Last Updated: 1 month ago

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Why does my cat only drink from the faucet?”

Our feline friends are odd little beings. But their amusing quirks are one of the many reasons cats make great pets.

While entertaining at first, your cat drinking from the faucet can become quite a problem.

Read on to find out why your cat does this and what you can do to stop it.

Why Do Cats Drink From the Faucet?

Cats can be super picky. I’ve witnessed my own inspect her water bowl, turn her nose up, and then turn to look at me in disgust.

Plenty of cats take this a step further and decide they’d rather drink from the faucet or sink instead.

Here are potential reasons your cat will only drink from the faucet.

1. It’s in Their Blood

Cats haven’t come this far in the world without learning a few survival tricks along the way.

Wild cats prefer to drink from moving water sources. The water is likely to be safer than that found in a stagnant pool.

The wilderness fans and outdoorsy folk among you will no doubt be aware of this concept too.

While your cat is domesticated, they still retain many of the instincts passed down from their ancestors.

So the faucet may appeal to your cat’s instinct to favor free-flowing water.

2. Water Bowl Location

cat drinking from faucet

Cats are super aware of their surroundings and remain on alert in case an ambush awaits them around the corner.

Humans like to be neat and tidy, placing food and water bowls on the floor in a corner or against a wall.

Your kitchen is hardly filled with the dangers of the African Savannah. However, it can still be a busy place with other pets or children running around.

By having to face the wall, your cat loses her ability to see what’s coming. She may feel vulnerable to an attack from behind.

Climbing higher up onto the counter or into the sink instantly puts kitty at an advantage.

She now feels safer and has a better view of her environment as she drinks from the faucet.

3. Bad-Tasting Water

The taste of the water in her bowl could be causing your cat to look elsewhere for her water supply.

Certain materials can give water an odd flavor. Indeed, this is a problem for humans, which is why there is a market for taste-free reusable bottles.

With any bowl, if you don’t change the water or clean the bowl often enough, the water will taste bad and become warm.

By drinking from the faucet, they avoid all of these issues. Your cat may have come to learn that the freshest, coolest, and tastiest water comes from the faucet.

4. Bowls Are Just Awkward

Cats struggle to see still water. I’ve seen this firsthand; my cat sometimes has trouble judging the water level.

She’ll edge forward and invariably end up sneezing as she dunks her nose in the water by mistake.

Another potential issue with bowls is that your cat’s whiskers brush up against the edge as she drinks, causing her discomfort. 

Your cat may have learned to overcome all of these by visiting the faucet instead.

5. It’s Fun to Play With Water

All other practical reasons aside, your cat could simply be one of the rare cat breeds that like water.

Flowing water is pretty mesmerizing; a cat could happily spend a long time pawing, poking, and flicking the stream of water.

They may take the odd sip, but your kitty might simply prefer the faucet for the fun factor.

Is it a Problem if My Cat Drinks From the Faucet?

You may not have a problem with your cat drinking from the faucet. Drinking in that way isn’t bad for your cat.

However, if they will only drink from the faucet, you have to be there every time they need a drink.

Unless your cat can open the faucet themselves, and if she can do that, what are the chances she’ll shut it off as well? 

If you aren’t home to supervise, that is going to waste a lot of water!

How to Stop Your Cat Drinking From The Faucet

Now we understand some of the reasons why your cat drinks from the faucet and why it may be undesirable. 

You’ll need to stop facilitating your feline friend’s faucet addiction and offer them an alternative they’ll be happy with. 

Let’s look at some good alternatives.

Moving Water Alternatives

According to your cat’s instincts, there are various solutions that offer a moving water alternative to the faucet.

You can choose from a range of pet water fountains that filter, chill, and circulate water to provide a constant flow.

There are also cat faucet adapters that allow your kitty to safely drink without flooding your home!

Bowls For Fussy Cats

If you think your cat’s bowl is what sends them in the direction of the faucet, treat her to a new one.

Ceramic, glass, and metal bowls all avoid the possibility of plastic tainting the flavor of the water.

While choosing a wider bowl can help eliminate the discomfort of whiskers touching the rim.

Bowl Tactics

Try positioning your cat’s water bowl in a quieter part of the house and somewhere they have a good view of their surroundings.

Many cats prefer to be up high, so you could consider putting her bowl on a raised surface.

If you have multiple pets, it’s a good idea to give them more than one bowl. Some just don’t like to share.

Finally, make sure your cat’s water bowl is away from their litter box. It can seem like a good idea to keep all of your cat’s things in one place.

However, cats don’t like to drink next to where they do their business. When was the last time you wanted to eat or drink next to your toilet?

How Much do Cats Drink?

Cat’s daily water requirements can be estimated based on their calorie requirements.

That is to say, a cat needing 250 calories a day would need roughly 250 ml of water too.

Their diet can also affect how much water they actually need to drink. As the names would suggest, wet and dry foods have very different water contents.

Dry cat food is around 10% water, while wet cat food consists of up to 80%. So a 100-gram wet food sachet would give your cat 80 ml of water.

Wrap Up

You asked, “Why does my cat only drink from the faucet?” Hopefully, you now have the answer.

It could be their instinct to seek moving water, something about their bowl or its position, or even just that they enjoy playing with water.

We’ve listed options to help wean your cat off the faucet and also looked at how much they need to be drinking daily.

It may take some time, but there are lots you can do to encourage your feline friend to drink like a “normal” cat. Whatever normal is!

Does your cat only drink from the faucet? Share your story in the comments below!

cat drinking from faucet
Barry Stingmore
Barry Stingmore

Barry Stingmore is a British content creator living in Fuerteventura, Spain. An animal lover at heart, he shares his home with a dog and four rescue cats. Barry works with the island’s animal charities to help manage and care for feral and abandoned animals. Alongside fieldwork, he works to support the charities with fundraising and raising awareness.