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Home > Cats > Why Do Cats Like to Drink Running Water? 4 Vet Approved Reasons

Why Do Cats Like to Drink Running Water? 4 Vet Approved Reasons

close up shot of thirsty cat drinking water

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Have you noticed that whenever you turn on the sink in the kitchen or the bathroom your cat comes running and wants to play in the water? They hate bath time and other water sources, so what’s this obsession with running water?

Well, as it turns out, there are some instinctive reasons many cats like to drink running water. It’s an interesting phenomenon, so keep reading to learn more about it.


The 4 Reasons Why Cats Prefer Running Water

When you turn on the sink, it is common to have a cat come running to it. We know that many cats simply prefer running water, but why is that the case? We’ve highlighted four likely reasons for you here:

1. It Feels Safer to Consume

Drinking from running water is deeply ingrained into your cat’s instincts. In the wild, standing water collects dirt and debris, and is essentially a cesspool for bacteria. While your cat doesn’t have to worry about that with their water bowl, their instincts simply tell them to trust running water more.

So, when they get a chance to get a drink from running water instead of their water bowl, they’re going to rush to take the opportunity. Not every cat thinks this way, but if your cat seems to be obsessed with drinking from running water, this might be why.

2. The Sound Interests Them

When your cat hears the sound of running water, it can activate a deeply ingrained instinct that turns on with the sound. In the wild, cats rely on this sound to find water, and when they hear it, they can’t help but come running.

While they know where their water bowl is in your home, they still have those deep-rooted instincts to seek out water when the opportunity arises. Not only does the sound have them come running to the faucet, but it also entices them to drink more.

cat drinks water flowing
Image Credit: Shyjo, Shutterstock

3. Curiosity

Cats are extremely curious creatures, and to them, a water faucet doesn’t make much sense. One minute nothing is coming out of it, and the next there’s a steady flow of water! And when something doesn’t make any sense, they want to figure out why it is working that way.

This might be why they simply bat at or play with the water instead of actively drinking it. They don’t understand it, plus it’s just fun to play with the water every once in a while.

4. Personal Preference

Some cats just prefer drinking from running water and there’s no guaranteed reason why. It might be because the water in a bowl collects dust and other debris while water from the faucet looks clean and fresh, or it could be because they like the feeling of running water.

It is really up to your cat, and there might not be any rhyme or reason to it.

cat playing with water from the faucet
Image Credit: ermaltahiri, Pixabay

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Q: Should You Give Your Cat Running Water?


Final Thoughts

Now that you know why your cat prefers to drink from running water, why not give them the chance to do so occasionally? Investing in a good-quality water fountain is a great way to entice your cat to drink and help them maintain healthy hydration levels, which results in better health.

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Featured Image Credit: Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz, Pixabay

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