6 Reasons Cats Drink From The Faucet & Shower

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on March 30, 2017

Cats sure can be finicky when it comes to their water! We’ve all seen kitties come running to sip from the kitchen tap or wait patiently outside the shower to lap the fresh droplets from the tub.

It turns out there’s some very good evolutionary reasons that cats prefer running water over the supply in their bowl. Plus there is a simple, healthy solution that kitties love!

Our domestic felines’ oldest ancestors hailed from desert climates and were able to subsist on little water. To this day, our cats’ bodies conserve water by producing relatively dry stools and highly concentrated urine.

When cats are in need of a good, cool drink there are several reasons they may choose to skip the water bowl and head for the tap.

1. It’s instinctive for them to avoid standing water, which in the wild is a much higher risk for harmful contaminants than a flowing stream.


2. Felines have great night vision, but their ability to see the standing water in their bowl is poor. Rather than relying on sight to locate a still pool, cats prefer to use their excellent hearing to sense the familiar sound of running water. 


3. Most owners tend to place food and water bowls against a wall, making cats feel vulnerable to a rear attack. Although there probably aren’t too many predators waiting to ambush your kitty in the kitchen, it’s a natural tendency for them to avoid being cornered. 


4. Water from the tap tends to be cooler, cleaner and more oxygenated, improving the taste for our finicky felines.

5. Many cats simply dislike the way their sensitive whiskers brush against the rim of their bowls. 


6. Aside from all these practical reasons, some cats just really like to play with running water! They love creeping into the shower or batting at the stream from a flowing sink.


The problem with cats drinking directly from the faucet or tub is that our tap water tends to contain minerals and heavy metals that can contribute to urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and kidney issues. These conditions are not only painful and expensive to treat, they can be life threatening for your kitty.

If your favorite feline has a flowing water fetish, try a high-quality pet fountain filled with filtered or distilled water. An added benefit of fountains is that cats tend to drink more water than those who have standing bowls, improving their health. There are several different options on the market. Be sure to do your research or consult your vet for help choosing the right one for your cat.

If you found this interesting, check out 10 Reasons Cats Don’t Like Drinking Out Of Water Bowls.

H/t to VetStreet.com

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