Why Do Cats Drink from the Toilet?

Cats have all sorts of inexplicable habits. Cats drinking from the toilet is something that should always be discouraged. Aside from the obvious hygienic concerns, your cat could ingest toxic cleaning products.

Drinking water from the toilet is an attractive form of hydration for cats. Regular flushing oxygenates and refreshes the water. The porcelain bowl keeps the water cool, and cats enjoy drinking running water.

Cats are naturally curious about bathrooms, as this is one of the rooms they are usually denied access to.

This room also contains the toilet paper roll, which cats love to crush for entertainment purposes.

However, it would be best to stop your cat’s desire to drink from the toilet, as urine, feces, and chemicals may be present in the water.

Why Do Cats Drink Water from the Toilet?

If your cat drinks from the toilet bowl, this behavior will probably confuse you a bit. After all, you provide your cat with fresh, clean water every day.

So why would a cat want to drink dirty water from the toilet?

Even if this habit seems disgusting to you, it’s natural for cats to drink from the toilet bowl.

This does not change the fact that it is dangerous, but it happens surprisingly often. There are several reasons for this behavior.

Convenient Location

When your cat is in the bathroom and wants a drink, she may seek out the toilet to drink. She has easy access to a large supply of water there.

So why would she seek out her bowl of warm, perhaps already somewhat stale water?

Your cat might like to enter your bathroom for several reasons:

  • She is looking for toilet paper to play with.
  • Her litter box is in the bathroom.
  • She is interested in what is behind the closed door.
  • The tiled floor and porcelain tubs and sinks cool her down on a hot day.

If your cat finds out she can drink from the toilet, she may be reluctant to stop.

Better Taste

Water from the toilet tastes excellent to cats, especially if the toilet has been flushed recently.

When flushed, the water is refreshed and oxygenated. This can be more appealing than warm, stale tap water in a bowl.

Many cats are very picky about their drinking water. Stale water doesn’t interest them much. The cat will prefer to find a safer, cleaner source of water.

The water in a toilet bowl is also kept cool by the surrounding porcelain. If she gets it right, the cat enjoys ice-cold water.

This appeals to the cat’s wild instincts and mirrors the cool water of a flowing stream.

You might think cats would smell the cleaning products and stay away from the toilet water, but that’s not the case. That’s because cats are curious creatures.

One scientific study found that household chemicals were responsible for 15.5% of 248 veterinary cases studied over three years.

Watch for signs of poisoning if you catch your cat drinking from the toilet.

These include large, staring eyes, vomiting and diarrhea, restlessness, and breathing problems. If this is the case, you should take your cat to the vet urgently.

Running Water

Cats are smarter than most people think, and they are born imitators. If your cat sees you flush the toilet, he may even learn to flush himself.

Some cats flush the toilet and then slurp the water as it is refilled.

This appeals to several cat senses. The water is in motion and is freshest. In theory, this is the most sanitary way for a cat to drink.

Pleasant Scents

Cats can also be attracted to toilet water by the smells in the bathroom.

You probably keep your perfumes, creams, shampoos, and shower gels in this room.

Since cats recognize people by the smell of their skin, they will also detect these odors. Your cat may assume it can find you when it enters this room.

Perhaps your cat is attracted to the smell of soap or cleaning products. Many cleaning products and similar products smell like citrus.

Usually, this keeps cats away because they detest the smell of lemons and limes, but all cats are different. Some cats even like the smell of citrus, although these cats are in the minority.

If you keep a laundry basket in the bathroom, this will attract cats. Cats are comfortable in their owners’ clothing.

Cats may nap on such clothing. Then, when they wake up thirsty, the toilet water is ready for them to drink.

The absence of odors in the water can also be attractive to cats. The cat may consider it contaminated if the water is too close to food or litter.

You probably won’t feed your cat in the bathroom, so the water there smells much fresher.

Easy Access

Depending on the water flow in your toilet, your cat may find drinking from the toilet more comfortable.

Due to back, leg or neck problems, it may be easier for them to drink from the toilet bowl than to bend down and drink from their own bowl.

Your cat may also seek out the water in the toilet because she has a hidden source of pain.

If your cat has dental problems, she may be blaming the water bowl for her discomfort.

It is also possible that your cat is allergic to its plastic water bowl. This is very common.

Consider the effects of whisker stress on cats. Cats’ whiskers receive a lot of information from vibrations in the air.

Then, when the whiskers rub against a water bowl, they eventually become overstimulated. That’s why most cats prefer to eat and drink from whisker-friendly bowls.

Entertainment and Fun

Cats may also drink from the toilet simply for fun. Perhaps she shredded a toilet paper roll and then slurped the toilet water.

If your cat enjoyed this experience, she will not be afraid to repeat it in the future.

As mentioned earlier, cats are fascinated by the swirling of toilet water. If the cat observes this often enough, it will inevitably become curious.

Your cat will wonder what will happen when it sucks on this fascinating swirl.

Your cat may simply be drinking from the toilet out of boredom. Some cats exhibit behaviors they know are inappropriate to attract attention.

Your cat may be trying to get a reaction from you.

How to Keep Cats from Drinking from the Toilet

There is no denying that cats should not drink from the toilet bowl. Just because your cat likes to do so does not make it safe or acceptable.

While cats are driven by survival instinct, they can still develop several risky habits.

The most significant danger when a cat drinks from the toilet bowl is cleaning chemicals. In theory, the water in the bowl is fresh.

In reality, however, you may have just put a detergent or other product in the toilet to kill germs and bacteria.

If you didn’t flush the toilet properly, it may still contain traces of urine and feces. And even a thorough flush won’t remove all traces.

There is also the risk of a cat falling into the toilet. It is unlikely that the cat will drown, but it will be soaked to the bone.

This can cause the cat’s body temperature to plummet. If you do not discover the cat quickly, there is a risk of hyperthermia.

Therefore, keep your cat away from the toilet. The following tips will help you.

Make Access to the Toilet Bowl Difficult

Always keep the bathroom door closed and close the toilet lid. Unless the litter box is located in the bathroom for space reasons, your cat should not need access to this room.

There are many dangers in human bathrooms for cats, and the toilet is just one of them.

If necessary, install a clamp to keep the toilet closed. After all, cats are smart enough to learn how to lift the lid.

Deter Them With Scents

The scent of air fresheners and essential oils can keep your cat out of the bathroom. Scents that most cats don’t like include:

  • Cedarwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • pine
  • citrus
  • geranium
  • mint
  • cinnamon

You can also apply unpleasant substances to the toilet or surrounding area. Cats hate sticky substances under their paws.

So, for example, apply double-sided tape to the areas where the cat can access the toilet.

Provide Alternative Water Sources

If your cat hates tap water, she may drink from the toilet bowl.

So, on a trial basis, provide her with another water source. Perhaps your cat likes to drink filtered or bottled spring water.

If your cat refuses to drink water, you should get him a water fountain. This provides the same fun as a toilet bowl and carries no risk.

A water fountain produces a constant gush of fresh, cool water.

Change the Water Bowls

Check to see if your cat has a problem with its water bowl by moving it to a different location.

If the water is too close to the food or litter box, your cat will show no interest and try to get its water from other sources.

If the cat still shows no interest in drinking after being moved, it may have whisker stress.

In this case, purchase a wider bowl and ensure your cat can drink unimpeded without her whiskers touching the container’s rim. In the short term, you can also use a deep saucer.

If your cat still won’t drink, get a porcelain water bowl, as it mimics the cool water of a toilet bowl.

Summary: Why Do Cats Drink from the Toilet?

Cats drinking from the toilet is a not-so-rare behavior. But it’s better to discourage them from doing so.

If you catch your cat trying to quench its thirst this way, you should put a stop to it immediately.

There are much safer ways for your cat to get hydrated.

Try moving her water bowl to a different location, use a different water, or test a water bowl made of a different material.

Until you find a solution, avoid using cleaners and other toxic chemicals in the toilet as much as possible.