Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Like To Drink Water From The Faucet?

| Published on July 27, 2016

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The internet is full of cute cat videos and cats doing quirky things. Many of those behaviors make us smile. One of those depicts cats that enjoy drinking directly from a faucet. Have you ever wondered why cats like drinking water straight from the faucet?

The answer may hide in your cat’s genes. Our cats might live in our homes as our friends and companions, but they are still animals who are governed by instinct.  They have evolved with inborn natures that help protect them from the dangers in a wild environment. We know that we change our cat’s water and clean her dish, but she does not realize the value in it. She follows what her instincts say and they tell her that running water is more likely to be safe for her to drink.

Wild animals prefer cool fresh water to standing water. Hikers and campers know that water standing in puddles or ponds is not as good to drink (even when treated for safety) as running water because it is more likely to be a reservoir for wild animal urine and a cesspool of bacteria and parasites. We know this because we have read or been taught these survival skills. Animals cannot read or take survival classes (or even watch reality TV), but they instinctively know that standing water is more likely to be contaminated and stagnant.

Truly stagnant water does not look or smell enticing at all and even the clean water in the water bowl is not as fresh as what is running from the faucet. Nature provides for her creatures and your cat is not too far removed from her feline ancestors. She knows to depend on her instincts and because of them she may prefer water that comes straight from the tap, cool and fresh. If you can indulge her on occasion, it is one of the nice little things that you can do to show her that you love her.

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