Why Does My Cat Drink From My Water Glass?

Even with a nice clean bowl of fresh water for your cat, she might sniff it then walk away. Next thing you know, she might be drinking from a dripping faucet or even from the water glass you got for yourself. There might be a few reasons why she's not drinking from her water bowl, and is instead choosing to drink from your water glass.

Cat drinking water in a glass II
credit: Ogringo/iStock/GettyImages

Wide Open Pets says that finding a bowl your cat will drink from is a common struggle among cat owners. Chances are, it's not that your cat is trying to give you a hard time! There could be a health concern, or there's something about the water or the placement that they don't like.

Increased thirst

A vet at the Washingtonian suggested that a cat drinking from multiple water sources could be an indication of increased thirst, which itself can be an indication of a health problem. Try to ascertain if your cat is experiencing an increased thirst which is making her want to drink water from anywhere she can, or if she simply isn't enjoying her water bowl.

Increased thirst can be an indication of feline hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and kidney disease. Increased water consumption and increased urination are both hallmark signs of hyperthyroidism and diabetes. Kidney disease is usually accompanied by decreased appetite and weight loss.

Not drinking from her water bowl?

Cats tend like running water, and Wide Open Pets gives the reason for this as an evolutionary reaction to the fact that standing water may not be safe to drink in the wild. Running water tends to be fresher in the wild, and it likely tastes better. If your cat seems to prefer running water, consider purchasing a cat water fountain for her to drink from.

cat with whole face in water glass
credit: Vanessa Salvia

They may feel vulnerable

Another reason your cat may not like his water bowl is that bending over to drink from a bowl may put him in a position of feeling vulnerable. His head is down and he can't see what's around him as well, so he may instinctively avoid this general position.

Too close to their food?

Some cats don't seem to like drinking from a water bowl that is right next to their food. It is believed to be an advantage in the wild to keep their food away from water, so the water doesn't get contaminated from the meat they are eating.

Size, shape and material

It could simply be that your cat doesn't like the size or shape of his water bowl. It may be too small, or too large, or placed in a spot that is too low or too high for them to reach comfortably. Hills Pet says that cats are notoriously finicky about water and no one really knows why. They suggest that different types of bowls will give different tastes to the water, so try metal, ceramic, glass, or even plastic to find one that your cat approves of.

Your water may be cooler.

Hills Pet explains that since cats are naturally curious, your cat may have checked out your water glass and discovered that the water in it is cooler than the water in his bowl. This fact may make it more appealing, which means that he is coming back to your water glass whenever he sees that you have one.

Is it safe for my cat to drink from my water glass?

The Washingtonian had a veterinarian answer the question about whether or not a person could get sick from a cat drinking from a water glass. The good news is that it seems very unlikely to cause any significant health concerns if your cat is drinking from a glass that you are also drinking from.

A white little cat drinking water from a glass
credit: Angela Kotsell/iStock/GettyImages

Encouraging your cat to drink more water

Higgins Animal Clinic says you can try to appeal to your cat's natural sense of curiosity to encourage her to drink from her own water bowl and not your glass. They say that cats are very sensitive to the taste and temperature of their water, so try a few different things. For instance:

  • Filtered water
  • Distilled water
  • Bottled water
  • Refrigerated water
  • Ice cubes

In addition, wet food also has a far higher water content than dry cat food. Cats can get much of their daily water needs from wet food. If your cat isn't already eating wet food, consider switching them to a wet food diet to help their hydration needs get met.