Why Does My Cat Drink from my Water Glass (& How to Stop it)

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“My cat has a tendency to go for my water after I pour myself a nice cold glass. Sometimes he even knocks it over, which has broken a lot of glasses. Why is he doing this and how do I stop it?”


Although cat behaviours may seem strange to us at times, there is always a meaning to them. You need your cat to drink enough water each day, but you want it to be the right type of water and in a manner that doesn’t disrupt your life. Let’s take a look at the potential reasons your cat may be wanting to drink from your water glass, if the behaviour is worrisome, and how to correct it.



Why does my cat drink from my water glass?

Your cat is likely drinking from your water glass because they prefer your fresh water, because they don’t like their water dish or water dish location, or it could be a sign of a serious illness.



1 – Your cat prefers fresh, cold water

If you have a tendency to fill your cat’s water dish up, only once it’s empty, they may not appreciate the lack of fresh water. In the wild cats are drawn to moving water such as streams. This water is much fresher and colder than a still pond.


Just as you probably wouldn’t enjoy drinking out of the same water glass that hasn’t been cleaned for days, or sipping on the same water day after day, your cat doesn’t either. They may be trying to tell you that when you pour yourself a nice cold glass of water, they want some too.



2 – Your cat doesn’t like their water dish

Cats are particular and that applies to their water. Not only do they want it to be cold and fresh, they also want it served in the right dish. I can’t say I would enjoy drinking from a metal cup or a cheap plastic one that leaches chemicals into my water. Just because your cat is an animal doesn’t mean they don’t have standards. Your glass “water dish” may be more appealing to them.


Your cat may also be opposed to the location of their water dish. In the wild, cats are vulnerable when they drink or eat, and those natural instincts to stay safe are within your house cat.


If your cat’s water dish forces them to drink with their back to a room or doorway, they may feel exposed and vulnerable; especially if they’ve been startled when drinking water in the past.


A cat’s food and water should never be next to their litter box, for obvious reasons. But your cat may prefer their food dish and water dish to have a little distance as well.



3 – Your cat has an illness

If the behaviour is new and your cat has started drinking more water, it may be a sign of an illness and you’ll need your veterinarian to run some tests and rule it out. Increased thirst and urination can be symptoms of kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or a urinary tract disease, which are serious diseases and need to be treated immediately.



Should I let my cat drink out of my glass?

It’s unlikely you’ll get sick but you still shouldn’t allow your cat to drink out of your water glass. If your cat has started drinking from your glass because they want cold, fresh water, they may have also started drinking from the tap and/or toilet. Not to mention, they walk through their litter box and clean their feet and private parts with the same tongue they’re dipping into your glass.




How do I stop my cat from drinking from my glass?

The first step is to talk to your veterinarian, especially if this is new behaviour for your cat. They’ll be able to ask you questions to determine if you should bring them in for testing. If drinking from your water glass is a habit your cat has always had and their last vet visit was good, there are some tips you can try to stop the behaviour.



New water dish

Try using a water dish that mimics your drinking glasses. If you drink out of a mug, try a ceramic bowl, or even putting fresh water in a coffee mug and putting it in their regular water bowl spot.



New water dish location

Try simply moving their water dish to a new location. They may not like that it’s too close to their food, and they definitely won’t appreciate if you’ve put it next to their litter box. They may also feel safer when drinking from your water glass because you’re around. If their water dish is in a spot that puts their back to the room or an entrance, their natural instincts may tell them they’re not safe while drinking from it. Try moving it so they can have their backs to the wall or a corner while drinking and feel more protected.



Fresh water

You should be giving your cat fresh water each day, but if you’re already doing that, try increasing the frequency in which you freshen their water dish. You may try giving them fresh water when you get yourself water, or every other time.


It may also help if your cat sees you pouring fresh water into their dish. If you get your water from the fridge, they may be familiar with the sound of the fridge dispensing water or the sound of your water jug coming out. This may indicate fresh water to them so consider using the water from your fridge or cold water container to fill up their water dish.



Different water

If you drink filtered water, your cat may prefer the taste of it. Consider filling your cat’s water dish up with water from the Brita water jug or the filtered water from the fridge dispenser.



Ice cubes

If your cat is drinking from your water glass because they like the cold water you pour yourself, or the ice cubes you put in your cup, try adding a few ice cubes to your cat’s water dish a couple of times per day. This will help their water stay colder longer.



Water fountain

Your cat may be more interested in their water dish if it’s a water fountain that keeps the water circulating. It won’t chill the water but cat water fountains do tend to keep the water a bit colder. Most will also have a filter. This one is reasonably priced and has great reviews.  This is another great option if you prefer more of a traditional-looking water dish.




Why does my cat rub his face on my drinking glass?

If your cat is rubbing their face on your drinking glass and not actually drinking your water, they’re likely trying to leave their scent. Or, they may be trying to pick up your scent, which is a form of affection.



I hope this article has helped you understand why your cat is drinking water from your glass and how to stop it 🙂



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Why is My Cat Drinking From My Water Glass?