When it’s time to give them their bath, your cat will do everything it can to run away and hide. However, you can often find them scratching around their water bowl – as if they’re playing. Could that possibly be the reason why they scratch around their water bowl?
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Why do cats scratch the floor before drinking water?
You may find it hard to believe, but some cats do love water. This may have completely ruined your mental image of what a cat is and what they do and do not like. Most cats only appreciate water – as long as it’s not directed to them.
Cats have a bad case of shiny-object-syndrome – they love reflective surfaces. Water is a reflective surface and they love the ripple effect when they make splashes with their paws. This is especially true for very young kittens – so be sure to keep their water at a safe level.
Ironically, cats also are very picky with their water. They won’t drink dirty water, yet they put their dirty little paws in their water bowls sometimes. Cats truly are a mystery. If you find that they’re playing with their water bowls too much, try playing with them more using interactive toys like a want. Spice up the routine every once in a while, to keep them on their toes.
Reasons cats might dip their paws in the water
Other than playing, there are so many reasons as to why cats like to keep dipping their paws in the water. A plausible reason could be whisker fatigue. Your cat’s whiskers are very sensitive, and when they get overly stimulated, like when it hits the sides of their water bowls, it can be pretty uncomfortable. If your kitty is experiencing whisker pain, you can try switching out their water bowls for a shallower dish.
Cats naturally prefer moving water
Cats naturally prefer moving water so much more than the stagnant variety. This is because in the wild, they’ll have less chances of getting sick if they don’t drink from puddle waters. If you notice that your cat would dip in their bowls immediately before they drink, or if your cat is the kind to jump on the counter and drink from the faucet, then consider getting them a water fountain to drink out of.
If you are living in a house with multiple cats, some cats might feel too threatened to duck down to their water bowls and fully let their guard down. If you think your cat may be a bit insecure about the other cats in the house, best to give them more options around the house where they can drink water in safety.
There also some anecdotal evidence that some cats may have a bit of trouble identifying the level of the water in their water bowls. Even though cats are near sighted, they can’t see things that are too close to their eyes. It could be that your cat is just testing out the waters, as they say, before they start the process of rehydrating themselves.
How can I stop my cat from splashing water out of their bowls?
If your cat is young, it could just be them innocently playing, exploring the world they’re living in. However, if they’re old enough that you’d think they ought to have grown out of this habit, there are a few things to consider – like playing with your cat a little bit more. If your cat is drinking way too much water than they need, and in turn, spilling it all over the place, consider visiting your vet as there could be an underlying issue.
If your cat’s not drinking enough water, the reason why they may be pawing their water bowl and spilling water everywhere is because they don’t like their water bowl. Cats can be very picky about their water bowls. The most common alternatives to your standard water bowls is a fountain water bowl, or one that would mimic a running faucet. Sometimes, simply opting for a shallower dish with a wide rim could do the trick for your cat.
Why do cats paw around their food bowl?
Just like around their water bowls, cats have strange behaviors around their food as well. After a meal, if you notice that your cat is pawing at the floor right next to their food bowl as if to hide their leftovers, don’t be alarmed. This is just a remnant of their wild habits. In the wild where cats are both prey and predator, they bury their leftovers after their meals. This is so their predators can’t trace them through their kill.
Another reason why they scratch around their feeding station is to leave their scent. This is the cat’s way of communicating to other cats and animals that this place is their territory.
How do I stop my cat from scratching around their food/water bowls?
Aside from the ways previously discussed in this article, one of the best way to stop your cat from scratching around their food bowl is to take it away after they’re done eating. As for their water bowls, if the previous suggested ways, like changing up their water bowls to the fountain type or even a shallower, wide-brimmed type, you can try distracting them by playing with them. Most of the time, the reason why your cat does some weird stuff is because they have that extra play energy to burn.
For the most part, your cat’s strange food rituals is not something to worry about. It could just be because they’re a bit bored, or it’s just the fragments of their ancient wild side. Once you notice an excess of this quirk though, it’s always good to visit your local vet for safety.