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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Drink Water with Their Paw? 3 Typical Reasons

Why Does My Cat Drink Water with Their Paw? 3 Typical Reasons

cat drinks water flowing

Cats are funny creatures, and one of their most amusing habits is drinking water with their paw! Have you ever seen your own cat do this? If so, you may have been left scratching your head in confusion. Why does my cat drink water with their paw? Well, that’s what we’re here to answer!

Believe it or not, there are actually three typical reasons why cats will partake in this peculiar behavior. If they are not physically impaired, mere curiosity or a dislike of water are the most likely explanations. Join us below in exploring why your kitty is using their feet to take a sip!


The 3 Reasons Why Your Cat Drinks Water With Their Paw

1. They Dislike Water

It’s no secret that cats and water don’t always get along. Some cats simply dislike the feel of water on their fur and whiskers, so they resort to using their paws as a cup. It works really well in this regard, too—the fur on their paw absorbs water, and they can lap it up, avoiding the unpleasant sensation of water running over them.

It’s also important to remember just how sensitive a cat’s whiskers are—they can detect the slightest of vibrations and airflow. The same applies to coming in contact with water. It’s possible that water on a cat’s whiskers is simply too much of a sensory overload for them, so they opt for using their paw instead!

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

2. Cats Are Curious by Nature

Everyone knows that cats are curious creatures. So much so that there’s the famous adage: “Curiosity killed the cat.” Well, in this case, it’s curiosity that leads to a funny drinking habit.

As cats explore their environment, they tend to use all of their body parts—yes, even their paws! And when your kitty notices water near them, it’s in their nature to play with the water to see how it reacts when touched. And what better way to do that than by using their paws?!

The way water ripples when touched may amuse your feline friend while at the same time informing your cat that the liquid is safe to touch and drink.

3. Physical Impairment

Some cats use their paws for drinking water due to physical limitations. Maybe your cat’s vision isn’t quite what it used to be, so they can’t see the water clearly. Or perhaps there is an underlying medical condition that makes it difficult or painful for your cat to lower their head and lap up water from a bowl.

In such cases, drinking with their paws might be the only option available to them. This doesn’t mean you should leave them to it, though! Make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water at all times and that their bowls are in easy reach.

A water bowl that’s too close to the wall or a nearby piece of furniture could make it difficult for your kitty to access it for a drink.

maine coon cat pawing its water bowl
Image By: Pickless, Shutterstock


Tips for a Healthy Cat Diet

Having access to plenty of fresh, clean water is not the only part of a good diet. There are other components that are just as vital to a kitty’s health and wellness, so let’s explore these so that you can ensure optimal health for your cat.

Balanced Diet

This is essential for a healthy, happy cat. A balanced diet means providing your feline friend with plenty of fresh meat, as well as high-quality wet and dry food formulas. You should also ensure that your kitty has regular access to vitamin supplements such as taurine, which helps keep their heart healthy and strong.

No Table Scraps

It’s understandable that you want to give your kitty a treat from time to time. But table scraps are not the way to do it! Instead, look for special treats specifically designed for cats—these will be much better for their health and overall well-being.

Finally, don’t forget about playtime! Cats are active creatures, so make sure to provide them with plenty of toys and other forms of stimulation. Playing with your cat is a great way to keep them fit and healthy, as well as help form a strong bond between you both.

cat after eating food from a plate
Image By: mik ulyannikov, Shutterstock



There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a cat using its paw for drinking water—in fact, it’s quite natural! Cats are curious creatures by nature, and sometimes, that very nature comes out in behaviors that we find odd or out of place.

If you notice your cat suddenly using its paw to help it drink when it normally uses its tongue, take this opportunity to get a vet checkup just to be certain there’s not an underlying health issue.

But if all is well, don’t be worried! Your kitty just has a unique drinking habit. After all, who said cats have to stick to the rules?

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Featured Image Credit: Shyjo, Shutterstock

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