Causes of Cat Water Spills and Solutions

Cat drinking from bowl with paw held above water

Water phobia is a reputation that cats and kittens have. The majority of cats want to stay dry at all costs, while some like playing with their water dishes or looking for new water sources in their surroundings. The dilemma is whether they do so out of curiosity for water or whether they have an underlying medical condition that makes them drink too much. Your kitten or cat may have a health problem that is impairing its natural need to hydrate itself if you notice it splashing in its water bowl rather than sipping from it.

Why Do Kittens Splash in Water?

Kittens are often lively and have a natural need to play with objects with their paws. This may be the reason they like playing in or near water. It's doubtful that cats are using their water dishes as bathtubs because they groom themselves by licking their fur. When kittens play with water, they are probably trying to learn more about their surroundings.

Cats can like the water. If a young kitten been exposed to frequent water play or baths, it could be able to handle baths and getting wet as it gets older. Some breeds, such as Maine Coons, are more tolerant of water. Be aware that opinions differ on whether cats should be washed and how often this should happen. Finally, some cats just don't enjoy drinking stagnant water from their bowls and prefer to drink freshwater. They can be having fun with the water by making it ripple like freshwater.

Health Issues

Take your cat to the doctor to make sure there isn't a medical cause for it to be interested in water before you begin to work on behavioral concerns. Cats may get dehydrated due to thyroid problems, diabetes, or renal failure. If they're feeling under the weather, they could drink from their water bowls more frequently and make a mess by splashing or pawing the water. They could also look for other water sources, such a faucet or a toilet. Lethargy, bewilderment, or a decrease in appetite are some other symptoms of disease that the majority of cats with health issues display. Although having one of these illnesses as a small kitten is exceedingly unlikely, it is conceivable, so be careful to call your veterinarian if you see your kitten drinking large quantities of water or being preoccupied with its water bowl.

Cats may exhibit unusual behaviour in response to stress or anxiety. A cat could try to get into or stick its paws in its water bowl. Cats with separation anxiety frequently use aberrant behaviors to get their owners' attention. This can sometimes be seen as litter box difficulties, such as spraying urine or urinating inappropriately. Some cats with separation anxiety may try to gain your attention by splashing in the water dish, moving it, or even trying to knock it over. Stress can also make obsessive-compulsive disorders worse. These sorts of persistent behavioral behaviors seldom ever have an impact on kittens.

How to Stop Cats From Spilling Water

A kitten acting its age when it is playing in the water sometimes. Some kittens simply can't bear the stuff, while others enjoy patting about in the water. Patience may be the best course of action if your young cat is using its water bowl as a toy because kittens tend to grow out of behaviors like splashing in the water.

If the habit doesn't start to decrease by the time the kitten starts approaching maturity, it could be beneficial to refocus its attention on a better outlet for play by providing another toy to play with. Kitten object play is most active up until the five-month age and tends to drop subsequently.

Resolve Any Health Issues

Your veterinarian can assist identify the underlying reason and provide treatment choices if a cat is drinking too much or spilling water as a result of a health problem. For the issue, your cat could require prescription medication. Bad water bowl habit should be resolved by treating the health condition.

Changing Stressful Situations

It might be challenging to control stressful conditions. If you are unable to define the precise issue, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist can assist in identifying the issue and collaborating with you to help resolve it. Try these entirely water bowl-focused techniques in the interim:

  • If you have a shower or bathtub, consider placing a bowl filled with water in it and showing it to your cat. You can reinforce your cat's play with treats and praise to encourage it to only play with water bowls inside the shower, where spillage won't be an issue.
  • 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.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.