Bad behavior with the water dish

by Melissa S.
(Nashville, TN)

I have an 18-month old cat who is constantly splashing the water out of her water dish. I can't get her to stop making a mess!!!

I tried a regular small dish that holds only a little bit of water refilling it often, a waterer that was really heavy and held a lot of water - she would splash out the water until it was empty enough that she could tip it over and spill out about a liter of water all over the floor. I currently have a recycling, filtered water bowl that acts like a fountain, and she still splashes the water everywhere.

At first I thought she was doing it because the water was getting dirty, but I clean the water bowl every day, none of the different water dishes discourage the splashing. Her water fetish is such a problem now that we had to move our beta fish bowl to a closed off room because she splashes water out of that, too, and the counters and floors are getting water damage. She does not splash in the toilets if the lid is left up. And I never see her in the sinks. Any thoughts?

Answer by KAte
well my first thought is I think you are just unlucky to have a cat who has a thing for water. I know my cats make a mess when eating and I have to clean up after them, they seem to like to drag their food from their bowl to the floor.

I really don't think there is much you can do apart from keeping the water level very low in a deep dish and make sure the dish is heavy enough that it cannot be easily tipped.

If anyone else here on the site has had a similar problem and has found a cure then I'm sure they will psot there own comments to you. I must admit i can only ever remember one other person asking me a similar question. So as i say you may be unlucky to have a cat with a rare issue with water.

best wishes kate

Comments for Bad behavior with the water dish

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Same here
by: Anonymous

I have a 21 year old that has never done this before. I had brought a Fountain type water feeder that she loved but it was making way too much noise so I got rid of it. Went back to her normal bowl and now she keeps tipping the water out of the bowl and drinking it off the floor. Was thinking that it was because she loved the fresh water out of the fountain. It has become a nuisance. Especially now that she is 21 and drinks a lot more water than she used to. There has to be an answer to this

Cat and water dish
by: Anonymous

My cat is 2 next month and he has just started to either throw the water out of his bowl with his paw or he moves his bowl (which is ceramic and a bit heavy) around on the floor until his bowl is empty then he licks the water off the ground. I have a nice clean laundry now as it gets mopped two or three times a day.

dishes water and kitties
by: Susan

Hello again..our water on the floor problem did solve after experimentation with the type of water bowl - for our kitty, a ceramic bowl on the tray has prevented her moving the bowl. She seems to have started this out of sheer intelligence-she uses the water to help herself with grooming. Maybe there is less saliva in old age? At any rate, she is free to dip her paw, drink and do whatever she would like now that the floor is no longer soaked!

water splashing cat
by: Brad

Our Maine coon is 10 and just started doing this...three bowls full this morning alone, he paws at it until it is emptied. and he has a drink well...we are taking him to the vet this afternoon, as he has never done this before and now can't seem to stop himself...we have analyzed the situation, no changes to normal routine, clean water, etc...we cannot understand how it just started out of no where...

Water splashing
by: Lois

I have 3 cat's the only one does it is Tiny .I need help !!!I put thw water bowl in a large pan to save damage to the floor HELP

Fun with water?
by: Anonymous

She may be bored and is only making her day more stimulating; just guessing, but my cat loves to drop her toys in the lg. dog's bowl and go fishing for it! I got an in/outdoor door mats, they have rubber backing and thin rug top and work great for food/water messes. Btw, (love this site!)

2 naughty brothers
by: Arika

My boys do the same thing! They paw the ground beside the bowl before they drink, as if they are digging, then splash with their paws, sometimes tipping the bowl over. One of them won't drink unless his foot is in the bowl, and they both love to be in the bathtub with the water trickling on their heads. I have put their water dish in a long, shallow storage bin to contain their mess, and it seems to work wonderfully. They can splash and enjoy making a mess, meanwhile, they aren't soaking and trashing my floor!

Water dish
by: Anonymous

Our Maine coon cat paws on the water dish before he drinks. Sometimes even moving the dish a foot away from where it originally is placed.

Mine too..just started at 13 years
by: Susan

My cat is 13+ and just started this the last year. She does the paw in and generally smacks the whole set up around (the bowl is on a tray now but still the floor gets wet). I just laugh. We both wonder if she is suddenly seeing herself. Keeping it low hasn't helped..she just drained and swatted to death under an inch that was left sending me googling.

Put a rock in it
by: Ruby

My mom figured this out when she had puppies. You find a rock that's big enough to fill up most of the bowl. This way there isn't enough surface area to swat at the water but they can drink from the edge still, it should also be too heavy to flip over. Works for me, good luck

Bad Behavior with water dish
by: Anonymous

I have the brother to that ladies cat. Does the exact same thing. I can not leave water down for the dog because of the cat. Drives me insane. I have a heavy duty pan with about 1/4th inch of water and he still manages to scoop some out.. He can't get it all out so I will be using a heavy cooking pot for a water bowl.

Bad behavior with water dish
by: Anonymous

I also have a cat that has a problem with the water dish. Keeps putting his paw in and splashing it all over the place.
What to do!!!

Cat spill water
by: Anonymous

My cat was doing the same thing. I noticed that when my daughter gave him milk, he didn't do it. So, I thought that he just preferred milk over water. I did a test to see if my theory was right. One day, I put water in his bowl and watched his behavior. Sure enough, he spilled the water out of the bowl. Then, I gave him milk and he just drank it up.

Spill problem is gone because we just give him milk. Rice milk is preferrable.

spashing water
by: Anonymous

Hi, I too have a 11 yr. old cat that loves to drink water from the bowl -should I say, from his paw. He scoops up the water out of his water dish and makes the biggest mess. The water dishes are in different locations and he does it anywhere. But I have learned to just be patient, enjoy the fact he is drinking water and I keep a small towel on the floor or bathroom countertop to pick up the spilled water. I also place a washcloth under the water unit /bottle dish set and it helps me to know that he spills allot of water. This is his character and though he makes a mess it is part of caring for animals that you love . Be happy he /she is drinking water. When the cat stops that behavior it might be a signal of something else, like stress!!!

Water bottle
by: Anonymous

My kitten was doing the same thing and making a huge mess. I bought him one of those water bottles designed for hamsters or rabbits and mounted it to some furniture. He got the hang of it pretty quick and he can't make messes anymore!

Splashing water!
by: Anonymous

Ha! This is not really funny but I had to laugh when I read your comment. I have two cats (of my six) that love to play in the water. I feed my kitties on the dining room table since we have a dog and he likes their food. They splash and splash. One is a Main coon and the other is a munchkin. Larry the Main Coon jumps in and out of the toilet and tries to get into the sink when I brush my teeth. Anoying - but what can you do? I just live with it. I have a friend that has a bengal and they are known to love water. She puts water int he tub and her Sheba just loves to play in it. I think this behavior is more common than you might think!

Terry in Pennsylvania

bad behavior with the water dish
by: glenda

There are water and feed dishes suited to large breeds of dogs that are raised off the floor. You will need to secure them so that she can't tip them over but I think if you can give her a bowl that requires her to lift her paw above her own shoulder height, she is less likely to use her paw. If you place the bowl at mouth level this may help to discourage her from pawing the bowl. Kittens often display this behaviour when first starting to eat and drink. I have always curtailed the behaviour by raising the bowl up to the level of their mouth. I think your little girl was never trained out of this when young and now it's a habit. When introducing a new behaviour/habit allow at least 21 days before reassessing.

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