Why Does My Cat Drink Out Of My Cup?

Woman looking disgusted when her cat drinks out of her cup

You put out a bowl of fresh water; you purchase premium cat milk from the supermarket, yet nothing seems to appeal to your cat as much as the beverage in your own cup.

There are several reasons why your cat may be drinking from your cup, such as its natural instincts, personal preferences, or an increased thirst drive. While the occasional sip from your glass is nothing to worry about, it’s not ideal to have your cat share your drinking cups all of the time.

Continue reading to explore why your cat drinks from your cup, the reasons why this could be a problem, and how to encourage your cat to drink from their own bowl.

Why Does My Cat Enjoy Drinking Out Of My Cup?

There are many reasons why your cat may enjoy drinking from your cup; they may be a natural pacifist, following their instincts, or just have a unique personality.

If there are several cats in your home and one is a natural pacifist, they may struggle to fight for their share of the food or water supply during mealtimes. For this reason, they could feel safer drinking from your cup and have less competition in consuming the beverage they desire.

Another reason comes down to genetics. In the wild, cats would often carry their prey to a secret location away from the water holes so that other predators would not steal their kill. These inbuilt instincts may mean that your feline likes to keep their food away from their water source and will look for alternatives where possible.

And having their bowl placed on the floor can make them feel vulnerable. A cat must bend its head down to drink from a standard water bowl, leaving them vulnerable. Plus, it limits their vision of what’s going on around them.

Drinking from your cup could also indicate dehydration, particularly if it’s not usual behavior for your cat. If they show any behavioral changes, such as a change in litter box habits or mealtime behaviors, then consult with your vet for the best advice.

But there’s no need to worry. At the end of the day, it could just be picky kitty behavior – they may enjoy the glass that you drink from rather than their own water bowl, or they may prefer the ice-cold water you drink, as opposed to their lukewarm comparison.

Why Won’t My Cat Drink From Their Own Water Bowl?

It may seem like your cat’s being a diva, but this is not necessarily the case. More likely, there is something about the type of water or the bowl placement that they don’t like.

If your cat refuses to drink from their own water bowl, there are a few tips and tricks that you can try.

  • Change the water bowl. It may be the specific bowl your cat has taken a disliking to. It could be the look, texture, or smell that is off-putting to them. Once you change the bowl, you may notice that your cat is much happier drinking from it.
  • Change the placement of the bowl. Try moving their water bowl away from their food. It could be in their natural instincts to avoid drinking water close to their food source.
  • If your cat prefers cooler water, try adding an ice cube or two to their bowl.

Another reason why your cat may not like to drink from their own bowl is that the water is still. Going back to the instincts passed down from their ancestors, a cat is less likely to drink from a still water source in the wild as it’s more likely to be contaminated or unsafe for drinking.

In the wild, a cat will look for a running source of water, which will be fresher and safer to drink. For this reason, they may like drinking from your water faucet or enjoy the water that they have just seen you pour from the tap.

If you sense that your cat prefers to drink from a running water source, try purchasing a cat fountain for them.

Offering a taste of nature can make drinking far more appealing for your cat, plus these devices improve both the smell and taste of the water. A cat fountain is far more hygienic than a regular water bowl and helps maintain a cool temperature for them to enjoy.

Why Is My Cat Obsessed With My Drinks?

If your cat is drinking from your glass and no other water sources, it’s a sign that they don’t like something about their own water or bowl. But, if they’re drinking from multiple water sources, it could signify that they have increased thirst levels.

This increased thirst can indicate a health problem in your fur baby, so it’s essential to consult with your vet if you notice any changes in behavior.

Is It Okay To Share Water With My Cat?

In general, it’s pretty safe to share a glass of water with your cat, though there are some factors that you’ll want to take into consideration.

If your cat is in poor health or you have any issues with your immune system, then it’s best to avoid sharing a water source. But if you’re both in good health, the odd sip is unlikely to do any damage.

Not many illnesses transfer from cats to humans, but there are several protozoan infections that a cat can transmit to you if you share a common source. And these single-celled organisms can cause diarrhea in humans (as well as cats)

The other issue is that cats come into contact with several contaminated items such as toilet water, mice and rodents, or insects, whose germs they can pass onto you through sharing a water source.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if your cat insists on drinking from your cup, try buying them their own glass or ceramic bowl and train them to drink from that rather than your own cup.

Can I Get Sick If My Cat Drinks My Water?

According to one vet, drinking from a glass after your cat has taken a drink from it is very unlikely to cause any health issues. Plus, cats have a low thirst drive, so it’s not like they’ll hang around your cup for too long. 

But to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to limit how often you and your cat share a glass. One in a while is not a big deal, but sharing a glass frequently is not the best practice.

How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Drinking From My Cup?

Consistency is vital for training cats in what they can and cannot do. If you want to prevent your cat drinking from your glass, follow the steps below and stick to them.

  • Any time your cat tries to take a drink from your cup, move it away from them. Let them know that this is your cup, not theirs, and you don’t want them drinking from it.
  • Buy your cat their own cup, which is suitable for them to take a drink from. Meet their needs while maintaining your own boundaries.
  • If you want to get your cat used to a new cup, try leaving some goodies around the base, such as catnip or treats, which will draw them to it.

How Can I Get My Cat To Drink More Water?

With a low thirst drive, your cat’s lack of water consumption on an average day can feel a little concerning. But there are ways to get more water into their diet.

Try different types of bowls. Bear in mind that your cat has far fewer taste buds than you but a heightened sense of smell. This means that they experience food and drink differently from how we humans experience them.

One type of bowl – such as ceramic, glass, or metal – may flavor the water in such a way that your cat prefers it compared to other types of containers. And it’s not just the bowl, but the type of water as well. If you’ve got a fussy cat, try experimenting with the different kinds of water below:

  • Tap water
  • Filtered water
  • Bottled water
  • Distilled water
  • Chilled water
  • Lukewarm water
  • Water with ice cubes

Plus, try giving your cat a sip of cat milk as a treat once in a while. Regular milk isn’t suitable for your lactose intolerant feline, but many pet companies now manufacture “cat milk,” which is lactose-free and perfect for your cat.

Again you can experiment with different brands and milk temperatures to find out exactly what your cat likes.

If you’re still struggling to get enough water into your cat’s diet, feed them plenty of wet food. This enables them to get sufficient amounts of water for everyday health without drinking from any vessel.

Final Thoughts

You can share the occasional sip of water with your cat, but you’ll really want to set up their own water bowl that encourages them to drink more during the day and night.

To do this, you can experiment with different flavors and containers; plus, you can try gadgets such as a cat fountain to stimulate their curiosity and mimic their natural environment.

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