Why do cats use their paws to drink sometimes instead of just using their tongue?
I had a cat that used to use his paw to drink more often than just lapping up the water with his tongue.
It was a much slower way for him to drink, so I did try a few different things to see if I could get him to drink with his tongue.
I used one of those little fountains that have running water, I used deeper bowls, shallow bowls, I even tried a fountain that just has water running down a surface that’s ideal for tongues.
Jeffo, (that’s what he was called) just preferred using his paw to drink. I mentioned it to my vet one time just to see how common this was, and he actually helped me understand why Jeffo preferred to drink like this.
My vet said that it’s not uncommon, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this behavior. So, Jeffo was normal, I didn’t doubt that anyway!
Reasons Why Cat’s Use Their Paws to Drink Water
Personal preference – Sometimes it basically comes down to personal preference and is just a part of a cat’s own personality.
Some cats feel more comfortable using their paws to drink and are perfectly happy doing so. Being creatures of habit it’s hard to change this, and why would you want to anyway?
They don’t like their bowl – If your cat uses their paws to drink from their bowl but you’ve seen them drinking normally elsewhere it might be the bowl.
Some cats hate having their whiskers pressing against something when they are drinking. Is the bowl shallow enough or wide enough that it doesn’t get in the way of their whiskers?
Try a different bowl and see if your kitty drinks differently.
They are playing – Most cats are attracted to water, especially running water. They will play with it, chase the ripples, and just generally mess around.
Some cats that use their paws to drink are just having some fun while drinking. They will do it when they are in a playful mood, and not at other times.
Should I Be Worried If My Cat Drinks with Their Paws?
No, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
Maybe if you think your cat is dehydrated because they are not drinking enough by using their paws…but cats are survivors and will always drink enough as long as water is available.
Just enjoy this little quirk your cat has. It’s part of their personality and why they are unique.