Cat Keeps Spilling Water

Cat Keeps Spilling Water

Some cats have this annoying habit of swatting at their water bowl and spilling the water. 

Cat keeps spilling water: What are the reasons?

Cats spill their water for the following reasons:

1. Your cat is curious and has an impulse of manipulating things with its paws. 

Cats are naturally curious and playful with an impulse to manipulate things with their paws. They like to slap things to investigate and figure out how things work. The same goes for when they swat and spill water from their water dish. They do that because they are curious about the water. 

2. Your cat was exposed to water at an early age. 

Your cat could be spilling water because she is used to it and exposed to water at an early age. If so, she will more likely play with her water dish and will not mind getting wet. This could also be dependent on a cat’s breed. Maine Coons are more tolerable of water compared to other breeds and most of them like to dip their paws in water and even swim. 

3. Your cat has difficulty in accessing the water.

One reason why your cat keeps spilling water could be because she has a hard time accessing the water in her bowl.  Her water dish could be narrow or too deep and she cannot reach it easily.

Add to the fact that a cat’s whiskers are very sensitive when they come in contact with the bowl’s edges.  When a cat’s whiskers touch the walls of the bowl it can be very irritating for the cat, thus, they tip the bowl and spill the water to drink it. 

4. Cats dislike stagnant water so they spill the water to recreate a fresh water’s rippling effect. 

Cats prefer fresh water if they have their way. They are not fond of drinking stagnant water so they tip the water bowl and spill the water to recreate running water which they perceive as fresh. 

5. Your cat has health problems. 

If your cat is not feeling well she tends to create a mess by splashing or pawing at the water and may spill it. Health issues like diabetes, thyroid disease or kidney failure cause cats to be constantly thirsty.  Since they are ill and lethargic they tend to spill and waste the water by accident. If your cat is manifesting the mentioned symptoms and also lost her appetite, contact the vet for proper diagnosis. 

6. Your cat has anxiety or stress. 

A stressed or anxious cat could manifest abnormal behavior and aside from being aggressive and overeating, your cat could vent her anxiety on her water bowl. She may put her paws in it or try to climb it, spilling the water. 

Look out for these other symptoms of stress among cats: 

  • becoming more withdrawn or hiding more than usual 
  • eating or drinking less 
  • sleep disturbance 
  • overgrooming
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • reluctant or not using the litter box 
  • becoming less tolerant of people 
  • increased anxiety or fear 

Contact your vet if you suspect that your cat is going through a lot of stress or anxiety.

How to stop your cat from spilling water?

Here are the measures to do so you can stop your cat from spilling water:

Change your cat’s bowl. 

Cats do not like narrow and deep bowls since their whiskers rub against the bowl’s sides which is irritating for them.  Opt for a shallow bowl with a wide opening, preferably a heavy ceramic or glass bowl with a non-slippery bottom. Clean the bowl and change the water regularly as cats prefer fresh water. 

Provide fresh water at least once a day. 

Cats are less likely to drink from their water bowls if the water was not changed regularly. They do not like stagnant water or water that hassomething floating in it.  Refill at least once a day so your cat will not resort to spilling it on the floor. Consider placing a water fountain to entice your cat to drink water. 

Spend time playing with your cat every day.

Sometimes cats resort to spilling their water dish because they are bored and it is a way to entertain themselves.  Play with your cat at least 20 minutes twice each day. Keep her busy with interactive toys so she will forget all about the water spilling spree. 

Image: / Nils Jacobi