Mar 24, 2024

Cats can have some interesting behaviors and one of the most interesting ones comes from liking running water. My cat, Jimmy (No we did not name him that) loves to jump onto our bathroom counters and begs us to turn on the sink for him. At first we thought he always just wanted attention but then we realized it was much more. 

To really understand what's going on under the furry hood, we have to take a closer look into our cat's evolutionary background, their perceptions and other health considerations. 

Evolved to Be This Way? 

Cats are descendants of animals that grew up in a desert environment. Think back to the middle school days where we saw cats and other similar animal figures in geography class. Most of the time your mind will take you back to discussions around Egypt. 

In these environments, still water can be scarce and not only that it would be contaminated. Running water on the other hand signals to our cat's brain that the water is fresh and less likely to harbor bacteria or parasites. The sound also guides our cats to fresher hydration sources. 

That doesn't mean you have to be like us and turn on the faucet for your cats all the time, in fact it can be the opposite. We have two water machines that act in a similar manner, not only having running water but also cleaning the water throughout the day. 



Sensory Perceptions

Cat's have keen senses and their perception to water won't be any different. Still water can be stagnant and some cats won't even bother with it because it's not appealing enough. If you ever want to test this out, try putting still water around your cat, and see if they react in any way. If they aren't interested, try tapping the water with your finger or some silverware. Immediately you'll notice your cat being much more intrigue! 

Similarly, running water will engage multiple senses for your cat. It moves, reflects light and makes a sound, making it that much easier for a cat to know what it is and how to interact with it. One last thing about still water vs. running water is that the oxygenation of moving water can enhance the smell and taste of it. Making it a more attractive option for cats compared to still water in their bowls. 


Health and Practical Implications

From a health perspective, cat's are prone to a lower thirst drive than other animals, say your average dog. This comes back to their evolutionary origins, but this isn't necessarily a good thing. Lower intake of water can lead to kidney and other issues, which can easily be solved by adding a water fountain near your cats food bowls. 

For us humans, it's also easy to understand when the fountain may need cleaning or refilling. Most water fountains that you purchase will change their noise profile when it's running low on water. Making it even more evident it needs a refill and making sure that your furry friend will never be thirsty. My cat will simply step on us in the middle of the night if this happens so I much rather have his thirst quenched! 


So that's pretty much it. Cat's love running water and it's not a secret once you understand the underlying evolutionary and biological reasons. Plus it's always good to be drinking enough water and that needs to said twice for a cat. This will also lead to a happier life not only for the cat but for the owners as well. 

Next time you're in the store and are looking between a water bowl and a fountain, save yourself the time and go straight for the fountain! 



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