WHY DOES MY CAT LIKE TO PLAY WITH WATER?
this post was updated on January 6th, 2024 by Lisa Illman
Abigail, one of my three (who has past on) cat kiddos, had a unique talent for turning water play into a spectacle. She was the true feline aqua enthusiast, transforming her water bowl into a miniature water park. Meanwhile, Finnegan, takes a more refined approach. He engages in the delicate art of the “paw dip.” No wild water bowl flips for him; he prefers a sophisticated interaction with his water. Either way, I always thought it was super cute and wondered about cats playing with water.
WHY DOES MY CAT SPLASH WATER OUT OF HER BOWL?
Cat Splashes Water: Unraveling the Mystery Behind Feline Aquatic Antics
If you’ve ever wondered why your cats turn their water bowls into impromptu splash zones, you’re not alone. Witnessing your feline friend engage in water play might leave you both puzzled and entertained.
Some cats exhibit this behavior by pawing, splashing, or even outright flipping their water bowls into a liquid frenzy. It’s a spectacle, to say the least!
But what prompts this watery chaos? It turns out, there are various reasons behind your cat’s water shenanigans. Here’s the scoop:
Some cats may spill water as a way of communicating their displeasure with their bowl or its location. For example, if the bowl is too close to their litter box, they may tip it over to indicate that they don’t like the proximity.
Curiosity or Playfulness?
Like mischievous little explorers, some cats see their water source as an opportunity for play. They’re like mini scientists, conducting experiments with their paws to see what happens when they interact with the bowl.
Believe it or not, some felines prefer their water at a certain temperature. A few might splash around to cool it down or, conversely, warm it up with their furry little paws.
In the wild, cats often tap into water sources while hunting. So, mimicking this behavior could be your indoor kitty’s way of honing their hunting skills, albeit in a more domestic setting.
Since cats are natural hunters, and playing with water can mimic the sensation of stalking prey. Additionally, water can provide a source of entertainment and stimulation for cats who may be bored or lacking in other forms of enrichment.
Some cats might just be trying to catch your attention! If they notice you reacting whenever they create their liquid masterpiece, it might become their go-to show-stopping routine.
The Bowl’s Design
The bowl itself could be a source of fascination. Certain cats might find the reflective properties of the bowl intriguing, leading them to interact with it more than necessary.
SHOULD I LET MY KITTEN PLAY WITH HIS WATER BOWL?
When Finnegan, my mischievous little furball, was a kitten, he had this knack for turning every water bowl interaction into a liquid circus. It was as if he was on a mission to unravel the mysteries of his liquid environment. I vividly recall those playful moments when he’d dip his tiny paws into the water with sheer curiosity, creating a tiny splash zone in our home.
And then there was Abigail during her teenage cat phase—quite the rebel, I must say! She had a fascination for water that seemed to surpass the usual feline norms. Her teenage antics included occasionally dipping her paws into the water bowl or investigating dripping faucets, clearly asserting her love for liquid exploration.
Admittedly, I allowed these watery adventures because it was evident they were learning and, most importantly, having a blast! It was like witnessing their scientific exploration firsthand.
Learning Through Liquid Play
For kittens like Finnegan and teenagers like Abigail, their affinity for water play was a way of understanding their world. As they frolicked around the water bowls, I could sense their curiosity, almost as if they were conducting their own research about this liquid element.
A Tolerance for Water
Some larger cat breeds, like the majestic Maine Coons often have a more accepting attitude toward water compared to others.
When these cats, including my own sort of Gentle Giant, Finnegan, are gently introduced to playful water activities or baths when they’re young, it’s possible that this familiarity stays with them as they grow up.
It was quite fascinating to see how Finnegan’s early encounters with watery adventures might have influenced his ongoing comfort with water even as he became a more grown-up and regal cat.
Understanding these playful tendencies allowed me to appreciate the learning process behind their watery escapades. It’s fascinating to witness how kittens and teenage cats embrace their environment, even if it involves turning water bowls into their personal liquid playgrounds.
While this behavior might leave you wondering, it’s typically harmless. However, if it’s a new development or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s worth consulting your vet to rule out any underlying health issues.
WHAT KIND OF WATER BOWL IS BEST FOR MY CAT?
🐱I have a few favorites (including giving Finn his own human water glass too!) and this is one of my absolute TOP FAVORITE CAT WATER FOUNTAINS
The best type of water bowl for a cat depends on various factors like the cat’s preferences, health needs, and your lifestyle. Here are some considerations to help you choose:
- Material: Opt for stainless steel or ceramic bowls over plastic. They are more durable, easier to clean, and less likely to harbor bacteria.
- Hydration Style: Some cats prefer running water, making a fountain-style bowl an excellent choice. It keeps water fresh and might encourage your cat to drink more.
- Health Considerations: If your cat has whisker fatigue (sensitivity in the whiskers), choose wider, shallow bowls to prevent discomfort. Elevated bowls can benefit cats with arthritis or those who struggle with standard bowls.
- Maintenance: Consider how easy the bowl is to clean and maintain. Automatic refill or self-cleaning options might suit busy households.
- Stability: Ensure the bowl is stable and won’t easily tip over, especially if your cat is playful or tends to be enthusiastic around their water source.
- Number of Cats: If you have multiple cats, having multiple water sources can prevent competition and ensure everyone gets enough to drink.
Ultimately, observe your cat’s behavior and preferences. Experimenting with different bowl types or styles can help determine what works best for your feline friend.
|Style of Cat Water Bowl
|This classic design features a simple, shallow bowl suitable for everyday use. It’s easy to clean and comes in various materials like ceramic, stainless steel, or plastic.
|A dynamic water dispenser that mimics flowing water, attracting cats who prefer running water. It maintains freshness and encourages hydration.
|Raised off the ground, these bowls reduce strain on a cat’s neck and provide a more ergonomic drinking position. Great for senior or arthritic cats.
|The non-slip design and anti-skid grip bottom work together to prevent spills and provide stability
|Opt for a stronger, more hygienic version of our best selling pet fountain. Dishwasher safe and BPA-free.
|Equipped with a reservoir or system that automatically refills the bowl as water levels decrease, ensuring a continuous water supply.
|Ideal for cold climates, these bowls have a built-in heating element to prevent freezing during winter months, ensuring access to unfrozen water.
|Portable and collapsible, perfect for travel or outdoor adventures, ensuring your cat has access to water on the go.
|Ceramic Fountain Bowl
|Combines the aesthetics of ceramic with the functionality of a fountain, providing a stylish and functional water source for cats.
These various styles cater to different needs, preferences, and situations for our feline friends, ensuring they stay hydrated and content.
There are many reasons why cats may play with their water, from boredom to thirst to communication. While this behavior may be amusing or frustrating for cat owners, it’s important to remember that it’s a natural and instinctual behavior for cats. If your cat’s water play becomes excessive or starts to interfere with their hydration, it may be worth consulting with your veterinarian to ensure that there are no underlying health concerns.
Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. She has a tuxedo adult cat and has had him since he was a baby kitten. Before her cat Finnegan, Lisa had had two FIV-positive cats for over a decade. They inspired Lisa to invent a cat enclosure and a portable catio so they could safely sit outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Lisa had a Poodle and a parakeet growing up. She currently loves to pet-sit for her neighbors’ dogs and cats.
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