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Why Is My Cat Drinking Christmas Tree Water? 7 Reasons and How to Stop It

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By Nicole Cosgrove

christmas tree water

Celebrating the holidays can bring out the best in us, but it can bring out the silliness in our cats. For instance, cats drink from the Christmas tree’s water.

For the most part, drinking from Christmas tree water can be chalked up to odd kitty quirks. However, if you want to get to the bottom of this behavior to prevent it, you will need to know why your cat ignores the water bowl in favor of tree water.


The 7 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Drinking Christmas Tree Water

1. The Water Bowl Is Dirty

When was the last time you cleaned out your cat’s water bowl? The food and water bowls should be cleaned frequently, and if it has been a while since the last rinse, you may be long overdue.

If the water bowl is dirty, it is only natural that your cat would avoid it in favor of the cleaner Christmas tree water.

How to Fix

Clean out the bowl regularly and change the water daily. Once your cat starts getting fresh water in his bowl, he will likely forget the Christmas tree water and start drinking from his water bowl again.

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

2. The Temperature of the Water Is Not Right

Cats can be finicky creatures. They can have strong opinions about many things, one of which is the temperature of their water.

If your cat’s water temperature is not to his liking, he will probably not drink it. Instead, he may drink the Christmas tree’s water if it is closer to his temperature preferences.

An excellent way to determine whether your cat needs colder or warmer water is to find the other places he tends to drink water. If he drinks water from the warm bathtub, he needs warmer water. If he drinks from the cold faucet, the cat prefers colder water.

How to Fix

If you need to fix the temperature of your cat’s water, you may want to consider investing in a device to control the water temperature. To make the water warmer, try the PETKIT Smart Water Warmer. For colder water, try the INSTACHEW Puresmart Water Fountain.

3. The Size of the Water Bowl is Not Right

The secret behind why your cat will not drink from his water bowl may have nothing to do with the water. Instead, he may be avoiding his water bowl because of the bowl itself.

If your cat is older or struggles with arthritis, he may have a harder time bending down to reach the water bowl if it rests on the ground. Another possibility could be that his bowl is too narrow, and his whiskers brush against the sides. This can make his whiskers oversensitive and cause him to avoid the water bowl.

How to Fix

To solve this issue, you must figure out why he avoids the bowl. If it is too low for him, consider purchasing an elevated water bowl to lessen the strain on his body.

If the issue is that the bowl is too narrow and it brushes uncomfortably against his whiskers, look for a wider bowl or a lipless bowl.

bengal cat playing water in the bowl
Image by: kalyanby, Shutterstock

4. Your Cat Does Not Like the Taste

You may be wondering how a cat could prefer the taste of one water over another. Isn’t water just water? It turns out that several factors can affect the flavor of the water. One is the material of the bowl.

Cats tend to prefer drinking water from stainless steel or ceramic bowls. The best way to determine if your cat’s issue is the bowl’s material is to pay attention to other places he drinks. If he tends to drink from the toilet or the bathtub, that could indicate that he wants to drink from ceramic!

How to Fix

If you think that your cat needs a different material for his water bowl, you can purchase a new dish. There are plenty of choices for stainless steel bowls and ceramic bowls.

5. The Water Bowl and Food Bowl Are Too Close

Your cat could be looking for water elsewhere if the water bowl is too close to his food. Cats prefer to keep their water and food separate. So, if the bowls are too close, your cat may avoid drinking from the dish and decide to visit your Christmas tree.

How to Fix

The solution to this problem is to move your cat’s water bowl to a location further from his food.

pet food and water bowl
Image by: Piqsels

6. Your Cat Likes to Drink from More than One Source

One reason your cat may be drinking from beneath your Christmas tree is that he likes to have several options. In the wild, cats prefer to drink from multiple water sources because it is safer for them if one is unavailable.

The instinct carries over to domestic cats, who may feel antsy if there is only one water source. Whenever another source becomes available, such as your Christmas tree, your cat may jump at the opportunity to drink elsewhere for a change.

How to Fix

Investing in multiple water bowls is the simple answer to this problem. It is best if the water bowls are spread over the house, perhaps some of them being hidden, as cats may feel safer if the water is in a more private location.

7. Your Cat Likes the Taste of Christmas Tree Water

It is not uncommon for cats to drink plant water, and Christmas trees are included. Plant water has a unique, natural taste due to the increased oxygen and mineral content, and many cats enjoy the taste.

How to Fix

If your cat has an appetite for plant water, it may be hard to get him to stop. One solution is to restrict his access to the Christmas tree with aluminum foil or some form of netting. Another option could be to spray cat repellant around the tree so that he will avoid it.


In Conclusion

Cats are quirky creatures filled with strange habits. However, many of their odd behaviors are methods of communication. When your cat behaves weirdly, he may be trying to communicate his needs to you. Rather than dismiss all of our cat’s actions as silly behaviors, it is worthwhile to dig a little deeper and find the root of the behavior—both for your cat and for your Christmas tree!

Featured Image Credit: Georgy Dzyura, Shutterstock

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