Imagine this: you’re brushing your teeth one day and you just happen to look down. What you see is shocking: your cat is drinking out of the toilet!
Why does this happen? Is it safe for your cat? What can you do about it? Read on to find out.
Common Reasons Why Your Cat is Drinking Out of the Toilet
The easy answer is really simple. The bathroom toilet bowl is an easy, fresh source of water. You might think that the water is really nasty, and that there’s no way your pet would prefer it to what they can get in their water bowl. But it turns out, this is pretty common pet behavior.
Now, there are several reasons why your cat is drawn to your toilet bowl. Unlike the water bowl, the toilet bowl is filled with running water. It’s instinctual for your cat to be attracted to this type of water.
To them, moving water is cleaner than regular water.
Also, water in the toilet is actually fresher than what is in your pet’s water dish. You might not think this is possible, but it’s the truth. This is especially true if you haven’t changed your kitty’s water in the last day or so.1
Is it Dangerous for Cats to Drink out of the Toilet?
In most cases, it’s not really dangerous for your pet to get their water from your toilet. However, there are some exceptions.
For example, there could be bacteria in the toilet bowl, which could make your cat sick. Additionally, if you use harsh cleaning chemicals to clean your bathroom and toilet, there could be some residue that could also make your pet ill.
There’s also a chance that your pet could slip and fall in the toilet. That could potentially lead to a risk for drowning, especially if you have a curious kitten.
How to Stop This Behavior from Happening
The easiest thing to do to stop your cat (or dog!) from drinking out of the toilet, of course, is to simply close the lid. This will send a sure signal to your pet that they need to find water from another source.
But this doesn’t address the reason why your pet wants to drink from the toilet in the first place. Maybe the water dish is empty. Maybe the water isn’t as fresh as it should be. Make sure you change your cat’s drinking water on a regular basis. Clean water is much more enticing to your cat.
A good rule of thumb is to change their water every time you put down food. Also, wash out the water bowls. You’d be surprised how much debris can get into a water bowl — such as cat fur or small bits of your pet’s most recent meal.2
You might also want to consider buying a pet fountain for your cat to drink from. Since cats often drink running water in the wild, this option might be attractive for your kitty.
Many pet fountains even use special filters to help keep water fresh.
If there’s a lot more activity in your home than normal, consider moving the water bowl. There could be a new pet or two joining the family, or you might have guests staying for a couple of weeks. Your cat might not like to drink in busy or noisy areas.
Another thing to consider is to put a couple of ice cubes in your pet’s drinking water. This will add to the freshness of the water – and it might even make it taste better.
Talk to Your Vet
If you try these alternatives, and your cat still wants to use the toilet for drinking water, you might want to talk to your vet. There could be some sort of underlying medical condition that is causing this to happen.
Odds are that’s not the case, but you’ll still want to rule it out.
The bottom line is: You don’t need to freak out if your cat likes to drink from the toilet. There are some simple solutions you can put into action to keep this from happening in the future.
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