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Why Does my Cat Drink From the Toilet?

Ok, this is definitely not a fun subject to discuss but if you have a cat who drinks out of the toilet, it’s something you want dealt with quickly and effectively. So why do some cats actually prefer drinking from the toilet instead of their own water bowls? For some cats, the cooler temperature of the water in the toilet vs the water in their bowl makes it more appealing. Water that has been sitting in a regular water bowl for hours or even days may not be as tasty at room temperature. I know you’re wrinkling up your nose at the idea of toilet water tasting better than water in the regular bowl but stay with me on this – we’re looking at things from a cat’s perspective.

Freshness Counts

Another reason some cats may enjoy drinking from the toilet is the water in there actually tastes fresh. This is extremely hard for a human to believe but again, look at it from a pet’s point of view. The water in the regular water bowl may have been sitting there so long that it has begun to taste stale. The water in the toilet may have more oxygen in it from recent flushing.

The Fun Factor

A cat may also develop the habit of drinking from the toilet as a result of play behavior. If there aren’t other forms of stimulation and environmental enrichment, the cat may develop an interest in watching the water swirl around whenever the toilet is flushed. That visual fascination may then lead to curiosity and she may dip a paw in the water. Some very smart cats have even learned to flush the toilet themselves.

If the best source of fun for the cat in your house is for him to hang out at the toilet, then it’s time to rethink whether you’ve dropped the ball when it comes to environmental enrichment.

three books by Pam Johnson-Bennett and a quote from AHA


Putting a Stop to the Behavior

So now you know why cats may drink out of the toilet. What can you do about it? We can start with common sense, for one. Make sure the toilet lid is always kept closed — even if you have to post a sign in the bathroom for other family members. Remove the temptation by making it impossible for the cat to gain access to the water in the toilet.

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