Any cat owner will tell you that cats can be fickle creatures. They like their food one day, then hate it the next. They use the litter box in the laundry room for weeks, only to decide that they prefer the one in the bathroom. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise when your cat decides to start moving around their water bowl. But why do they do this? Here, we look at 10 common reasons that cats move their water bowls and what you can do to stop it.
The 10 Common Reasons That Cats Move Their Water Bowl
1. They Are Feeling Anxious or Stressed
Stress is one of the most common causes of feline water bowl displacement. Stress and anxiety can stem from multiple sources, including:
2. They Want Fresh Water
Cats are picky about their water, so there’s a good chance that your cat is moving the bowl because they want a fresh supply. If you notice your cat moving their bowl when the water hasn’t been refreshed in a while, they’re trying to tell you something! It’s also worth noting that cats like their water at room temperature. If the temperature isn’t quite right, this can make drinking uncomfortable. Moving the bowl is one way of communicating to you that something’s wrong with the water.
3. They Don’t Like the Bowl
Sometimes cats just aren’t appreciative of the cute new bowl that you bought. If it’s a deep bowl, it’s more difficult to drink from. A wide and shallow bowl is often preferred.
The material could also be the issue. Metal or glass bowls are less likely to alter the taste of the water than plastic ones. Some cats can taste the plastic in their water.
4. They Want the Bowl in a Different Spot
Cats like their own space, so they could be pushing it because they’re trying to move it to a different location. Consider a place in your house that’s quiet and out of the way. Some cats don’t like eating and drinking in busy spaces, while others suffer from fear of missing out and won’t drink if they have to be away from their family.
5. Your Cat Is Territorial
Cats like to claim ownership of things and mark their territory. They typically mark territory by using scent glands, but they could be pushing and shoving their water bowl to stake claim to it. This is more likely if you have a multi-cat household.
6. They Prefer Still Water
Some cats find moving water distracting or annoying. If your cat’s bowl features moving water, they might be trying to tell it to stop.
7. They Prefer Moving Water
Cats that prefer moving water may push around their bowl if it contains still water. A dish with clear liquid can be unsettling to them, so they give the bowl a whack to make the water move.
8. They Do It Out of Curiosity
Cats like to know what’s happening around them. Sometimes this is why they move their bowls. They may want to know what’s in it, under it, or what happens when they tip it over.
9. They Don’t Like Their Reflection
While it’s not a common reason for moving their water bowl, some cats display aggression toward their reflection. If they see that reflection in their water, they will hiss, claw, and paw at it, and the result is a traveling bowl.
10. They Want to Play
Sometimes cats move their water bowl because it’s fun. If your kitty has discovered that it’s fun to swat at the bowl and move it across the room, they’ll do it again.
There are many reasons that your cat could be moving the water bowl. In most cases, the behavior is harmless, but we understand that it’s frustrating and messy. Hopefully, these tips will help you determine both the cause and the solution to your cat’s interesting behavior.
Featured Image Credit: Cat Box, Shutterstock