Cat Behavior: When A Cat Only Wants Water From The Faucet

cat behaviorI’m currently pet sitting for two cats, Minnie and Mickey.  About a year ago, Minnie started wanting to drink water from the faucet rather than his bowl. His guardian decided to allow the behavior, but this isn’t the right answer for everyone.

This cat behavior can be puzzling, and may be difficult to figure out the cause to come up with the right solution. Some possible reasons a cat might only want water from the faucet include:

  • 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. Cats can be very 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:

  • 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. I have the Drinkwell Blue Stoneware Pagoda Fountain (available from Amazon, priced $73.99-79.95) for my cat Marty and he drinks from it often throughout the day.
  • 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 and may encourage cats to drink more. A popular cooling bowl is the FROBO FB 1/24 Cooling Pet Bowl (available from Amazon, $19.99).

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.