Reasons Why Cats Spill Water and How to Stop It

by catfood

Usually, there is no need for concern.

Cats and kittens are known for having a fear of the water.

While most cats prefer to stay completely dry, some like to play with their water dishes or scout out new water sources in their environment. The conundrum is whether they do it because they are curious about water or if they have a medical issue that causes them to drink excessive amounts of water. If you observe your kitten or cat splashing in its water bowl rather than drinking from it, it may have a health issue that is interfering with its natural need to hydrate itself.


What Causes Kittens to Jump into the Water?

Typically playful, kittens instinctively want to play with objects with their paws. They might like playing in or near water because of this. Cats groom themselves by licking their fur, therefore it’s unlikely that they’re utilizing their water dishes as bathtubs. Kittens possibly interact with water to get a better understanding of their surroundings.

Water is enjoyable for cats. A young kitten may have developed a tolerance for bathing and getting wet if it experienced frequent water play or baths. Breeds that are particularly tolerant of water include Maine Coons. Be aware that opinions on whether and how frequently cats should be bathed vary. Finally, some cats simply prefer drinking freshwater and don’t like drinking stagnant water from their bowls. They might be simulating the ripple effect in freshwater with the water.


Health Issues

Before you start addressing behavioral issues, take your cat to the vet to make sure there isn’t a medical reason for it to be interested in water. Due to thyroid issues, diabetes, or kidney disease, cats may experience thirst. They might drink from their water bowls more frequently and cause a mess by splashing or pawing the water if they’re feeling under the weather.

Additionally, they could search for other water sources like a toilet or a faucet. Most cats with health problems also exhibit lethargy, confusion, or a decrease in appetite as additional disease signs. Even though it is quite unusual, it is still possible for a small kitten to have one of these ailments, so take care to contact your veterinarian if you see your cat drinking a lot of water or focusing on its water bowl.


Cats may behave strangely when under stress or worry. A cat may attempt to enter or place its paws inside its water bowl. Cats who are separated from their owners frequently engage in abnormal behavior to get their attention. This can occasionally be mistaken for litter box issues, such as spraying urine or urinating outside of the designated area.

As a result of separation stress and anxiety, some cats may attempt to get your attention by splashing in the water dish, shoving it away, or flipping it over. Additionally, stress can exacerbate obsessive-compulsive disorders. Kittens are rarely affected by these persistent behavioral habits.

Keeping Cats Safe From Water Spills

A kitten periodically playing in the water and acting its age. While other kittens adore splashing around in the water, some can’t stand the stuff. Since kittens often outgrow tendencies like splashing in the water, patience may be the best course of action if your young cat is using its water bowl as a toy.

By giving the kitten another toy to play with, you may be able to redirect its attention to a better play outlet if the behavior doesn’t start to change by the time it begins to approach maturity. Up to the age of five months, kitten object play is at its peak; it then tends to drop.


Correct any health issues

If a cat is drinking excessive amounts of water or spilling water as a result of a health issue, your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause and offer treatment options. Your cat may need prescription medicine to treat the problem. By taking care of the health issue, bad water bowl habits should be broken.

Adjusting uncomfortable situations

It could be difficult to manage stressful situations. A board-certified veterinary behaviorist can help you identify the problem and work with you to help solve it if you are unable to pinpoint the exact problem. In the interim, try these solely water bowl-focused techniques:

  • Think about letting your cat investigate a dish of water you’ve placed in your shower or bathtub. Your cat can be taught to just play with water dishes in the shower, where spillage won’t be an issue, using treats and praise.
  • For your cat, change the water frequently—at least once a day. You can add ice cubes to the water to make it colder, even though some cats could regard them as toys and play with their water even more.
  • As an alternative, think about utilizing non-spill water bottles made for guinea pigs or other small animals.
  • To ensure that the water is always pure, think about employing a bowl with a continuous flow mechanism similar to a fountain.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately.For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your family pet, know the pet’s health history, and may make the best recommendations for your pet.

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