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How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Drinking From the Toilet?

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Tips and Tricks for a Hygienic and Happy Kitty!

A cat drinking from a toilet

As cat owners, we adore our feline companions, but some of their behaviors can leave us scratching our heads. One such puzzling habit that many cat owners encounter is their tendency to drink water from the toilet bowl. While this behavior might seem amusing at first, it can pose health risks to our beloved pets. In this blog, we will explore the reasons why cats are drawn to the toilet bowl, the potential dangers it poses, and most importantly, how to effectively redirect their water-drinking habits. With the right approach and the help of cat water fountains, you can ensure your furry friend stays hydrated and healthy, free from the allure of the toilet.

Why Do Cats Drink from the Toilet?

Cats have a reputation for occasionally drinking from the toilet, and several factors can explain this behavior:

Running Water Attraction:

Cats have an inherent preference for running water, stemming from their ancestors' days in the wild. In nature, running water sources like streams were perceived as fresher and less likely to be contaminated compared to stagnant water. This instinct may still persist in domestic cats today, leading them to prefer the moving water found in the toilet bowl over water in a traditional bowl.

Cool and Refreshing Water:

Toilet water is often cooler than water that has been sitting in a traditional bowl. The porcelain of the toilet helps maintain a lower temperature, and cats may be drawn to the refreshing sensation of cooler water, especially during warmer months. Additionally, the flushing process can renew the water, making it appear fresher and more appealing to curious cats.

Curiosity and Exploration:

Cats are naturally curious creatures. The toilet bowl is an area of the house that can pique their interest. The sound of running water and the swirling movement, when the toilet is flushed, may capture a cat's attention, prompting them to investigate further. This curiosity is a part of their innate behavior to explore their environment.

It's important to note that while drinking from the toilet might seem harmless, it can pose health risks. Toilet water may contain cleaning chemicals or bacteria, and cats might accidentally fall into the bowl, leading to potential accidents.

The Dangers of Toilet Water for Cats

While it may appear harmless or even amusing to witness your cat drinking from the toilet, it actually exposes them to several significant health risks. Here are some of the dangers associated with cats drinking from the toilet:

Toxic Chemicals:

Toilet water often contains a variety of toxic chemicals, including cleaning agents, disinfectants, and toilet bowl cleaners. Ingesting even small amounts of these chemicals can lead to digestive issues, chemical poisoning, and severe health problems. Cats are highly sensitive to toxins, and the chemicals present in toilet water can be harmful, if not lethal, to them.

Bacteria and Germs:

Toilet bowls are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs, particularly if the toilet is not cleaned regularly and thoroughly. Drinking from the toilet exposes your cat to a range of harmful pathogens that can lead to gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections, and other health issues. Cats are not immune to the potential hazards of ingesting these contaminants.

Risk of Drowning:

In certain instances, cats may accidentally slip and fall into the toilet bowl while attempting to drink from it. This can result in a traumatic and life-threatening incident, with the risk of drowning if they are unable to escape. Preventing such accidents is of utmost importance, as they can have dire consequences for your beloved pet.

To safeguard your cat's health and safety, it's crucial to discourage them from drinking from the toilet. Keep the toilet lid down when not in use and provide your cat with a clean and safe water source, such as a cat water fountain or a traditional water bowl.

Redirecting Your Cat's Water-Drinking Habits

Redirecting your cat's water-drinking habits from potentially hazardous sources like the toilet to healthier alternatives is essential for their well-being. Here are some effective strategies to encourage better hydration habits in your cat:

Invest in a Cat Water Fountain:

Cat water fountains are an excellent investment for enticing your cat to drink more water. These fountains replicate the appeal of running water, which many cats find irresistible. The continuous flow of water keeps it fresh and oxygenated, making it more inviting for your cat to drink from. The allure of a cat water fountain can help break the habit of drinking from the toilet.

Keep Toilet Lids Closed:

A straightforward solution to prevent your cat from drinking from the toilet is to keep the toilet lid closed at all times. This eliminates their access to the water source and removes the temptation altogether. Consistency in keeping the lid closed is crucial to changing this behavior.

Offer Fresh Water in Bowls:

In addition to using a cat water fountain, provide fresh water in clean, shallow bowls throughout your home. Cats appreciate having multiple water sources available. Clean bowls ensure that the water remains safe and appealing to your cat. Offering water in various locations can also make it more convenient for them to stay hydrated.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance:

To discourage your cat from seeking water from alternative sources, ensure their water bowls are kept clean and refreshed daily. Stagnant water can deter cats from drinking, so changing the water frequently can encourage them to drink more often. Cats are more likely to drink from a clean water source.

Positive Reinforcement:

Reward and praise your cat when they use their designated water source, whether it's a cat water fountain or a water bowl. Positive reinforcement can help reinforce their good behavior and encourage them to continue using the provided water sources. This can be particularly effective in breaking the habit of drinking from the toilet.

By implementing these strategies, you can redirect your cat's water-drinking habits towards safer and healthier alternatives, ensuring they remain well-hydrated and reducing the potential health risks associated with drinking from the toilet.

The Benefits of Cat Water Fountains

Cat water fountains offer numerous advantages that go beyond redirecting your cat's water-drinking habits:

Promotes Hydration:

The continuous flow of water in cat water fountains is enticing to cats. Many cats are more inclined to drink from a moving water source, which encourages them to drink more frequently. This is especially valuable for cats with a low thirst drive or those on a dry food diet, reducing the risk of dehydration and associated health issues.

Improved Water Quality:

Cat water fountains are equipped with built-in filters that effectively remove impurities, such as dust, debris, and potential mineral deposits. These filters also help eliminate odors, ensuring that your cat has access to clean and fresh water at all times. Improved water quality can lead to better overall health for your feline friend.

Appealing to Curiosity:

Cat water fountains naturally pique a cat's curiosity with their flowing water. This interactive element encourages cats to engage with the fountain, which not only provides entertainment but also encourages them to stay hydrated. It addresses their innate curiosity and desire for novel experiences.

Convenient for Pet Owners:

Cat water fountains typically have larger water reservoirs compared to traditional water bowls, reducing the frequency of refills. Some models even come with automatic refilling features, ensuring that your cat always has access to water, even when you're not home. This convenience benefits both you and your pet, as it simplifies the task of maintaining their hydration.

Understanding why your cat drinks from the toilet is essential for redirecting their water-drinking habits. Toilet water poses potential dangers to their health due to toxic chemicals, germs, and the risk of drowning. To keep your furry friend happy, healthy, and away from the allure of the toilet, invest in a cat water fountain and follow the redirection strategies mentioned above. Cat water fountains not only mimic a cat's natural preference for running water but also offer numerous health benefits, promoting hydration and overall well-being. Remember to keep toilet lids closed, provide fresh water in clean bowls, and use positive reinforcement to encourage your cat to adopt healthier water-drinking habits. With patience and the right tools, you can ensure a happier and healthier life for your feline companion.

If you are in search of a water fountain for your furry friend, you can take a look at the Pet Zephyr stainless steel water fountain, available on Here are some specifications of the fountain:

Pet Zephyr stainless steel pet water fountain
  • With an ultra-quiet pump, this dispenser operates at a mere 30dB, creating a peaceful environment, especially during nighttime.

  • Crafted from high-quality food-grade 304 stainless steel, this fountain boasts exceptional durability and corrosion resistance, ensuring a long-lasting and safe water solution for your pets.

  • A triple filtration system is designed to provide your pets with pure and clean drinking water.

  • With a generous water capacity of 68oz (2.0L), this pet water fountain has a visual water level indicator, featuring a red buoy.

A button for the Amazon link of the water fountain


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