Photo by @bellatrix_bengal on Instagram
Ahh, faucets—the magical, water-producing thingamabobs. Cat owners are well aware of how much we cats enjoy running water from those things. If you own a cat, you’ve probably seen them run up to the faucet every time you turn it on, only to stick their tongue out to drink or simply bat at the flowing water. It’s one of the many quirky things we cats do that most humans find social media-worthy, but also quite puzzling.
To know more about our seemingly weird obsession with faucets, here are 7 reasons why we do it:
- We got it from our wild ancestors
Despite being domesticated, we’re still pretty much in touch with the primal instincts we inherited from our ancestors, particularly Bengals, we are a bit closer to our ancestors than the average house cat. We’re instinctively drawn to running water because in the wild, stagnant water is more likely to be contaminated and therefore, is unsafe.
- Standing water is invisible
In the wild, our species locate water through hearing rather than sight. Believe it or not, but standing water is practically invisible to us, especially inside a water bowl. Instead of relying on sight to locate accessible water, we use our excellent sense of hearing to detect the familiar sound of running water.
- Running water is tasty!
Just like how you humans prefer refreshing, cold water from the fridge than the one inside a bottle that’s been sitting inside your gym bag for hours, we cats prefer faucet water over bowl water. Running water from the faucet tastes better because unlike the stagnant water inside our bowls, it’s cleaner, cooler and more oxygenated.
- Facing the wall can be dangerous (maybe)
Most humans place their cat’s food and water bowls against a wall. This makes us cats feel very exposed and vulnerable to rear attacks. I mean, the possibility of being attacked by a predator inside a kitchen may be slim to none, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. We’d really appreciate it if our bowls are placed somewhere a little safer so we can take a drink without having to worry about ambush attacks, like maybe on top of the fridge, or in an enclosed space.
- Sometimes the bowls are the problem
I’m sure you humans are familiar with the term, whisker fatigue. Whisker fatigue happens when our whiskers become overstimulated from brushing against something, such as the sides of food or water bowls that are too deep. Cats that experience whisker fatigue from their bowls will usually eat from their paws, or not eat at all, to avoid the stress and discomfort. To prevent this from happening, make sure to get food and water bowls that are specially made to be whisker fatigue-free
- We like our food away from our water
One other reason why your little feline friend may choose faucet water over bowl water is because their food is always near it. It’s very common for humans to place their cat’s food and water in one area. Many pet bowl companies even sell products that intentionally have both bowls in one compartment. The thing is, some cats don’t like that. It’s because our wild ancestors used to drag their kill away from their water source so the remains don’t contaminate the water. It’s an instinct that up to this day, many domesticated felines still have with them.
- We love playing with running water
Who are we kidding? Flowing water is so much more fun to play with than the still water inside our bowls. We love splashing water around the sink or the bathtub and batting it with our paws as it continues to flow—some of us have even tried to bite it, but no cat has ever caught it yet. You humans should try it some time. I swear, you’ll love it!
Tap water can contain heavy metals, chlorine by-products, fluoride, mercury and arsenic that can compromise your cat’s health, so it’s best if you keep their faucet water access to a minimum. Instead, you can try to entice them to drink more water from their water bowl by always keeping it as clean as possible and making sure to fill it will fresh water every day.
If their bowl is too deep and you notice them pawing inside their bowl, make sure to get them a bowl that’s specially made to be whisker fatigue-free so they don’t get stressed out from using it. If you’ve done everything, but your cat still persists to drink from the faucet rather than their water bowl, then you should consider getting them a drinking fountain.
Here are some you may want to check out:
Veken Pet Fountain
- Ultra quiet and low consumption pump
- 2.5 L water capacity
- Made with BPA-free, non-toxic materials
- Comes with one silicone mat to catch splashing water
- Has 3 different water flow options
- Designed with a triple filtration system
Catit Flower Cat Water Fountain
- Has 3 different water flow options
- 3 L circulating water
- Takes up little floor space (perfect for smaller homes/apartments)
- Includes dual-action water softening filter and energy-efficient pump
- Made of BPA-free materials
Hydration is very important and as a cat pawrent, you should always make sure your cat gets enough water throughout the day. They might enjoy drinking from the faucet, but it’s not necessarily the best for them. So, give them an alternative and I’m sure they’ll be happy to oblige.