Why Do Cats Like Running Water?

by Hayley
Why Do Cats Like Running Water
Why Cats May Prefer Running Water

Cats can be really unpredictable. This is most especially seen in their attitude towards water. Most of them aren’t big fans of it when it comes to taking a bath. On another note, tables take a completely different turn when they go zoomies around running water.

Easy to say, the connection between cats and moving water can be one of the wonders of being a cat owner.

That being said, why do cats like running water? Is it only because of their preference, or is there a much more logical explanation behind this? There are actually a lot of reasons that you’d want to know. If you’re interested to learn more about this topic, then read on to the following sections.

5 Reasons Why Cats May Prefer Running Water?

Why do cats like running water? There is no one answer to this question. It will depend on your cat, the environment they are in, and other external factors. To help you better understand, here are the 5 main reasons why your feline may like running water:

1. Because Of Instinct

Cats are naturally more drawn to running water because of their hunting instinct. It most commonly happens to domestic cats because of their close relationship with nature. Their ancient cat ancestors were also not exposed to fancy water bowls and are only used to drinking from rivers and other open water areas. It’s a behavior that even present felines have.

On a more in-depth note, instinct-driven cats like drinking from running water more because they think it’s much safer and cleaner than still water. There’s also a high chance that they believe that the latter is poisonous, dirty, or contaminated.

2. Running Water Tastes Better For Your Cat

Even if your cat isn’t particularly keen on the water source, you may still notice that they like running water more. One significant reason for this is the taste. They may like cold running water is. For them, the colder the water, the fresher it is. Their sense of taste may perceive it as tastier compared to the stale water in their bowls.

There is actually nothing new about this since cats are known to be big fans of cold temperatures. If you think the taste is the main reason why your cats like running water, and you want to train them to drink in bowls, you should consider adding ice cubes in their water bowls. One to two small pieces will already be enough.

Read also: Can Cats Drink Carbonated Water?

3. Your Cat Can’t See Another Source Of Water

If your cat can’t see a stable source of water like their bowls, for example, there’s a high chance that they will turn to your faucet to get access to running water. If this happens, you may want to place their water bowls in a more visible place. Make sure that it is in a well-lit position, so they can see it even at night.

4. Your Cat’s Water Bowls Aren’t In Their Right Place

There are times when the water bowl is in a good, visible place, but your cats may still not choose to drink from it because they think it isn’t in the “right” place. They may feel either threatened or scared at the place or corner that the bowl is in.

To avoid this, make sure that the water bowl isn’t placed right next to a wall or is pushed down in a narrow corner. It should also be a little distant from their litter box and food bowl. All of the said positions are deemed unsafe by their natural feline instincts, so it’s best to keep these in mind when relocating your cat’s accessories.

Read also: Why Do Cats Put Food In Their Water Bowl?

5. Due To Sensitive Whiskers

A cat’s whiskers are one of its main senses. These aid in the feline’s overall navigation, which is why you can just expect it to be highly sensitive. If it touches something that it isn’t supposed to, then the cat will surely turn away from whatever disrupted their comfort.

This is the same thing that happens when your cat’s whiskers touch the water when they’re drinking. It may occur if the bowl is too high, too deep, or is just weird in structure. Try checking to see if this is one of the reasons by observing your feline when they drink. If so, then consider opting for a drinking fountain instead.

Why Does My Cat Only Drink Running Water?

If your cat only drinks running water even if you have prepared clean ones on water bowls, then, odds are, they may simply like the taste of moving water. It may taste fresher and cleaner to them since it is part of their instinct that still water can make them sick.

On another note, your feline friend may just like how cold running water is. If this is the main reason, expect that the behavior may happen often during hot days and when it’s summer season.

Probably the most evident reason lies in comfort. If they feel that their water bowl is too high, too low, or just doesn’t fit their liking, they may opt for running water for convenience. If you want to stop your cat from drinking running water, then you may want to start by replacing their water bowls.

Read also: Can Cats Eat Popsicles?

Should I Be Worried If My Cat Likes Running Water?

In most cases, you shouldn’t really be worried if your cat likes running water. It’s a common thing among felines. It even happens to dogs. As long as your cat doesn’t seem to get injured or suffer through any pain while they’re drinking running water, then both you and your pet are all good.

Of course, you can always take precautionary measures if you’re just not comfortable with your cat drinking and playing with running water. This is most especially if they have to jump up on the sink, which can be both dangerous and unhygienic. That said, you can try placing your cat’s water bowls in a more visible place. Some cat owners also recommend buying drinking fountains just for their cats.

Read also: Top 5 Easy to Clean Cat Water Fountains [Buying Guide]

Is Running Water Better For Cats?

Considering that the said water came from a clean supply, then running water may definitely be better for your cats. Not only will the feline enjoy its better taste, but they will also have access to safer and cleaner water.

Of course, if you think that your tap’s water supply isn’t that clean or sterile, it may be better if your train your cat to start using water bowls. You can do this, or you can install a filter on your tap or wherever they get running water from.

Either way, the answer to the question will depend on the quality of running water.

What Should I Do If My Cat Likes Running Water?

You don’t really have to do anything if your cat likes running water. This is the same as not needing to worry since, again, it’s normal for cats.

However, if you really want to ensure your cat’s safety and health, then you can consider things like buying a drinking fountain or installing tap filters.

On the flip side, if you want to totally stop your cat from interacting with running water, then you need to pay attention to their water bowls. Buy easy-to-use ones, and ensure that they’re just the right size for your cats.

You should also place the bowls in the right positions. Avoid corners or those that are directly behind the wall. It’s also best if you keep it away from the litter box and where they eat because their instinct may tell them that the water’s dangerous for drinking.

Read also: Can Cats Drink Distilled Water?

Wrapping Up

So, why do cats like running water?

Cats may prefer moving water over still water for many possible reasons. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation despite it being more common than you think. For the most common, it may simply be due to the feline’s innate hunting instinct. Other times, the running water may also be the only source of water that they’re seeing.

Whichever reason it is, you have nothing to worry about. It’s a natural occurrence, and you also don’t have to find any solution if your cat doesn’t seem to be in pain when playing with running water.

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