Why Do Cats Drink From The Faucet?

By Category: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Do Cats Need To Drink Water?
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Why do cats drink from the faucet? We don’t do it to be annoying! Water from the faucet tastes better than water from a bowl. And there are other reasons why we drink from the faucet, too. 


There are many reasons why cats drink from the faucet like this one is.

Your cat doesn’t drink from the faucet just to annoy you!

Why do cats drink from the faucet, Thomasina? My cat always has fresh water in a bowl. But the second I turn on the kitchen sink, he’s right there. — Annoyed Cat Mom

Hey, Annoyed Cat Mom…

Cats drink from the faucet for a few reasons, and one of them isn’t because we like to annoy our humans!

Have you ever gotten a drink from a stagnant pond? That’s how water from a bowl tastes to us. And it tastes especially bad if it has crumbs of food in it. 

Why Do Cats Drink From The Faucet?

Speed Read

To be honest, I love getting a drink from the faucet. But like most cats who do this, the water has to be just right. Some cats like just drops, or a trickle, or a stream. And some of us like to drink from the pool of water at the drain. I have to admit that getting the water the way your cat likes it must be very annoying.

Pickiness aside, here are five reasons why cats drink from the faucet.

1. The water bowl is too close to the cat’s food. Another room is best! Water with crumbs of food in it tastes bad, and some of us won’t go near it. Those little double bowls with one side for food and the other for water are the worst!

2. The bowl is too narrow and gives us whisker fatigue. Give your cat a wide bowl, and he might use it. 

3. Outside, you’d see us heading for the nearest stream instead of drinking from a puddle of water on the sidewalk. Instinct tells us to avoid standing water because it could be contaminated and make us sick. Then, we wouldn’t be able to defend ourselves. To many of us, a bowl inside is like a puddle on the sidewalk.

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4. Still water in a bowl can be hard for us to see. Some cats drink from the faucet because they can hear the water running.

5. Water from the faucet is oxygenated. I have no idea what that means. But my human typist says it makes water taste better. Water from the faucet is also cooler, and most of us like that.

6. Some of us just like to play with running water, and we figure while we’re at the sink we might as well get a drink. Running water is also easier to see. 

Convincing Your Cat To Drink From A Bowl

Actually, my favorite place to get a drink is the stream behind our condo. But when I’m inside, I drink from a bowl as well as the faucet. See if your cat likes any of these ideas.

  • This is worth repeating. Put his water bowl far from his food, and make sure it’s a whisker friendly bowl.
  • If he can’t see the water, a bowl with some art on the bottom might help
  • Crush a leaf of fresh catnip under the running water when you’re refilling his bowl. Put a catnip leaf in his water, too. The floating leaf might get his attention and give him something to play with while he’s drinking. 
  • Some cats like to play with their water. Put some ice cubes or a rattle ball in the bowl for him to swat around. Just make sure the rattle ball is too big for him to swallow.
  • He might consider a cat fountain a good substitute for the faucet. There are lots of fancy fountains on the market, but we like our Drinkwell because we can hear the water, and the bowl’s large enough for us to easily get a drink.
  • Since he likes being up high, think about putting his water bowl or fountain on the counter next to the sink. Belle’s water bowl is next to our kitchen sink, and it doesn’t get in our human’s way at all.

I hope this helps, Annoyed Cat Mom. If you’ll excuse me, I need to get going now. The water’s running in the kitchen, and I’m ready for a drink.

Read More About Cats And Water

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Sleep So Much?
Stare Into Space?
See In The Dark?
Knock Things Off Counters?
Love Boxes?
Heal You When They Purr
Know When It's Going To Rain?
Walk All Over People
Follow People Into The Bathroom?

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