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Why won't my cat drink out of her bowl?

User
Oct. 21, 2017

I fill my cat's water bowl with fresh water every day, but as far as I can tell, she never drinks any of it. If anyone in the family leaves a glass of water or milk unattended, however, she will stick her paw or head into it and drink like she's dying of thirst. Is this normal? Why would she do this?

Answers
User in Warren, MI
Oct. 22, 2015

I would aslo suggest a always flowing watter bowl, they can be pricey, but i have turned this fix onto many pet parents having similar problems. The automatic free flowing waterbowls do have filters and the water is always recycling the same way a parks water pond with statues that admits water does. So the free flowing water bowls combine the pickiness of freash water only cats and cats who love to drink water from the sink or shower. Short term id suggest ice cubes.. You could even add a drop of low sodium chicken or beef broth to the ice cubes or watter.. Heck even add a ice cube with broth into her regular watter bowl, cats can be fussy enough that maybe she just likes her liquids very very cold. Good luck!

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Is her water bowl plastic? Sometimes the plastic bowls give off a weird smell that they don't really like. The stainless steel ones work best, as far as I've experienced. You can try tempting her with ice cubes or frozen chicken broth cubes in the water too, or if worst comes to worst, a pet fountain. Hope it helps!

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Do you keep her water bowl next to her food? It is instinctual for cats to NOT drink water that is next to their food...in the wild, cats will not drink water next to their food because nature has taught them that such water is contaminated from "their kill" Try moving the water dish to another room, or at least across the room from the food dish.

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User in Durand, MI
Jan. 21, 2016

You may want to try washing it for her and then see if she drinks out of it. My cat refuses to drink out a bowl that hasn't been washed in a couple days.

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User in Orlando, FL
May 15, 2015

It's possible that she is getting it occasionally from other sources, running tap and the notorious drinking out of the toilet. My suggestion is if you're not sure if she is, is to change the bowl and keep all the bathrooms closed to see if she drinks that day. If you do see her drinking out of her own bowl, reward her with a treat to encourage the behavior.

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Many times cats will seek out running water. Due to their survival instincts, they will often not drink from still areas of water (hence why they seek out running water like a dripping sink or even a running gutter) to ensure that the water is fresh. There are running water bowls on the market but if you keep water bowls fresh, this can also help with this problem.

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Curiosity and they do drink out of their bowls, just not as much as dogs do.

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Sometimes cats are picky about their water being too close to their food. At my house we fill an actual cup up and leave it be the refrigerator. My cats seem to drink it from there, so I would suggest moving the water bowl to the opposite side of the room just to see how that works out.

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User in Aurora, IL
May 13, 2015

Cats are notoriously picky with water. My cat will actually climb into the sink and demand I turn it on for her whenever I'm in the bathroom. Make sure the bowl is clean and doesn't add any scents to the water (metal, ceramic, etc. are good choices). If that doesn't work, you could try a pet water fountain. Many of them cycle the water and filter it and cats like it better.

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User in Spokane, WA
May 12, 2015

Some cats just prefer to drink out of containers other than their bowls. My cat does the same thing. She also really enjoys drinking out of a dripping/low pressure water faucet.

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User in Forney, TX
May 12, 2015

it may be the water some cats prefer milk or it could just be that she is not thirsty.

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User in Newark, DE
May 15, 2015

If you have the water bowl near the food, I suggest moving it. Cats do not like having their food bowls next to their water bowls. This may help your cat start drinking regularly. Also, unless it is a filtered water bowl, dump out the water and refill it every day/every other day. I hope this helps and good luck!!

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As Clara said cats instinctively don't like to drink out of still water. For my cat Ninja we have a fountain and I have to recommend the Miaustore fountain as it's a great design, but if you wan't to read more on why it's effective they've gone into detail on whats important in a fountain i.e. ceramic for hygiene, the fact cats get water through their food and how a cats vision doesnt allow it to see still things very well, - https://miaustore.com/uk/why-t...

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User in Worcester, MA
Oct. 21, 2015

My cat is a bit of a "queen" and refuses to drink out of the bowl unless she is dying for a drink. Instead, she insists drinking out of the faucet. I mean if you're up for standing by them waiting for them to finish, then have at it. Otherwise try putting some ice cubes in the bowl and move it away from the food. If you use a plastic bowl, like from the supermarket that you just toss, just regularly change it. Make sure the water is clean.

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