CattyCorner: Why Do Cats Drink Out Of Water Glasses?

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on August 25, 2020

Greetings, pawsome human minions and cat cohorts.

Forrest here, and I’m feeling quite annoyed today.

My mother is on my litter box list at the moment.

Why, you ask?

Well, here’s my tale of woe. I was simply thirsty and happened to be perched on the kitchen counter where my mother leaves her glass of water. She had just refilled it so the glass was replete with cool, fresh water for the sipping.

cat drink water cup

How could any self-respecting cat pass up the opportunity to quench his thirst when the universe just handed him a chalice for the drinking?

Exactly. That smart cat is going to enjoy the water so handed him.

Which is just what I did. And the next thing I know, mom was yelling my name from across the room. Then, I was plucked from my watering hole and relegated to the floor.

She blathered on, asking, “Forrest, why do cats drink out of water glasses?”

cat drink water glass

I swished my tail and flicked an ear in answer. She can take what she will from that! Little does she know, I’m just going to drink out of the cup again when she isn’t looking.

But the answer to her question is a simple one. Natural instincts drive cats to seek out the freshest water available. The water in your glass is probably more recently poured than what’s in the water dish. Plus, curiosity rules the cat mind. We want to see what you got in there, it’s our business too, no matter what you say.

To the humans, if you don’t want us in your water glass, then don’t make it so easy…


Want cats to stay out of your water cups? Try these tricks:

  • Move your cup out of our reach. As cats, we believe anything we can touch is there for our use and rightly so.
  • Give your kitty dear a cup of their own. If the water glass battle is a chronic one, obviously your cat enjoys getting her moisture that way. Teach her the cup is hers by leaving catnip or treats sprinkled around the bottom.
  • Get your cat a fancy new way to drink water. Those nifty water fountains for cats are not only good for sipping, but for watching. To my cat friends, stick your paws in the water streams and have a play for some added fun.

cat drink water glass

For my fellow felines, if you’ve never sipped from a human’s glass before, give it a try.

It’s delicious and refreshing!

Simply dip your paw into the cup and lift the water out or squeeze your face into the glass and start lapping. Either way, the taste of cool clean water is yours.


After the water, when your palate is nice and fresh, hit the food bowl!

On that note, humans, don’t forget to feed the cat.

Feature Image: @zeezee_the_divine/Instagram

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