Why Do Cats Drink From the Toilet?

Cat drinking from the toilet

We all know that cats can have some quirky habits, but one that many cat owners find particularly puzzling is their tendency to drink from the toilet. It’s not the most pleasant topic to discuss, but if your feline friend has taken a liking to toilet water, it’s important to address it promptly and effectively. So, why do some cats prefer the toilet over their own water bowls? Let’s explore this curious behavior from their perspective.

Freshness Counts

Believe it or not, some cats actually find the water in the toilet more appealing because it tastes fresher to them. While we might find it hard to comprehend, it’s important to remember that cats have different preferences. Water that has been sitting in a regular water bowl for hours or even days may start to taste stale to them. So, in their minds, the toilet water provides a cooler and fresher alternative.

Cat drinking from the toilet

Rule out Medical Issues

If your cat drinks all the water in their water bowl and still seeks out the toilet, it’s worth considering whether there may be an underlying medical issue. Pay attention to any changes in their urination habits and consult a veterinarian to rule out conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease. It’s always better to be safe and ensure your cat’s well-being.

The Fun Factor

Cats are natural explorers and love to find amusement in the simplest of things. Drinking from the toilet may also be a result of play behavior. If your cat lacks other forms of stimulation and environmental enrichment, they may develop an interest in observing the swirling water whenever the toilet is flushed. This visual fascination can then lead to curiosity and a paw dipping into the water. Some clever cats have even mastered the art of flushing the toilet themselves!

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If you find that the toilet has become the highlight of your cat’s day, it may be time to reassess their environmental enrichment and ensure they have other activities to keep them engaged.

Three books by Pam Johnson-Bennett and a quote from AHA

Putting a Stop to the Behavior

Now that you understand why cats may drink from the toilet, you’re probably wondering what you can do to discourage this behavior. Start with a simple solution – always keep the toilet lid closed, even if it means placing a friendly reminder in the bathroom for other family members. By removing access to the toilet water, you eliminate the temptation for your cat.

Next, make sure the water in your cat’s regular bowl is appealing by changing it daily. Consider using a pet water fountain that keeps the water oxygenated and fresh for longer periods. This can also help redirect their interest from the toilet water, especially if they were initially attracted to it as a form of play.

Cat drinking water from a bowl

Remember to wash your cat’s water bowl daily to prevent the buildup of biofilm. Cat hair, food debris, and dirt can accumulate on the sides, making the water less appealing. By maintaining a clean bowl, you ensure that the water remains enticing to your cat.

Lastly, increase your cat’s environmental enrichment by providing other stimulating activities. Engage in daily interactive play sessions, set up puzzle feeders, and create a more enriching environment overall. By offering alternative sources of entertainment, you can divert your cat’s attention away from the toilet.

Need More Information?

For more detailed guidance on increasing environmental enrichment or correcting unwanted behavior in cats, be sure to check out the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. You can find Pam’s books at bookstores or online. Simply visit Katten TrimSalon to learn more.

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Buy Pam's books

If you have any concerns about your cat’s health, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian. This article is not meant to replace professional veterinary care.

Remember, understanding your cat’s unique behaviors can lead to a happier and healthier relationship between you and your feline companion. So, let’s keep those water bowls fresh and the toilets off-limits for our curious little friends!