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!
Service dogs and other pets traveling through Detroit Metro Airport can now do their business at its pup-friendly…
Bella saved her 2-week-old foal's life when she stood over her baby to shield her from the flames in their barn.
We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals to see if they drift off to sleep with their cat or dog…
Want to make some enemies in your vet’s waiting room? This funny new video from Dr. Andy Roark shows you how.
From vacuums and blenders to ceiling fans and aluminum foil, here are common and bizarre things that scare animals.
The silky-coated Burmese is a compact but heavy feline who loves to show off his impressive athletic skills.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.