Practical solutions for a cat that drinks from the faucet

Cat Drinking from Faucet

There are two approaches you can take when your cat is drinking from the faucet: 1) make your cat's drinking water more appealing so your cat will more likely drink from there and/or 2) allow your cat to drink from the faucet without creating an inconvenience or wasting water.

Make the drinking water more appealing

There may be several reasons why your cat is drinking water from the faucet instead of a bowl.

  • Preference for running water
  • Better taste
  • Better temperature
  • Better location
  • Whisker fatigue
Running water

Cats instinctively prefer moving water to standing water. Moving water is generally cleaner and safer than standing water. The movement doesn't allow time for things to collect or grow in it.

Better taste

How often do you clean your cat's drinking bowl? I'm not talking about simply emptying it and refilling it but actually cleaning it before refilling it. Imagine what it would taste like if you reused a drinking glass over and over with only a quick rinse each time.

Better temperature

Generally the water pipes coming into the house are buried in the ground. This can mean the water is cooler than the air on warm days and cooler than room temperature on cold days. Would you rather have a cool drink or one at room temperature?

Better location

Your cat may simply prefer the location of the faucet when drinking. That could mean a certain location in the house or a certain height above floor level. It could also be somewhere near to you or away from other pets and people.

Whisker fatique

A cat's whiskers act as sensory tools they use to navigate their environment. The most obvious sense they provide is touch. The whiskers of a cat are sensitive. They can produce overstimulation when they rub against the sides of a small bowl when taking a drink.

Some things to try.
  • Use a filtered water fountain to have a clean, moving source of water. Don't forget to change the filters periodically.
  • Interchange at least two dishwasher safe water bowls. Replace the old bowl with a clean new one while you run the old one through the dishwasher.
  • Try to keep the drinking bowl in a cool space and add some cool water or an ice cube to it from time-to-time.
  • Have several drinking bowls in different locations. Move the unused bowls around to see which locations work best.
  • Be sure the drinking bowl is wider than your cat's whiskers and has enough water so your cat doesn't have to go deep in the bowl to get at the water.

Allowing your cat to drink from the faucet

If your cat only drinks from the faucet when you're there you can avoid wasting water by being in control of when the water's on and off. But what about when you're not there?

How to avoid wasting water

Some people just leave the faucet turned on with a light stream so their cat can get a drink anytime.

Some smart cats even learn to turn on the faucet themselves when they want a drink. Unfortunately, it's very unlikely that they've learned to turn it off when they're done.

There's a simple solution to avoid wasting water: have an automatic sensor that turns the water on when your cat is near and off when your cat leaves.

Now you could replace your existing faucet with one that automatically turns the water on and off but if you're more budget minded you can buy an attachment designed to do the same thing.

Sensor attachment for a faucet

The adapter below simply attaches to any standard faucet as would a water filter and is powered by batteries. You adjust the flow of water that you want. When it senses your cat near it, the water starts flowing just how you set it.

Because this adapter starts the water flow when your cat is near and automatically shuts off the water when your cat leaves, it can preempt or compensate for a cat who has already developed a habit of turning the water on using the handles.

iTouchless EZ Faucet PRO Automatic Sensor Faucet Adapter for Any Sink Faucet

Below is a video of how the iTouchless faucet adapter is installed. Notice the removal of the aerator before the adapter is installed. The aerator is simply unscrewed from the faucet and the adapter is screwed in its place. It's this connection that needs to be standard. If it's not then you'll need a connection adapter (which may come with the product or you can check the home improvement store). You could also just use a different sink that has the appropriate connection.

Faucet attached cat fountain

A different solution provided by Aquapurr is to have a water stream for your cat that is separate from the faucet. It allows your cat to drink faucet water without actually using the faucet itself. That not only frees up the faucet but also doesn't require your cat to get in the sink to use it.

There are six options available for the Aquapurr product.

A wall outlet powered option that connects directly to a faucet (CD - Cord Powered with Diverter Valve).

This is the option seen in the two videos above (minus the decorative wrap and flower in the 1st video).

A battery powered option that connects directly to a faucet (BD - Battery Powered with Diverter Valve).

Two other options let you connect directly to a plumbing supply line (such as the one that connects to the toilet or underneath a sink to the faucet). This allows you to connect the Aquapurr to other plumbing connections besides the faucet.

You can also buy the options above which provide a connection to a faucet and buy just the plumbing tee connector separately at a later date from Aquapurr if you decide you want that kind of connection instead.

The video below shows you how to set up the Aquapurr on the side of a bathtub.

Below is a video showing how to connect the Tee Valve to the water supply for the toilet. Don't worry about having your cat drink toilet water here. This water supply being connected to provides clean water to the toilet tank.

A wall outlet powered option that connects directly to a plumbing valve (CT - Cord Powered with Plumbing Tee Valve).

A battery powered option that connects directly to a plumbing valve (BT - Battery Powered with Plumbing Tee Valve).

The last two options allow you to connect the Aquapurr to a garden hose as your water supply.

A wall outlet powered option that connects directly to a garden hose (CG - Cord Powered with Garden Hose Connector).

A battery powered option that connects directly to a garden hose (BG - Battery Powered with Garden Hose Connector).

Backup water source

If you do encourage your cat to drink from the faucet you should make sure a backup source of drinking water is available (e.g., water bowl) in case the faucet becomes temporarily unavailable for some reason (e.g., batteries die, power goes out, water gets shut off, bathroom door is closed, etc.).

Faucet connections

The products on this page that connect directly to a faucet are expecting a "standard" connection. It's doubtful you'll find this connection on a tub faucet so we're probably talking about a kitchen or bathroom sink (although you may also have a utility sink located elsewhere that may work).