Have you ever caught your cat taking a drink from the toilet? It may seem cute – or even clever, but why do cats do this? And is it something we should be concerned about?
So let’s first look at why cats find the toilet an appealing place for a drink.
Many cats appreciate the fact that the toilet is in a private area – and far away from any food source. Food and water are both important resources for kitties. As prey animals (those hunted by other animals), eating and drinking can be a vulnerable time. So water in a quiet, private area makes sense to a cat’s instinct. Cats also instinctively know to keep food far away from their water source to avoid contamination.
Another reason your cat may fancy a drink from the toilet is because the water often has movement. In the wild, cats know that moving water is clean and fresh – unlike still, stagnant, swampy water that may be ripe with thing that could make them sick. Many of our cats love to jump on the toilet seat and fully investigate what just happened after a flush. However, we do not allow their curiosity to lead to a drink.
Toilets are a breeding ground for gross bacteria. And while we may clean them regularly, the residue of most toilet cleaners are highly toxic for our cats. So – let’s keep that lid closed if we have cats that like a sip from our porcelain throne.
Instead, provide fresh water daily in a private area away from their regular meal spot. Consider a water fountain for your kitty – but be forewarned that the water will still need to be refreshed daily – and the pump will need regular cleaning to avoid becoming slimy and swampy. And you can add a few ice cubes to your cat’s water dish to add some enrichment and cooling off.
Sure – it may seem cute, weird, or funny if your cat likes to drink from the toilet… but let’s keep the lid closed and provide healthier, better options to satiate our cat’s instincts.