Why Does My Cat Drink My Water?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this blog post, we will shed light on why cats drink our water and what it could mean for their health.

Have you ever wondered why your furry feline friend seems to be more interested in your glass of water than their own water bowl? It’s a common scenario for many cat owners, and it can be both amusing and perplexing. But fear not, for in this blog post, we will delve into the curious behavior of cats drinking from human water sources. We will explore the various reasons behind this seemingly strange habit and provide some insights into how you can ensure your cat stays well-hydrated. So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and let’s dive into the fascinating world of cats and their peculiar water preferences.

Why Does My Cat Drink My Water?

Cats often exhibit peculiar behaviors, and drinking water from their owner’s cup instead of their own dish is one of them. Several reasons might explain this behavior:

  • Freshness: Cats have a keen sense of freshness, and they might perceive the water in your cup as fresher than the water in their dish, especially if their water is not changed frequently.
  • Curiosity: Being naturally curious creatures, cats might simply want to see what you’re drinking and try it for themselves.
  • Location: Your cat might find the location of your cup more appealing. This could be particularly true if their own water dish is located near their food or litter box, as cats often prefer these areas to be separate.
  • Mimicry: Cats learn a lot from observing their human companions. If they see you drinking from a cup, they might simply want to copy your behavior.
  • Preference for Running Water: In the wild, running water is often fresher than stagnant water. Your cat might prefer drinking from a dripping faucet or your cup because it mimics this natural preference.

Related: Why Does My Cat Steal Food? 

Is It Safe For My Cat To Drink My Water?

HD wallpaper: short-furred gray and brown cat near white disposable cup, Cat,  Cat | Wallpaper Flare

While it might seem amusing or even endearing when your cat drinks from your cup, you might wonder if it’s safe for them. The answer largely depends on what you’re drinking. If it’s plain water, it generally poses no harm to your cat. However, if your cup contains beverages like coffee, tea, or alcohol, it could be toxic to your cat. Even seemingly harmless drinks like milk can upset a cat’s digestive system as many cats are lactose intolerant. Therefore, it’s recommended to discourage this behavior to avoid any potential health risks. Always ensure your pet has access to fresh, clean water in their own dish or a clean cat water fountain.

Could There Be A Health Concern If My Cat Is Excessively Drinking Water?

Excessive drinking, or polydipsia, in cats can be an indicator of several underlying health problems. While occasional increased thirst might not be a cause for alarm, persistent and excessive drinking should be checked by a veterinarian. Conditions that might result in increased thirst include diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, or urinary tract infections. These conditions are serious but often manageable if detected early and treated appropriately. Symptoms to watch out for include changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, changes in urination, and changes in behavior. Always consult your vet if you notice your cat drinking more than usual. Monitor your cat’s water intake and maintain a log if possible to share with your vet, as this information can be valuable in diagnosis and treatment.

Read more: Why Does My Cat Cough After Drinking Water?

How Can I Discourage My Cat From Drinking My Water?

Here are some effective strategies to discourage your cat from drinking your water:

Moving the dish: If your cat’s water dish is near their food or litter box, consider moving it to a different location. Cats usually prefer their water source to be separate from these areas.

Keeping the water fresh: Cats are attracted to fresh water. Make sure to change your cat’s water at least once a day and keep the dish clean to encourage them to drink water from it.

Using a cat water fountain: As mentioned earlier, cats have a natural preference for running water. A cat water fountain can mimic this and may tempt your cat away from your cup.

Covering your cup: If possible, use a drink container with a lid when your cat is around. This simple barrier might discourage their curiosity.

Positive reinforcement: Reward your cat for using their own water dish. This could be with praise, petting, or a small cat treat. Make sure to do this immediately after you see them drinking from their dish so they associate the reward with the action.

Using a deterrent spray: If nothing else works, consider using a pet-safe deterrent spray around your drinking area. These sprays have a smell that cats dislike, which can deter them from approaching your cup. Always use these products carefully and as directed.


In conclusion, the behavior of cats drinking from our water glasses is a complex and fascinating one. We now know that it is not just a quirk of their personalities but has scientific reasoning behind it. From being influenced by their wild feline instincts to potentially wanting a different source of hydration, there are many factors at play when it comes to this common cat behavior. And while it may seem like a nuisance to us, it is simply a natural part of feline behavior that has been passed down through generations. Therefore, instead of getting frustrated with your cat for drinking your water, try providing them with their own source of fresh hydration or even consider purchasing a pet fountain to cater to their natural instinct for running water. By understanding and accommodating our furry friends’ needs, we can build stronger and healthier relationships with them.