My Cat Spills Water ? How Can I Stop Him?

CatChannel and CAT FANCY cat behaviorist Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, shares reasons why cats play in water dishes and spill water on floors.

By Cat Behaviorist Marilyn Krieger, CCBC | Posted: September 30, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: My sweet cat, Cubby, has developed an annoying problem. He has always played with his water, burying his toys in the water dish and dragging them out. He also puts his dry food in the water and scoops it out with his paws. This is cute, but his latest antic is very dangerous. My cat now takes his paw, grabs the edge of the bowl and slops water all over the kitchen floor. Instead of drinking out of the bowl, my cat licks the water off the floor. As careful as I try to be, I have slipped and fallen several times.
 
A: Your cat might enjoy playing with water, or the water bowl may be contributing to his new water-sloshing games.  

Your choice of water bowls might annoy Cubby. His bowl could be too small or deep. Because cat whiskers are sensitive — containing nerves and blood vessels — most cats don't like to feel the sides of bowls with their whiskers. Upgrade your cat’s water bowl to a large, shallow ceramic bowl. Find one that has a wide solid base that can’t be flipped or easily tipped. Be safe and place the bowl in a shallow under-the-bed plastic storage box. The short sides will keep the water contained if Cubby starts flinging and sloshing water around.

Your cat might also enjoy playing and drinking out of a dog and cat fountain. Many dog and cat water fountains are on the market in all sizes and shapes. They are perfect for cats who are fascinated with moving water. Another option is a motion-sensitive faucet adapter. These water faucets are great for cats who enjoy water play — easy for them to turn the water on with a movement from their heads or a swipe with a paw. In addition to hydrating cats, they provide hours of entertainment for cats and their people.    
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My Cat Spills Water ? How Can I Stop Him?

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Reader Comments

blanketjackson    Bangor, ME

5/26/2013 9:15:59 PM

Take him for a ride in the car. One way. Know what I mean?

Angel    Fort Wayne, IN

11/4/2012 3:24:53 PM

my cat tortie cat,Autumn,is very cute but one thing she has adapted over the past year. since we have gotten my dog,jr., she has been putting her paws in his water bowl. we have put a smaller water bowl next to his big one but she just keeps spilling it and my dog keeps drinking out of it instead of his big one. what are some things that i can do to keep her from putting her paws in his water bowl

CatChannelEditor    Irvine, CA

3/5/2012 8:05:40 AM

Jill -- Great detective work! What a funny reason why your cat spilled water. Thank you for the story and the suggestion about putting out bowls.

Jill    Kansas City, MO

3/4/2012 3:07:02 AM

My Chanel (named because she looks like a skunk) does that.Turns out the ceiling light was reflecting in her water and she was trying to grab the shiny ball in her bowl.
If Cubby keeps doing this maybe you could move his water dish to the inside of a bathtub or shower and only set it out when the tub or shower is in use.

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