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Why does my cat prefer to drink from other places besides his water dish?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

I have not one but two water dishes out for my cats. I change the water in them at least twice per day. Still my male cat Simon, tries to drink water from any other source he can. If one of my kids leaves the toilet seat up, he is immediately in the toilet trying to get a drink. My son leaves his water cup on the counter; Simon is up there trying to drink from it. If I leave a dish in the sink with soapy water in it, he tries to drink that too. He tries to climb in the bathtub when you're in it or filling it. My female has no problem drinking from the water dishes. I just don't understand it. Simon doesn't want to drink from the water dishes unless he can't get water no other way. He even goes down and drinks from my mom's dog's water dish when he can. Why won't my cat drink out of his own water dish?

Michelle D.


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking why your cat prefers to drink from dishes, toilets, etc. over his water bowl.

Some cats really are funny about their drinking habits. Some prefer different shapes and textures to their water bowls. Some like shallow, some like deep, some like wide, some like different locations. Some cats LOVE fountains (they make some just for cats). I've even seen some cats prefer not to share their water dishes.

What you may want to consider is where he does drink. If he likes running and moving water – you may want to try a fountain. One brand seems very good – called Drinkwell. You may try a deep pan, shallow dish, and some different textures, glass, steel, china, etc to see what he prefers.

Overall – it doesn't sound like anything to worry about a long as he is drinking. However, anything with soap and detergents can be irritating to cats so it is better if it is just plain water.

An article that might be helpful to you Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking why your cat prefers to drink from dishes, toilets, etc. over his water bowl.

Some cats really are funny about their drinking habits. Some prefer different shapes and textures to their water bowls. Some like shallow, some like deep, some like wide, some like different locations. Some cats LOVE fountains (they make some just for cats). I've even seen some cats prefer not to share their water dishes.

What you may want to consider is where he does drink. If he likes running and moving water – you may want to try a fountain. One brand seems very good – called Drinkwell. You may try a deep pan, shallow dish, and some different textures, glass, steel, china, etc to see what he prefers.

Overall – it doesn't sound like anything to worry about a long as he is drinking. However, anything with soap and detergents can be irritating to cats so it is better if it is just plain water.

An article that might be helpful to you is Why is Water Important for Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra


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