How To Stop My Cat From Spilling Water

Published On: 10/01/2020|By |Categories: Top Tips|2.8 min read|
How to stop my cat fromSpilling water

Cats and kittens have a reputation for being water phobic, however, some love to play with their water bowl and splash the water out of it. The question is why they do it. Is it because they are just curious or is there an underlying health problem making them drink excessive amounts? If you find your kitten or cat splashing in its water bowl rather than drinking it, you should better contact your vet, as it might be a health issue.

Why Do Cats Splash the Water?

Cats clean themselves by licking their fur, so it is unlikely that they use water for a bath. Kittens are curious and playful and their natural impulse to manipulate things with their paws might push them to play with water and learn about their environment.

Despite the general rule, some cats do like water and especially young kittens that are exposed to a lot of water or baths might tolerate bathing as it grows up. Some cats prefer fresh water rather than water in the bowl.


Before you start searching for behavioral issues, you should visit a vet to ensure there is no medical reason that causes this behavior. There are health issues that can make your cat drink water more frequently and create a mess by splashing it if they\’re not feeling well.

Stress or anxiety can sometimes prompt strange behaviors in cats. Some cats may put their paws into the water bowl or even try to climb in. Some cats seek for attention from owners which might lead them to splash in the water dish, push it aside, or try to overturn it.

How to Stop Cats From Spilling Water?

Some cats love patting around in the water, while others simply can\’t stand it. Sometimes when a kitten is using its water bowl as a toy is normal behavior so patience may be the best solution. If the behavior does not begin to wave by the time the kitten starts reaching maturity, it might be helpful to redirect its focus by offering another toy to play with.


Change stressful situations

Managing health issues or stressful situations can be time-consuming and tricky and a vet could help you find out what is the problem and suggest solutions. In the meantime, there are some simple tricks you can try focused solely on the water bowl:

  • Consider placing the water bowl in the shower or bathtub where spillage will not be an issue and encourage your cat to play with treats.
  • Change your cat\’s water frequently–at least once daily. You can add ice cubes so the water is cold although some cats may see the cubes as toys and will play with their water even more.
  • Try alternative water bottles like non-spill bottles that are used for guinea pigs or other small animals.
  • Try a fountain-type water bowl that has a continuous flow cycle, so the water is always fresh.


Feel free to share your thoughts and knowledge about any possible reasons that felines spill their water and right in the comments below your tips on how to limit this behavior.

Photo: Kazuky Akayashi

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