Why Cats Love Drinking from the Sink, According to Science

It's not yours, human.

Flickr / flechtnerby

Even if you buy your cat the fanciest fountains and loveliest water bowls, you’ll notice your cat flagrantly does not care. Instead, your kitty will drink out of the sink or bathtub — when you’re trying to use them, of course.

According to veterinarian Marty Becker, there could be an evolutionary reason your cat’s not overjoyed with his bowl of water, or any other expensive H2O container you might have purchased.

“[One] reason cats might be suspicious of water in a bowl is the instinct that whispers to them telling them standing water isn’t always safe,” he writes in VetStreet. “It might be contaminated, for instance. For most wild animals — and I think we can safely say that most cats are at least wild at heart — running water is a better bet.”

Flickr / Kylir

It also could just be a matter of taste — no pun intended. Some experts think some cats just don’t like drinking out of porcelain or plastic, and that fresh, running water tastes better to them. It’s kind of like drinking cabernet out of a plastic cup, which, no judgement — I do that all the time. Still, we can all agree it’s less than ideal.

“There’s a lot of personal preference that comes into it,” veterinarian Eliza Sundahl tells Catster. “You can notice that the cat likes it out of a glass instead of a plastic bowl. Well, I like it out of glass instead of plastic, too.”

One of the solutions here could be to buy a fountain for your cat, so that it will drink the “free-flowing” water from the device rather than the sink. Anecdotally speaking, I have tried and failed many times to do this — and my cat still drinks out of the sink.

Maybe we’ll never totally understand cats’ fascination with the sink. At least we know that they look very goofy trying to get water from a tiny faucet when they have a giant water bowl in front of them. That’s just cat logic.

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