Sick Cat Hovering Over the Water Bowl (Indication of Something Serious?)

If you have a cat as your pet, you must have observed that your pet loves to sit, lay and even sleep in a particular area in the house.  Although it is not wrong to sit or lay around a particular place, in the case of cats, particularly, if they are hovering around the water bawl then there may be a serious reason behind it. Let us find out the reasons behind it. 

Reasons behind a sick cat hovering over water bowl

1. In thirst for water 

One of the primary reasons for a cat to sit around the bowl regularly is because he’s thirsty. When a cat feels thirsty it will always hover around the area where it will find water. When a pet knows that he has to drink water from a bowl, it is obvious that every time he feels thirsty, he will hover around that same bowl to drink water. 

2. Habituated to the same location 

If you notice that you find the bottle in the new location and hover around it. cat hovers around this same water bowl, then before coming to any conclusion. Just change the location of the water bowl.  If you notice that your cat finds the bowl in the new location and keeps hovering around it, then you might conclude that there is a serious reason behind this 

Adult feline eating wet cat food with four different bowls of dry food and water also available.
Adult feline eating wet cat food with four different bowls of dry food and water also available.

3. Symptoms of some disease

If a cat always stays glued around a water bowl, then it may be suffering from some serious diseases. All the diseases suffered by the cats have some symptoms. In this section, let us get a brief idea about the diseases and their symptoms. 

  • Kidney disease – the kidneys are one of the important parts of the body. They are responsible for generating blood and making the unit. The failure of the kidneys is a serious illness. When the cats suffer from chronic kidney disease they tend to hover around a water bowl.Some of the other symptoms of chronic kidney disease are weight loss and vomiting. Unhealthy coat, etc. 
  • Increased thirst due to diabetes mellitus – if you observe that your cat becomes thirsty in small intervals and spends most of its time around the water bowl. Then your cat might be suffering from diabetes mellitus. 
  • Hyperthyroidism may lead to increased thirst – If your cat is suffering from hyperthyroidism then, apart from spending time around the water bowl, it will also have some serious issues like vomiting, diarrhea, etc. 

4. Aging 

Just like human beings, with aging, cats also suffer from various diseases. Some of the diseases mentioned earlier, like, CKD, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. With aging cats may also suffer from cognitive functioning. 

How much water is it normal for cats to drink? 

Your pet cat might spend the whole day around the water bowl, but you need to observe how much water it is drinking at the end of the day. If your cat drinks water more than a particular level then it might be a serious concern to discuss. In general, cats drink 7 to 10 ounces of water a day. But it is not the same for all cats. Water requirement varies according to different factors. These factors are mentioned below. 

i. The weight of your kitty is 5 pounds, then it may need 3.5 to 5 ounces of water. On the other hand, if the cat weighs 10 pounds, it needs 7 to 9 ounces of water daily. 

ii. Thirst for water also depends on the type of food your cat intakes. If it eats wet food with lots of water in it, then your cat might consume less water comparatively. 

iii. Consumption of water by the cats also depends on their lifestyle. If your cat is an active one and roams around the house all day long, then it might need more water. On the other hand, if your cat is lazy then it might consume less water.

Cute cat drinking water
Cute cat drinking water

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my cat hovering over the water bowl but not drinking?

He’s suffering from some serious illness. There are various reasons behind it. He may be dehydrated, lost blood due to an injury, been vomiting, etc. Dehydration is generally linked with heat stroke, diabetes, or kidney disease. 

Is it normal for a cat to sit by its water bowl?

It is completely normal for your cat to sit around the water bowl. There can be various reasons other than being ill. Maybe your cat is feeling lazy or it is an unusual place where the cat regularly goes and gets habituated. Well, if your cat is ill then it may look tired and even lose interest in eating. If you observe these symptoms, then you should never overlook them.

Why do cats hang their heads over their water bowls?

If your cat hangs its head over the water bowl, then it may be an indication of a particular disease. The other reason behind the cat hanging its head is because it is very thirsty. Behind this can be nausea. That is, a cat feeling nauseated will start hanging its head over the water bowl.


As pets can’t understand our language, neither can we understand theirs. So it’s their action that defines them. Even during their illness, they cannot express what they suffer from. It is our responsibility to understand their problem and provide them with a solution.

Being the master of our pets, it is our responsibility to keep an eye on each step they take. So if your cat is found around the water bowl, then it is your responsibility to identify what is the reason behind that. If it’s a general habit, then there is no problem at all. But if the habit is abnormal then there could be a serious reason behind that and you need to find out why.

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