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!
A baby squirrel who fell 75 feet from her nest is being nursed back to health at a rehabilitation center in…
Jan Jeffries, Jr., was working at a miserable jobsite when he encountered a dog who would change his life forever.
With their adorable matching outfits, best friends Zoey and Jasper have quickly become the new darlings of the…
With Easter on our minds, we combed our database of rabbits names to find out the 10 most popular monikers of 2013.
Dentistry used to be the outcast of the veterinary world. Now many vets dedicate tons of time to oral care for…
Our friends at JeanKnowsCars.com reveal cars that are great for pet owners, from versatile minivans to rugged SUVs.
With Easter coming up this weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the holiday's most iconic species.
The Abyssinian, who wears a beautiful ticked coat, is an intelligent and athletic feline who stays in constant…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.