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anartist's avatar

Why is my cat's water bowl always full?

Asked by anartist (14732 points ) July 18th, 2010

She never seems to drink water. The bowl always looked full when her brother was alive too. Don’t cats need more water than she appears to be drinking? She does not drink out of the toilet because I always have the lid down. She goes outside but never leaves the yard and there is no water out there for her because it would draw mosquitoes.

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27 Answers

MissCupid's avatar

I asked my vet about this because I was also worried. He assured me that firstly, cats don’t need a lot of water. But also, if you’re feeding her wet food, they get most of their moisture from that. If you feed her dry food you will see her drinking more often.
I noticed that an upturned BBQ tray left in my garden was my cat’s favourite drinking spot. It was horrible water but they really liked it. Chances are, your cat has found a secret source that you haven’t noticed, or is just getting water when you’re not looking.
Don’t worry :)

anartist's avatar

I caught my cats drinking crummy water in places it got caught after a rain and make a point of dumping them. My cats have always insisted on wet food [dry food is just backup for them] so maybe that explains it. Thanks.

MissCupid's avatar

No problem :) Plus, I wouldn’t worry too much about the crummy water – they must crave it for some reason… the same way they need to eat grass perhaps? Glad I could help!

dpworkin's avatar

They also seem to prefer running water. When I provided Cecil with a Cat Fountain it seems to me he began to use it rather than whatever he was doing before I bought it.

knitfroggy's avatar

Cats also like very fresh water. I keep a smallish bowl of water out for them and I change it a few times a day.

anartist's avatar

@dpworkin My Jacky loved running water
Thanks. I will check that out. Jilly might like it.

@knitfroggy I do change Jilly’s water bowl several times a day, each time she gets a small serving of wet food.

knitfroggy's avatar

@anartist That’s good. I never realized they wanted fresh water that much, I mean it makes sense, but I had never thought of it before until I was discussing it with my boss one day. I also throw a couple ice cubes in their bowl when I get in the freezer and they really seem to like that!

anartist's avatar

@knitfroggy ice cubes! easy to try.

knitfroggy's avatar

@anartist Yeah. And really, who doesn’t want some ice water now and again? :)

poofandmook's avatar

My cats love their fountain. One of them was scared of it for a little while, but I figured out that she didn’t like the carbon filter in it. Once I took the filter out, she was fine and dandy with it. I have an extra reservoir for it, and every day I dump a mini-tray of ice cubes into it before I leave for work. I highly recommend it.

Coloma's avatar

Must be a secret water source somewhere, maybe the shower or basin.

My old cat that is now gone used to like to drink from a drippy hose.

My new male cat drinks more as he is not into the canned food, my female less because she lives for her morning fancy feast moment. lol

I change the indoor water daily to keep it fresh.

Lately the levels have been going down noticably at night in the heat wave we are havng on the west coast.

I also have several water sources outdoors in my big yard on property.

A galvanized pan up the hill that holds about 2 gal. the geese drink from when in the yard.
A birdbath and several water garden bowls I freshen daily, as well as a huge ceramic water garden on my deck.

My cats are covered so I don’t worry about the indoor water much.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I thought the same thing before, but i already knew that he drank water from all other kinds of weird places, eg after i use the bathroom taps, he’d drink the drops from the tap until the tap was dry, and he’d drink the droplets of water left in the bath, stuff like that.
It’s good that you noticed though, one should be observant towards their pets to detect any problems early on. :)

netgrrl's avatar

When I stopped buying canned cat food years ago (I dislike paying for something that’s 75% water) I noticed they drink from their water bowls (and the bathroom tap) more often.

keobooks's avatar

I discovered a secret water source of my cat—after a shower, I caught her licking the bathtub and the shower curtain. Errrr… yum yum? bleagh! Before this, she was very partial to the toilet, but I just shut the lid on that water.

Another secret water stash—if I leave any dishes in the sink, she’ll drink. That’s the only one that bothers me, since there could be soap if I let something soak.

poofandmook's avatar

@keobooks: I know mine can smell the soap, so they stay away.. if that makes you feel any better.

gailcalled's avatar

We have a standing appointment at my morning and evening ablutions. I pour several cups of cold water into the tub and on the edges; Milo waits until there are no more splashes; then he jumps in and laps the puddles up.

I too change the water, in several spots including outside, several times a day. In this weather, I drop an ice cube in from time to time.

netgrrl's avatar

@gailcalled I do the ice cube thing too! My cats and dog love it. One of my cats considers any trip I make into the bathroom to be an occasion to turn the sink tap on for him, even if he has fresh clean water just put in a just-washed bowl. I usually keep a small bowl in the bathroom sink for him too.

casheroo's avatar

I was concerned about this, so we got our cats a water fountain, and started them on wet food once a day. They’re so much happier!

keobooks's avatar

Careful on the wet food. It’s bad for their teeth. You do not want a senior kitty with a mouth full of bad teeth. There’s not much you can do for them.

dpworkin's avatar

It’s hard to get good advice on pet food, even from a vet, because they are influenced (even if unconsciously) by the freebies they get from the big manufacturers. Be skeptical about food recommendations and read, read, read. I know this is not dead on the water topic, but food has been mentioned here, and I think it’s an important issue, whether you choose wet or dry.

ItsAHabit's avatar

The cat probably prefers toilet water.

anartist's avatar

@keobooks I know. She gets them cleaned [scaled] just like we do, only not as often.
My cats have never considered dry food “food”—just sustenance. I have tried, fairly unsuccessfully, to cut back on the amount of wet food. Jilly cat likes her wet food even watered down, she likes the gravy more than the food. And she loves tuna juice. So I guess she does get her water.

Coloma's avatar

And don’t forget, ( along with stress and other predisposistions of course ) that wet food is good for male cats whom are more prone to UTI’s.

I have been very lucky with my last couple of male cats but have had males ( neutered ) in the past that had lifelong issues with UTI’s.

I am hoping my new one yr. old male is not going to be one of them.

netgrrl's avatar

@anartist My cats love tuna juice. It’s a special treat, since I don’t even eat tuna that often. But they recognize the can!

espearite's avatar

I want a cat now :(

anartist's avatar

@espearite You won’t regret it.

GoWithTheFlow's avatar

I’ve heard that if you place the water dish relatively close to the food dish, the cat won’t want to drink the water.

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