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How To Stop A Cat From Spilling The Water Bowl

  • Post category:Behavior / How-To
  • Post last modified:September 26, 2020
  • Reading time:8 mins read
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Your cat gives you hours of fun play time, loves it when you pet him, and might even sleep in bed with you. He’s one of your best friends, but he has one very annoying habit. He constantly knocks over his cat water bowl, leaving you with a slippery mess to clean up.

Before you can determine how to stop your cat from leaving water all over your house, it is important to understand why he’s spilling his water. The reasoning for this is because it may determine how you handle the problem.

Why Is My Cat Spilling His Water?

The first thing to consider if you notice your cat knocking over his water bowl is whether there is potential for a physical health problem. Sometimes, a cat is drinking more water than normal and knocks his bowl over when it’s empty or near empty to alert you that he needs more. If your cat is drinking water more often than it used to, ask your veterinarian to check for health issues such as diabetes or a thyroid problem.

If a medical issue is not the problem, your cat may be experiencing stress or anxiety that causes him to knock his water over. Have you recently started a new job or taken up another activity that keeps you away from home longer than your cat is used to? He may be knocking his water over as a way to display his displeasure and seek more attention.

Sometimes, though, cats, and especially kittens, are just genuinely curious about water. If there are no medical problems or reasons for behavior changes, you may just have an overly curious kitty on your hands.

Why Does My Cat Scoop Water Out of the Water Bowl?

If you notice your cat scooping water out of his bowl, the cause is probably something much simpler. He may just not like the stagnant water you’ve left in the cat water bowl for him. Consider whether he ever tries to drink out of the kitchen or bathroom sinks. He may even try to drink from the toilet on occasion. This is because the water is often fresher.

If you aren’t changing your cat’s water bowl often enough for his liking, he may just be trying to freshen it up. Using his paw to move the water may mean he’s trying to recreate the aeration of fresh water before he drinks it.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Moving the Water Bowl?

how to stop a cat from spilling the water bowl

Sometimes, your cat will even attempt to scoot his water bowl across the floor. Typically, this is because he is playing. Despite popular belief, cats actually tend to like water when it is a plaything and not aimed at them for bath time. He probably sees his reflection.

The best way to stop him from moving his bowl is to place a water bowl mat underneath of it. This will provide enough traction that he won’t easily be able to scoot it across the floor or even to tip it over.

In addition, the mat adds extra protection for the floor in case your cat does manage to spill any of his water out of the bowl. Of course, sometimes he is just moving it because he’s unhappy with the water. Changing it often enough is another way to keep him from moving it.

How Often Should I Clean My Cat’s Water Bowl?

Just like humans, cats need plenty of water to ensure hydration that keeps their joints lubricated, food digested, and organs functional. If you aren’t changing your cat’s water often enough, you might notice dry gums and skin, sunken eyes, or lethargy, all of which are signs of dehydration.

To ensure your cat is as healthy as possible (and not as likely to act out via his water dish), you should clean his cat water bowl and change his water at least once per day.

Keep in mind that if your cat is particularly finicky, you’ll need to do so twice per day. When your cat drinks water, microbes from his saliva can get into the bowl and cause bacteria to grow. Because this bacteria can cause illness, it is important to keep the bowl clean. Take the time to wash his bowl with hot, soapy water at least once every couple of days, and wipe it dry each day before refilling it with clean water.

What Is the Best Water Bowl for Cats?

When choosing the right water bowl for your cat, consider his health. Bowls made of stainless steel, glass, or porcelain don’t allow bacteria to latch on as easily as plastic bowls do. They are also heavier, which makes it harder for your cat to tip them over.

If you think your cat’s problem relates to his water not being as fresh as he’d like, skip the traditional bowl in favor of a water fountain that maintains a continuous flow of fresh water. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to clean it at least once per week and replace the filters regularly to ensure it isn’t breeding bacteria.

Of course, sometimes a cat will just be a cat. There is no guarantee your feline will never knock his water over again, but keeping his cat water bowl clean and choosing one made of a heavier material can help you keep the floor dry and your pet happy.