As you are getting ready to leave the house, you head for the bathroom to grab some tissues for your pocket. Approaching the door, you hear a little slurping sound and enter to find a furry feline rear end sticking up out of the open toilet bowl.
He is drinking the toilet water. Ew! Does that taste good? Is it healthy for him? Is this the same mouth from which I get little KISSES!!???
Well, yes, probably not, and yes again.
Toilet bowl water is very attractive for most cats. The porcelain of the bowl keeps the water cooler longer than the plastic, metal, or glass water bowls we usually serve this elixir of life in.
Cats love cool water. They may be domesticated, but they were wild outdoor creatures much longer than they’ve been our indoor family members, and instincts and traits endure. Running streams and deep lakes are typically cool.
Unfortunately there are many microorganisms in a toilet bowl that are not especially healthy for cats. Bacteria are certainly not healthy for us either, and if you are in regular contact with your cat, the transfer to you is simple.
Not to mention, cleansing agents such as bleach or commercial cleaning solutions may be quite toxic to your pet.
So here are several solutions:
Most cats love running water. Try a pet fountain such as the Drinkwell Pet Fountain. The running water is fresh, clean, oxygenated, healthy, and your cat will love it!
Change your kitty’s water bowl several times during the day to keep the water fresh.
Place additional water bowls in other areas of the house.
Buy a porcelain bowl to help keep his water fresh.
Occasionally drop some ice cubes in his water bowl to keep the water cool.
Close the lid!
Note from Dr Schelling: My cats love the bathroom. They love to hang out during morning ablutions, drink from the faucet, converse with me when I am using the toilet, and sleep next to the bathtub. And although I don’t let them up on the kitchen counter, I do allow my cats on the bathroom counter—I know, some of you probably disagree with this leniency, but it is a great bonding time for us, and I don’t keep anything dangerous to them on the counter.
Two of my cats love to drink from the faucet, and since I don’t leave it running all day long I left a porcelain cup of water by the side of the sink. They love it! Possibly because it serves several purposes: being in the bathroom, being on the counter, being in a cup—mimicking drinking out of their human’s cup, and constantly being fresh since I change and refill the water several times daily.
I am all for getting my cats to drink more water and this is an easy way to do so, plus it is kind of a treat.