Helping Guide Bengal Cat Owners

Why Do Cats like to Watch Running Water?

How many times have you caught your cat watching the running water from the tap? Cats seem to have such a fascination for this.

In the wild, water attracts them by sound and running water mimics this. The way light appears to their eyes is visually captivating.

As you scroll further down, you’ll find the answers as to why they like running water and how you can take this to your advantage.

Why Are Cats Attracted to Running Water?

It makes you as curious as a cat why they have an odd attraction to water, and this boils down to the survival of their predecessors in the wild.

Unlike food, water isn’t blatantly visible nor does it smell like anything. It makes a noise, from streams, waterfalls, and moving bodies of water. This is how wild felines were able to locate fresh water.

Now that cats have chosen to be domesticated, they still carry this instinct that the sound of running water means “here is the location of your source of need that’s safe and fresh”.

Do Cats Like the Sound of Running Water?

The sound of running water signals to cats that this is safe to drink from because it doesn’t allow for bacteria and fungi to form. Hearing it also intrigues them which is why you find them slapping it out of playful fun.

Aside from their strong sense of smell, cats’ hearing is one of their great tools for surviving. FirstVet states that cats’ ears have 30 sets of muscles that allow movements of up to 180 degrees and they are able to hear frequencies as high as 64,000 Hz. Us humans can’t pick up sounds over 20,000 Hz.

Read: Signs Your Cat Hates You and How to Fix It?

Do Cats Like Watching Rain?

As they love watching and listening to the sound and sight of running water, cats like to stay by the window and listen to the sound of rain. They watch what’s going on outside although not all cats like it.

The soft sound of rain is calming to listen to but the thunder along with it might scare your feline from watching it by the window peacefully. Cats love soothing sounds from nature and it calms them from anxious feelings.

Is Running Water Better for Cats?

For cats, there are benefits of drinking from running water. In the wild, moving water doesn’t allow for bacteria to form and cats associate it with fresh and safe water. It also encourages them to drink more.

In comparison, still water or water in a bowl allows for dust to accumulate on the surface. Bacteria take a few days to grow on stagnant water but as long as it is changed a few times a day, your cat will drink from the bowl.

Read: Where Can to Declaw Cat for Free?

Are Running Water Fountains Good for Cats?

Water fountains for cats have their pros and cons. The Veterinary Care Group advocates for owners to get water fountains but some say it’s a hassle to clean.

Pros of Getting a Water Fountain

  • It’s more convenient than water bowls.
  • It makes the water tastes cool and fresh.
  • It filters or replaces the water to keep it clean.
  • It doesn’t get knocked over easily.
  • It serves to entertain your curious feline friend and is encouraged to drink more.

Cons of A Water Fountain

  • It needs to be cleaned deeply and regularly.
  • The filter has to be replaced often.
  • Electric water fountains can overheat.
  • It can get messy if your cat makes it a plaything instead of a fun water station.
  • It can be noisy and scare your cat.

Looking at the long-term benefits of a cat fountain certainly outweigh the short-term cons. In the end, what’s best for you and your cat differs for everyone else.

Read: Why Having a Cat Helps You Reduce Stress and Anxiety?

How to Find a Good Water Fountain for My Cat?

A water fountain sounds like a wonderful item to buy for your cat but let’s consider other factors such as the material used and the style.

  • Choose a food-friendly material. Nonporous materials like glass, metals, and ceramic do not allow bacteria to grow on it and cause infections. Cat fountains can be made from plastic, stainless steel, glass, and ceramic. Which one do you like?
  • It should be easy to clean. It should take you less than ten minutes to clean the fountain. If it takes longer than that, the model is too complicated and time-consuming to maintain unless you are willing to put in the work.
  • It shouldn’t be too noisy. Your cat could ignore the fountain if it scares it the first time.
  • Adjustable for your cat. A fountain that adjusts the rate of water flow helps with finding out what your cat prefers.
  • Pick a design you and your cat like. Since it’s going to be a part of your house, make sure it’s something that you don’t mind is on display and a water fountain that your cat loves coming back to.

Read: Why Do People Love Their Bengal Cats So Much?

Why Do Cats Avoid Still Water?

Animals’ thousand-year-old predecessors still affect the behavior of present-day pets. It’s no different for felines.

Felines in the wild and in the past perceive stagnant water as unsafe and therefore should be avoided. Stagnant water like ponds accumulates bacteria to grow and thrive. Water bowls appear to be like this to cats.

Cats can smell what’s in the water. If you added electrolyte powder for a mineral boost, your feline friend might have sensed it and walked away from the mere scent of it.

Change the locations of the water bowls to two separate areas in the house away from the litterbox and in a quiet location.

Why Is My Cat Obsessed with Tap Water?

Owners often see their cats paw and drink from the tap water. The tap produces running water that makes your feline want to drink from it because of how they used to locate this vital resource in the wild.

Your cat is obsessed with the running water from the tap, which is a leftover trait from their predecessor signaling to them that it’s safe and fresh. However, not all areas provide potable tap water.

Be up to date with your water provider to know if they abide by standard safety for tap water so you can be confident letting your cat drink from it.

Read: What Makes Bengal Cats So Special?


Cats aren’t fond of water in general especially being wet but running water fascinates them, so they sit by the sink watching it pour down from the tap. Before cats were domesticated, they found water by sound such as from streams.

To felines, water that moves around meant that bacteria didn’t contaminate it. it’s safe and it tastes fresh and cool.

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