Cat Behavior: Is Your Cat Faucet Fixated?

Cat behavior can be puzzling, and one example is a cat that suddenly decides he will drink water from the faucet rather than from his water bowl.  What causes the behavior and how do you stop it?

cat behavior

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There are different reasons a cat starts drinking from the faucet rather than his water dish.  Some possible reasons:

  • Location of his water dish.  Is the water dish next to the food dish?  Cats are very sensitive to scents and some don’t like the scent of their food close to their water.
  • Size/shape or depth of water dish.  Cats can be particular about the size or shape of their water and food dishes.  Some shapes aren’t as easy for cats to drink from, so they will avoid them.
  • Water freshness.  If the water dish is filled once a day, the water won’t taste as fresh by the end of the day, or be as cool as it was right after filling.  Think about it, water does get dust particles and other debris from the air in it when sitting uncovered all day. Cats can be finicky, and if the water doesn’t taste good, they won’t drink it.


Unfortunately, there isn’t one answer that works for every cat.  Some possible solutions to the faucet drinking problem are:

  • Try placing more water dishes in various locations of your house.  Cats love convenience, and may be more apt to drink from water dishes if they are handy to access.
  • A pet drinking fountain.  There are many varieties of pet drinking fountains available in a variety of sizes and materials.  The fountains keep the water fresh and the flow is similar to a faucet.  Marty has the PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain and stops by to grab a drink regularly each day. Some cats prefer a light flow of water, so if you’re looking for one with adjustable flow, check out the Catit Pet Water Fountain. One other option for adjustable flow is the PetSafe DrinkWell 360 Pet Water Fountain.   Check this one out if you’re looking for an option that isn’t plastic.
  • A cooling bowl.  These cooling bowls have a core that’s frozen, then the bowl is placed inside.  Cooling bowls keep water cool for 8 hours or more.  Cool water tastes better than room temperature water which may encourage cats to drink more.  One popular cooling bowl is the Cool Pup Cooling Pet Bowl.

It may take a while to figure out the right solution for your cat.  I’ve heard many people complain after buying a drinking fountain that their cat will not use it.  Make sure the fountain is kept clean, which includes but isn’t limited to, changing the filter regularly.

If your cat refuses to drink from the fountain, but keeps trying for water from the faucet, try putting the fountain on the counter by the faucet. Once your cat starts to use the fountain, gradually move it to the location you prefer.

Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.