You might have seen how cats dip their paws in water before drinking it. Why do cats touch water before drinking? Here are five possible reasons. Which one sounds more like your case?
Cats dip their paws in water and then lick it when they try to avoid the water bowl touching their whiskers. Your cat might not like this sensation, which can be irritating to her. Lots of cats prefer shallow water and food bowls. Choose a bowl that has a plenty of space for whiskers, not narrow or deep, so the whiskers don’t touch the bowl sides. (We all know how some cats love drinking from a glass of water. Is your cat one of them?)
Some cats prefer to drink moving water. When they put their paw in a water bowl, they try to imitate the running water. Moving water can look more fresh, and therefore, more appealing to cats. Stagnant water can smell the way the cats don’t like. Have you ever seen your cat drinking from a tap? Your kitty might like a water fountain.
Get a cat drinking fountain, especially for a hot summer.
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A cat dips paw in water before drinking, if she is not sure about the water level. This can happen when you refill the bowl from time to time and to a different level. Keep the water level consistent through time and when refreshing the water. Cats like routine and consistency. (To what level do you fill your cat’s water bowl – to top or middle?)
When your kitty gets older, some functions can deteriorate, including an eyesight. Senior cats and cats with eyesight problems can touch water before drinking to determine the water depth. Then they tend to dip their paws in water and drink. If you have a senior cat or you suspect something might be wrong with your cat’s eyesight, ask your vet to check it. (What is your regular vet clinic? Tell us in the comments below.)
By drinking by scooping the water with a paw, the cat may be looking for a fast escape, if a need arises. If cats have changes in their routine or environment, they might feel less secure. To make cats feel safe and not stressed, keep the water bowl location consistent, have a feeding and other interaction routines, correctly introduce new pets to the family, make sure you have plenty of water bowls of various shapes and sizes available for your cat.
When a cat dips a paw in a water bowl, then dirt, bits of litter, and other debris wash from the paw. This helps bacteria to build up in the bowl. (Have you ever seen a pink rim in the cat’s water bowl?) To clean the bowl, use a mild dish soap, thoroughly rinse removing any trace of it, then refill the bowl with fresh water.
Do your cats touch water before drinking?
Photo by: Paul L Dineen
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