cat glass of water

Why Do Cats Knock over Water?

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by admin

If you’ve ever had a cat, then you know that they have a knack for knocking over water bowls. It can be incredibly frustrating, not to mention messy, when your beloved feline companion turns their water bowl into a disaster zone. But why do cats knock over water? Are they trying to tell you something? Or are they just being cats?

There are several possible explanations as to why cats may be knocking over their water bowls. One explanation is that the water in the bowl may not be fresh or of good quality; cats prefer running or flowing water over standing water and may knock over the bowl in an attempt to clean it. Additionally, cats are cleanliness freaks and may be trying to find fresh water if their bowl is too dirty. The size and shape of the bowl and its location may also be a factor, as cats generally don’t like deep, narrow bowls, because when they stick their heads in, their whiskers rub against the sides. Stress and underlying illness can also weaken the immune system and lead to secondary illnesses, which may make cats thirstier and cause them to drink from their water bowls more frequently. Finally, it may be an instinctive behavior; in the wild, cats knock over their bowls to hide food remnants and not attract predators.

The Degree of Freshness of the Water

Cats may also knock over their water bowls because they don’t like the quality or quantity of the water. If the water has been standing for a while, it can become stale and unappealing to cats. If a cat is constantly knocking over the bowl, it may be a sign that they are looking for fresher water. It’s important to switch out their bowl regularly to make sure the water stays fresh. Cleanliness is also important, as cats are known to be cleanliness freaks and may be avoiding their water bowl if it is filled with debris from dust, food particles, fur, and other debris that can accumulate over time.

The Size and Shape of the Bowl

The size and shape of the bowl can also be an important factor in why cats knock over their water. Cats generally don’t like deep, narrow bowls, because when they stick their heads in, their whiskers rub against the sides. This can be uncomfortable for them and can cause their whiskers to become irritated. It’s also important to note that cats don’t have a lot of depth perception, so it can take a bit more effort for them to accurately drink from a shallow bowl. If your cat’s bowl is too deep or narrow, she may try to knock it over or paw at it to make it easier for her to drink from. Switching out his bowl for something that better fits his needs may help prevent messes and spills.

Its Location

Cats can also become anxious if they don’t like the location of their water bowl. Cats are very particular about their water and where it is located. If the bowl is too close to their food bowl, or in a place they deem unsafe, they may feel compelled to move it. Placing the bowl in a more secure or private spot may help reduce the anxiety your cat experiences and thus stop them from knocking the bowl over.

Stress and Underlying Illness

Cats can be very sensitive creatures and may often become anxious or frustrated by things going on around them, or by the way people interact with them. This anxiety can manifest itself in different ways, including knocking over their water bowl. This behavior can also be an indication of dehydration and underlying illnesses such as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). FLUTD is caused primarily by stress, and cats who become stressed start to suffer from progressive damage to their bladder lining. To help your cat stay calm and relaxed, it is important to create a stress-free environment for him. Signs of stress in cats may include pacing, excessive grooming, hiding, or changes in their eating and drinking habits. If your cat is displaying any of these behaviors, you should take them to the vet for a checkup.

Don’t Like the Quality/Quantity of the Water

One of the reasons cats may knock over their water bowls is because they don’t like the quality or quantity of the water. Cats have very sensitive taste buds and can easily be turned off by stale, dirty, or unpleasant-tasting water. If the water bowl isn’t cleaned regularly, it can quickly become contaminated with dust, food particles, fur, and other debris that cats find unappealing. If your cat is knocking over their water bowl, make sure to switch out his bowl and fill it with fresh water every day. Additionally, some cats are cleanliness freaks and can become frustrated if their water bowl is not spotless.

Contamination with Dust, Food Particles, Fur, and Other Debris

Another possible reason why cats may knock over their water is contamination. Cats are notoriously fastidious about cleanliness, and when their bowl becomes full of dust, food particles, fur, and other debris, they may choose to knock it over in order to get a fresh start. If you have a multi-cat household, it’s important to make sure that each cat has a separate bowl, as cats will often avoid sharing a water bowl with another cat. Additionally, if your cat’s water bowl is located near his food bowl, he may be knocking it over in order to separate the two.

Cats Prefer Running Water

Some cats may prefer to drink from running water because of their instinctive behavior in the wild. Wild cats would have been used to drinking from rivers and streams, so it makes sense that they would prefer cool, moving water over that which may have been standing for some time. Dr. Greco explains that this preference for moving water could also be due to cats being able to hear the sound of running water better than they can see it. So, if you find your cat knocking over their water bowl more often, it may be worth considering switching out his bowl and providing him with a running tap or a drinking fountain instead.

Switch out His Bowl

Another possible explanation for your cat knocking over its water bowl is that the bowl itself is not suitable for them. Cats generally don’t like deep, narrow bowls, because when they stick their heads in, their whiskers rub against the sides. If that’s the case, you may want to switch out his bowl for a shallow one with wide sides. This way, your cat can access the water more comfortably and may be less likely to want to knock it over.

Cleanliness Freaks

It’s not just a matter of freshness that can prompt cats to knock over their water bowls. Cats are incredibly fastidious groomers, and they can spend up to 40 percent of their day cleaning themselves. This means that they may be knocking over their water bowl to ensure it’s clean, or simply because the bowl is too big or heavy for them to clean properly. You can try switching out his bowl for one that is easier for him to clean and maintain, or try adding wet food to his diet in order to help him get more water into his system.

Instinctive Behavior in the Wild

It’s true that cats have an instinctive behavior in the wild that leads them to hunt and try to catch their food. This same instinct can manifest itself in the home, too. Knocking things over can be a result of your cat’s natural hunting tendencies, as they may be trying to play with it like prey. It’s also possible that your kitty is trying to drown their toy in the water, as part of the hunting instinct. So, next time you find yourself asking why do cats knock over water, remember that it could be their inner wildcat coming out!

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