to purchase one. Please advise. Thank you.

Randy    Austin, TX

3/31/2014 9:46:58 PM

PLEASE... where can I purchase the item described below and found in Marilyn Krieger's 2009 article?

"There is a faucet adopter available that will simultaneously accommodate Poodle Girl’s drinking preferences and will save your water bills. These motion-sensitive adopters easily connect directly to your faucet. They operate with an infrared sensor that turns the water on when it detects movement underneath or in front of it. Poodle Girl can easily turn the water on with a movement of her head or paw. Additionally, there is a button on the side which allows you to use the faucet as a standard water-delivery system if you choose. My cats love them; not only do they use them for drinking, but they play in the water and enjoy lying underneath the running water, getting sopping wet."

Thank you in advance.

~~Randy Young

Cheryl    Lugoff, SC

5/30/2012 7:14:46 PM

My four Cats also loved drinking out of the faucet. We have a well and during the Summer months had to be careful. Leaving the faucets running all day was not an option, We bought a "Big Dog" Drinking well for them and our small Dog. It solved our problem. It took a couple of weeks for our cats to adjust. Please be patient and do not turn on your faucet(s). Take them to the fountain every time they go to your faucets. It works, it is fresh clean (filtered) running water, follow directions for cleaning. My animals love it!

Kayla    Jacksonville, FL

11/1/2011 5:33:34 PM

I bought a fresh flow water bowl, made by pet mate, and all my cats drink out of it except for the one i bought it for. he still insists on jumping on the counter in the kitchen or in the bathroom. i refuse to turn to water on for him because i want him to use the new water bowl. but im afraid he is going to be dehydrated. i don't know what to do at this point. any suggestions?

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