Help! My Cat Won't Stop Drinking From the Sink

Make Drinking More Interesting

Your cat may prefer the free-flowing water from the tap to the still water in her bowl. In the wild, cats naturally opt for fresh, flowing water sources and avoid drinking from stagnant bodies of water. Replacing your cat’s bowl with a pet fountain that regularly moves and replenishes water may be the way to redirect her away from the sink. To get your cat interested in the fountain, smear a soft treat on the edge. You can also try a flavored additive that goes in the water — ask your veterinarian to recommend one.

Your cat may also favor the sink because she enjoys playing with the water. If you suspect that her interest in the faucet has more to do with entertainment than anything else, look for other ways to keep her occupied during the day. Food puzzles, regular play sessions and games of hide and seek and find it can help channel your cat’s energies away from the sink.

As with any new trick, be sure to reinforce only the behavior you want to see repeated. Reward your cat for drinking out of her fountain or bowl with praise, petting, treats or playtime — whatever she values the most. Additionally, ignore her when she plays in or drinks from the sink. Turn the water off and look or walk away. Over time, she will learn to prefer the behavior that ears your attention and will give up the behavior that gets her nothing.

Finally, if you are concerned about your cat’s water intake, talk with your veterinarian about how to monitor how much she’s drinking. Ask, too, about the possibility of adding canned food (which contains more water) to her diet.

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