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Why Does Your Cat Drink From Your Water Glass? 8 Common Reasons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

pet cat drinking water from owner's glass

Life with a cat is nothing if not fun; our feline friends are inquisitive, affectionate, quirky, and curious. One peculiar behavior we might notice from time to time, is our cat drinking happily from our water glass without a care in the world. Why on earth do they do this when they’ve got their own fresh bowl of water to drink from instead? The reasons might surprise you, and are related to instinct, biology, and personal kitty preference.

The 8 Common Reasons Why  Your Cat Drinks From Your Water Glass

1. Your Cat Feels Vulnerable Drinking from a Bowl On the Floor

People often place their cat’s food and water bowls in a corner of a room so that no one steps on them or knocks them over. This can make some cats feel anxious to eat or drink because they are not able to keep an eye on their surroundings as well. Cats’ ancestors needed to be constantly on watch for predators, an instinct that some domesticated cats have more of than others.

tabby cat sitting next to a bowl of water
Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

2. They Don’t Like Their Water Near Their Food

In the wild, water sources were often a place where multiple animals would gather at a time. If a wild cat had recently killed prey, they might take it to a hidden location, as other animals may very well take food away from them—making eating a meal as privately as possible a smart survival instinct. Drinking from your water glass may be a throwback to this same instinc to eat (or drink) “in private”.

3. They Don’t Like the Size/Shape/Texture of Their Water Bowl

Many cat lovers enjoy observing how unique and discerning their pets can be. Unfortunately this can extend to things like being very picky about water bowls! It might be too big or too small, or their tags might clink against the edge. You might have to try a few different kinds before finding one your cat will choose over your water glass. You may even consider investing in a flowing cat fountain, as moving water is an indication of freshness, and your cat may be weary of drinking standing water.

4. They Might Prefer Cool/Cold Water to Room Temperature

Who doesn’t love a cold glass of water on a hot day? Your cat may just prefer cool/cold water and knows that your glass is the perfect place to find some icy refreshment.

5. Curiosity Rules the Cat!

Some cats are more curious and eager to investigate than others, and yours may be one of those that can’t resist a new situation, thinking—“Hey, if my human is enjoying what’s in that glass, maybe I will too!”

6. Your Cat is Sick or Dehydrated

If your cat is battling an illness or their food isn’t agreeing with them, they may start looking for other sources of water to quench their thirst. If your cat suddenly seems to need more water, or is either urinating outside the litter box or more/less than usual, you should call your vet.

laying cat sick
Image Credit: Sisacorn, Shutterstock

7. Their Whiskers are Extra Sensitive

Whiskers are almost like another sense to your cat. They help them stay balanced, indicate emotions, keep particles away from their eyes, and detect vibrations in the air around them. As such, whiskers are an indispensable tool that helps your cat navigate the world. If your kitty has whiskers that are more sensitive than usual, getting them wet or having them brush the edges of a water bowl may be very irritating to them.

8. They May Be Feeling Territorial With Another Cat

If you have multiple cats, even if they have been together for years, they may feel territorial when it comes to food and water. A more dominant cat might intimidate a more docile one during mealtimes, who may not get all the food and water they need. You might need to set up multiple feeding areas away from each other so that all your cats feel comfortable.


If your cat drinks from your water glass whenever they get the chance, you’re certainly not alone! Cats of all stripes enjoy a sip from their human’s water glass for all sorts of reasons. And don’t worry—if you drink from a glass your cat drank from, the chances of you getting sick are very unlikely. And if you’d like them to curtail the habit, hopefully you got some insight from this article to help you encourage your cat to drink their own water.

Featured Image Credit: elwynn, Shutterstock

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