There are actually a number of reasons why your cat might prefer drinking from the toilet, so let’s discuss them, and look at what you can do to curb this behaviour.
1. Water Temperature
Let’s look at things from our perspective for a minute. If you’re thirsty, would you rather drink a cool glass of water, or one that’s been sitting around all day, maybe in direct sunlight? That’s right, the water in your toilet might be cooler than the water in his bowl, so he’s making the ‘refreshing’ choice.
2. Water Freshness
How fresh is the water in his bowl? Even though you’re probably thinking ‘but it’s WAY fresher than toilet water!’, if you don’t change his water regularly enough, it’s likely to go stale and not taste that great. The toilet, on the other hand, gets flushed throughout the day, so it probably tastes fresher to him.
I know that drinking from the toilet bowl doesn’t exactly sound fun to us, but if your cat has observed the toilet in full flush it may well have piqued his interest. Lots of cats love running water, so the toilet bowl itself could be a source of fun for him, and while he’s there, he might as well have a drink!
It’s obviously not safe for your cat to drink from the toilet bowl, and while the danger of falling in and drowning is mainly a risk to small kittens, you don’t want to risk it whatever the age and size of your cat. The bacteria that can lurk inside a toilet bowl is going to be bad for your cat’s health if he drinks the water, and any chemical cleaners that you use can be toxic to cats.
How to Stop Your Cat Drinking from the Toilet
The practical way to stop your cat from drinking from the toilet is to keep the toilet lid closed and the bathroom door shut at all times, but that won’t necessarily stop him wanting to drink from the toilet bowl, so you also need to change his behaviour.
Look at making sure that he loves drinking from his own bowl, so make sure you change his water regularly, and wash the bowl in hot water (rinsing well to make sure there are no traces of detergent on there) each time.
If his water is cool and fresh and he still looks longingly towards the bathroom door, he’s probably missing the entertainment factor of drinking from the toilet, so you’ll need to give him things to do that eclipse playing with toilet water.
Look for a pet water fountain that gives him clean running water to play with, and has the added bonus of oxygenating the water as it flows which makes it even fresher.
And, as always, make sure he has plenty of other fun and enriching activities to keep him busy . . . and out of the toilet!
Does your cat drink water from the toilet? What have you done to improve your cat’s drinking water and to deter this behaviour?