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Why does my cat dip his paw in his water bowl?

 by lucy on 01 Mar 2017 |
1 Comment(s)
Cats evolved in arid environments, making them well adapted to tolerating thirst. Too little water can increase your pet’s risk for developing urinary crystals, though, meaning it’s crucial to keep Kitty well hydrated. Pawing at his water bowl may be your pet’s way of saying he isn’t happy with his current dish, but there are changes you can make to ensure your cat stays healthy and hydrated.

Cats have sensitive whiskers, which can explain why some avoid their water bowls. Whiskers are equipped with touch receptors that give your cat a heightened sense of feeling ideal for navigating his surroundings, but this can also cause “whisker stress” when your pet drinks from a small dish. Instead of squashing his whiskers against the side of the bowl, your pet may opt to dip his paw in the dish and drink water that way. Or, he might resort to drinking from leaky faucets or the toilet to avoid the unpleasant sensation of squishing his whiskers. If you suspect whisker stress is causing your pet’s water woes, try using a flatter, shallower dish.
 
Cats naturally seek out running water, too, which can explain why some avoid diving face-first into their water bowls. Flowing water is more likely to be fresh, which is why some pets prefer to get their water from faucets or dip their paws into the dish to aerate the bowl. To help ensure Kitty’s water stays fresh, try changing it twice a day, or you can consider purchasing an automatically recirculating water fountain designed specifically for cats. It’s best to use a stainless steel bowl, too, rather than a plastic dish that can give off an odd odor.
 
While instincts and comfort can explain some cats’ odd behavior when it comes to water, others paw at their bowls for more practical reasons. Water levels vary in the dish and cats are often trying to gauge its height, especially older pets with poor eyesight. To help Kitty see the water in his dish, get a bowl with a design on the bottom and try to keep water levels constant in the bowl. Sometimes, however, our feline friends are simply playing. Cats are curious by nature and using their paws to make ripples in the dish provide them with entertainment. While this sort of behavior is normal, it can make a mess. Recirculating water fountains designed for cats won’t just keep your cat’s water fresh, but can help reduce the mess your pet makes when splashing in his bowl.

Comment(s)1

Val - Comment
Val11 Mar 2017Reply
Why do the stick there toung out while purring? Or other times?

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