Click here to learn more.
Q. My cat likes to drink from the toilet. Will this make her sick?
A. That depends, to put it bluntly, on what’s in the bowl. I would be most concerned about her drinking water with any of the drop-in bowl cleaners or other cleaning products in it. But, honestly, there’s nothing in the bowl that she wouldn’t be better off not having.
While drinking from the toilet is more often associated with dogs than with cats (which is why I wrote Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?, a New York Times best-seller), the reason why pets are drawn to the bowl is the same no matter if they're cats or dogs.
The water is often fresher than what’s in their water bowls, since toilet water is changed every time the toilet’s flushed. The water is likely cooler as well, and if the toilet is running, it’s even more appealing. Animals are naturally drawn to cool, running water, which is more likely, in the wild, to be safer for drinking than warm, still water. Think about the difference between a mountain stream and an algae-heavy pond and it’s obvious this is a good strategy for survival. (This preference may also be the reason some cats play with the water in their dishes.)
Fortunately, there is an alternative to letting Kitty drink out of the toilet: Get your cat a drinking fountain. They’re not expensive, and they offer what your cat loves: cooler, running water, but without all of the things you don’t want your cat ingesting from the toilet. I like to recommend the kind that offers pets the choice of lapping directly from the stream, off a ramp or from the bowl. Since the water is constantly filtered and flowing, your cat will be likely to drink more. Many cats are chronically dehydrated, so anything that gets more clean water into them is a good idea. (Note: If your cat seems thirstier than is normal for her or is constantly seeking water, you need to have her checked out by her veterinarian.)
As for where your cat currently drinks, I’d advise getting the family used to keeping the lid closed.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Smokey was born at a theme park in Colorado Saturday morning — a bright end to a week of devastating wildfires.
Dr. Tony Buffington offers some handy reference tools for determining if your feline is doing “fine” or…
Be honest: Are you overlooking chronic issues that make your canine miserable, like ear problems and dental disease?
A bakery misunderstands a request for the usual grad cake decor, and adds something less fitting but much funnier.
It’s hard to believe that the ostrich is the world’s largest bird when you watch this cute little baby…
The Balinese is a chatty and nosy cat who wants to be involved in everything that’s going on in the home.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.