Why is my cat so picky about drinking water?


Cats are finicky. They are always changing where they sleep, what they will eat, and where they like to be pet. A common question among cat owners is “Why is my cat so picky about drinking water?” The answers may surprise you!


Where you place the water dish is important

Keeping the kitty food and water dishes side by side is a common practice among pet owners. Unfortunately for Fluffy, this is not how she would prefer it. Where you place the water dish is important to feline friends since have a very strong sense of smell. When a cat drinks water, it prefers not to smell their food nearby. They also prefer to keep their source of water away from their food as to prevent contamination. Keep Fluffy happy by moving her water dish away from her food dish. This one simple step may encourage her to drink more water. Another tip is to place several water dishes in different areas of your home to give your kitty options and the chance to find where she prefers to get a drink. 

Feeding wet food is preferred

If Fluffy was living in the wild, she would hunt for food just like feral cats do. Her diet would consist of birds, rodents, & lizards which are made up of 70% water. Her diet would make up for most of the water she would need. Most house cats are fed dry food which contains only 20% water. Switching Fluffy to a wet food diet will not only provide her with most of the water she needs, it will make her extremely happy!

Their survival instincts play a factor

Ancient Egyptians domesticated cats over 4,000 years ago, but to this day our feline friends still rely on the same survival instincts they used in the wild. You may provide Fluffy with fresh water, and day after day the bowl goes untouched. Water that sits still can be very intimidating to a cat which sets off an alarm to stay away.  Drinking from a bowl leaves them vulnerable. If the water level does not stay constant within the bowl, they cannot tell where the water starts.  To help Fluffy out, keep the water level the same each time you fill her bowl and always be sure clean your Fluffy’s water dish with soap and water daily to prevent bacteria from forming. 

They prefer running water

I bet that one more than one occasion Fluffy has demanded a drink from the kitchen faucet. That is because kitties prefer their water to be fresh, and running water equals fresh water.  Running water is also more oxygenated than still in a bowl which is more appealing. Instead of running the tap for Fluffy all day, invest in a cat water fountain. They come in a variety of shapes & colors, have filters to keep the water fresh as it circulates. Amazon has a huge list of pet fountains that can be at your door within 24 hours. We love the Pioneer Rain Drop FountainPetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain


Kidney disease is the number one killer of most domesticated cats. Keep Fluffy healthy by trying at least one or all of these suggestions. Fluffy will thank you! 


Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a Veterinary Technician and veterinary hospital administrator since 1997. She founded her pet sitting company, Fuzzy Friends Pet Care, at the young age of 16. She was nominated as one of Pet Sitters International’s Top 5 Pet Sitters in 2016 and is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.


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