Closer To Naturalsources Of Water
When asking Why do cats like running water? you also have to understand what the cat is focusing on as it moves towards the running water.
It is going to assume the water is a natural source.
This is key because anything that has been contaminated will not be preferred by the cat. They are particular about what they drink and that includes water.
If they find a running stream of water, it is far easier for the cat to rely on what it is drinking.
This alone is a major reason for cats liking running water sources.
Many Cats Evolved To Dislike Water
It is believed that cats were domesticated 9,500 years ago in the middle east. They evolved in arid desert climates and were not exposed to rivers, lakes, and rain. This resulted in present day cats mostly avoiding bodies of water. Even community cats often seek shelter from rain and thunderstorms. Hiding from water has become an instinct in present day cats.
This is not true of all breeds though, as some breeds of cats enjoy being in the water due to their own evolutionary background. The Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora, for example, are known for their love of water and swimming abilities. They adapted to their climate in the Lake Van region of Turkey by shedding their hair in the summer to swim and fish. Some other breeds that are more likely to enjoy water are the Bengal, Maine Coon, and American Bobtail.
Running Water Is Fresh
Cats love the taste of fresh water, which is another reason why your feline might be obsessed with faucet water. These creatures are very sensitive to taste, meaning that still bowl water doesnt always taste fresh for them, even when its been in the bowl for an hour. Also, food and dirt can easily get in the water bowl, especially if your cat loves tapping it with the paws.
On the other hand, running water is cooler, fresher, cleaner, and contains more oxygen, characteristics that make it better-tasting for your furry friend.
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Many Cats Prefer Moving Water
When your cat bats at the water in her bowl, she might be trying to get it moving. That’s because, in the wild, cats evolved to learn that still or stagnant water isn’t as safe to drink as running water. Puddles of unmoving water are more likely to have harmful bacteria growing in them.
Slapping at the water dish is a way for cats to get their water moving a bit, which makes them feel more comfortable about drinking it. If your cat bats at the water in her bowl before getting a drink and likes to climb on the counter to drink water out of the tap when you turn it on, this might be the reason.
If you think your kitty prefers running water, get a water fountain. They have charcoal filters to get rid of yucky tastes and smells that might turn cats off from drinking, and the water is continuously moving. Water fountains can encourage more water drinking in cats, and that’s a great thing because they often tend to run dehydrated, which may exacerbate or cause specific medical issues.
Why Animals Love Running Water
There are a few things in life which are essential for our survival. We feel very uncomfortable if we have insufficient air, sleep, food and water but most of us take these commodities for granted. Currently an inadequate supply of water is not a problem for anyone living in the UK! The ancestor of the domestic cat is the African Wildcat and their natural environment is certainly drier than that in the UK currently.
So our pet cats have an ancestor that still live in an arid environment and who have to manage their water resources carefully. In their natural environment an African Wildcats sorties for water are separate to their hunting sorties. They will seek out a source of cool, clean, running water and lap from the bank of the river or stream up to twice daily. Cats have an amazing sense of smell and unlike humans can actually smell water. This is essential for finding water in a dry environment. Impressive when you think they have such small noses. For the African Wildcat hunting usually happens at night and involves numerous small mammal ambushes.
Cats prefer to drink running water because its natural for them, and so they are less likely to drink standing water from a bowl. There may be other reasons for this too.
An average cat needs a water intake of about 300ml daily. If fed tinned food cats would normally eat about 250g of meat and if fed dry food it would eat about 70g of kibble daily.
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Should You Get A Water Fountain For Your Cat
With the many reasons why cats like moving water it should be no surprise that theres a wide range of water fountains just for cats on the market. One of my favorites is the Catit Water Fountain .
This water fountain checks a lot of boxes in terms of why your cat likes moving water. The fountain is constantly circulating water which keeps it oxygenated and tasting great. Not only that, but it also features a filter to make sure even the pickiest of cats get only the finest tasting H2O. I recently got one of these for my kitchen after I was tired of watching my cat track down any facet she could find. Overall, Im happy with it and it seems to satisfy my cats craving for moving water.
A quite note though, while the water found is very quiet it does make a gentle hum. When Royal Canin was studying the drinking habits of cats they actually found that some cats were afraid of the noise from the fountain. So if youve got a particularly shy cat this might not be best.
Cat Breeds That Love Water: Manx Cat
Have you heard of the cat breed without a tail? The Manx cat , a cat breed from the Isle of Man, is an incredibly intelligent cat breed that likes water. These cats are very active and therefore need constant games and play time to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated.
For more, take a look at our article where we discuss how to care for a Manx Cat.
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Cats Don’t Usually Drink Much
Cats were initially desert animals, and they evolved being able to live without drinking very much water. Most of their moisture actually came from their preycats are obligate carnivores that must have meat to survive, and there’s high water content in that.
So, in general, cats have a low thirst drive compared to many other animals. The problem is that, when a cat is fed a diet of dry kibble, they don’t get much moisture in their food, like they would if they were eating their natural diet of prey.
The Best Water Fountains For Cats
From simple auto-refreshing bowls to elaborate fountains with multiple streams, theres a water fountain to match your cats preferred drinking style. We sorted through online reviews to find the best-rated options, and weve included a couple of our personal favorites, too. Here are the top cat fountains to keep your kitty hydrated.
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These Pet Parents Have Water
If you ask around, youll find plenty of pet parents with stories to share about how their cats love water.
Hope Mullers cat Bonzo loved to jump into the tub during bubble baths. He was mesmerized by bubbles. He wouldnt eat them he would just bat them around with his paws. Bonzo was a very playful cat and actually jumped into the toilet by accident once! After that he would use his paws to smack water running from the faucet, and lean inside the toilet bowl to splash in that. I think he just liked water.
Kimberly Rolzhausens cat Michael Bolton is not a swimmer or a wader, but she is a splasher. She likes to stick her paws in water and fling it about. Shell do this in her water bowl, at the water faucet if its running, and also has no problem sticking her paws in your water glass!
Perhaps the most surprising was Abigail Sissons cat Pumpkin who loved to swim in the bathtub with her sons when they were little. He took baths with the boys a few times a week ever since we got him! If we didnt put him in, he would jump right in on his own.
Cats like Pumpkin, who love taking a dip, might enjoy their very own Cool Pup Splash About dog poolwho says dogs get to have all the fun?
So why do some cats like water but others dont? When it comes to cats and water, the bottom line is you can lead a cat to water, but you cant make them swim.
Because Theyre Leaving Their Scent
Cats sense of smell is an important tool in their day-by-day living.
They use this sense for social interaction, marking territories and communicating.
And get this: Scent glands are located on many parts of a cats body forehead, tail, cheeks, chin skin, lips and paw pads.
Scent communication is not only cats way of marking their territory it also provides them with a comforting familiarity with their surroundings. Cats often scent-mark things that are most important to them.
For example, if your cat head bunts your face, they are letting you know that they trust you completely. Scent communication is a large part of bonding and expressing emotion for cats.
Bunting spreads the cats unique odor signature upon whatever they rub. Sharing this scent quickly identifies you, other family members and objects with a familiar odor. Congratulations, youre a member of the club.
Leaving a scent mark is retained for social bonding as well as for friendly and comforting purposes.
Now lets talk about touch
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Guidelines For Laser Pointer Playtime
- Dont let the laser pointer become your cats only toy. You need a range of toys, such as wand toys, that your cat can paw at and capture.
- During laser-pointer play, pull out stuffed cat toys that your cat can easily grab or paw. You might even put a little food in some of the toys for your cat to retrieve as a reward.
- Once in a while, let the red dot of the laser land on one of these other toys and watch your kitty capture it. Be sure your cat has a firm hold on the toy before you take the light away.
- Never, ever shine the light directly into your cats eyes. You can cause serious damage to your pets eyes by doing that.
Its An Evolutionary Behavior
Even though your kitty lives a posh life of privilege, their ancestors were wild animals, drinking from rivers and streams. Those wild animal instincts tell them that standing water, i.e. the water in their bowl, isnt always safe.
Water that is just sitting around in a puddle outside is prone to dangerous things growing in it and can sometimes make a cat sick so its beneficial to avoid water like that in nature, Pryor says.
Cats also may be instinctively wary of turning their back on others to take a sip from their bowl. If there are other animalseven other catsaround, your cat may feel uneasy putting their head down to take a sip.
If another pet chases them away from the water bowl, they may be afraid of lowering their head to drink since that would put them in a vulnerable position, says Amelia Wieber, CPDT-KA, CCBC, owner of Caring Behavior Animal Behavior Consulting in Frederick, Colorado.
She recommends having several water bowls placed in various parts of your house to help with this. It should really be the norm in even a single cat household, she adds.
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The Water Bowl Is Not To Their Liking
Some cats my turn up their nose at their water bowl because of the bowl itself. Maybe they prefer ceramic bowls to metal bowls, or glass over plastic. You can try a bowl made of a different material than what you have to encourage them to drink.
My cats prefer a glass bowl to metal or ceramic, but they will drink out of the dogs larger metal water bowl sometimes, Wieber says.
Or the bowl may be too small, and it rubs your cats whiskers the wrong wayliterally.
If the bowl is too small, every time they go to eat or drink, their whiskers get pushed back, Wieber explains. The nerves attached to them can become sensitive or painful. She suggests trying a wider bowl, or even an elevated bowl to limit pressure on the whiskers.
Or maybe the spot where the bowl is kept is not to their liking. Environmental stimuli like a loud household appliance may be keeping your cat from being comfortable approaching the bowl, Wieber says. In which case, move the bowl to a quieter location. Again, having multiple water bowls in different locations throughout the house can help.
Are The Tissues Around Their Eyes Inflamed And Red
If you see this in one or both eyes, along with a watery discharge, theres a good chance they have conjunctivitis. You may know it by its nickname, pinkeye.
It’s the most common eye problem for cats. An infection, an allergy, or even dust can bring it on. Pinkeye is contagious, so most cats will have it at least once in their lives. They can get it at any age, but it most often affects young animals.
Feline herpes virus also causes pinkeye. Your cat can get shots to protect them from this, but they could have picked it up when they were a kitten. If they have the virus, they are infected for life. But the vaccine can reduce their symptoms.
Easing their stress can prevent flare-ups. If they have an outbreak of herpes-related pinkeye, your vet will prescribe antibiotics and an antiviral drug for you to use.
Pinkeye often clears up without treatment. If you see discharge and your cat seems to be in pain, take them to the vet. Theyll make sure that a more serious problem isnt causing the symptoms.
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Because They Need To Reach Those Difficult Spots
Cats might clean each other because certain spots are hard for them to reach on their own.
Were sure youve seen your cat wetting her paws and then washing her face. The face is a hard place to wash. The 2-cat home makes it easier. Feline friends dont let feline friends walk around with dirty faces.
Cats will often clean each others ears. Again, this is a hard-to-reach spot for the lone pet. Dual-pet households make this chore simpler. One kitten will wash the others ears inside and out. As gross as it sounds, its actually a good thing because it removes dirt.
So, those cats who spend the time and effort to clean each other are truly showing that they care.
They could also be saying Yo, dude. You cant be seen looking like that!
Moving Water Is Entertaining For Your Kitty
Moving water also presents a source of entertainment for your cat. They like to stare at the water as it rushes out of the tap. Once again, this heralds back to their genetic ancestry. The running tap water reminds them of rivers in their natural habitat.
Your cat may freak out if your try to bathe it, but it will sit on the edge of the tub and watch you fill it with water. Some experts say watching running water is like a cat version of watching a movie. They enjoy the audio-visual experience, providing them with entertainment.
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Should I Get A Water Fountain For My Cat
Since cats like running water, you can take advantage of this instinct to keep your kitty hydrated. Purchasing a water fountain for your cats is the best way of emulating running water.
A cat water fountain is a small unit with housing and a pump, with an internal water bowl. The pump moves water from the bowl at the base up to a fountain at the top of the unit. Its like those drinking fountains we all used at school.
Some water-fountains are battery-operated, while others plug into an electrical outlet. The water fountain emulates running water for your cat, and the movement of the water keeps it tasting fresh for your kitty. Look for models that include water filters to remove debris and saliva.
Water fountains are affordable and easy to set up and maintain. Get one for your cat and see if it likes the change to its traditional water bowl. Be aware though that not all cats need a water fountain.
Reason : Your Cat Might Not Like Where The Bowl Is Located
Your cat might also be looking for sources of moving water because the water bowl location isnt ideal. While most cat owners place water bowls in remote corners of the home, this isnt always best. Remember, your cats wild ancestors were both predators and prey. That means the idea of leaving their back open to the world while they go into a corner for a drink runs against their survival instincts. While your cat is domesticated, its only been about 10,000 years since the ancient Egyptians first lured in African wildcats with the promise of fish.
In other words, your cat is still a bit wild, and placing the water bowl in a vulnerable position might make seek out other moving sources of water instead. If youre wondering what else you need to know about where to put your cats water bowl, I wrote about 7 other things you need to consider when deciding where to put yours cat water bowl.
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