All about MEE!

Cats love water!

Well, maybe they love to drink water!

Chatzi loves to splash his drinking water! At first, we gave Chatzi a normal kitty drinking bowl, and he has such a strange way to drink, that he would always knock it over and spill all the water without getting to drink any!

So now, he has his own swimming pool in the bathroom, and he can splash all he likes. He doesn’t seem to be splashing for fun – it’s like he’s trying to dig a hole, or another theory I’ve heard is that he’s scraping the leaves and dirt off the surface of the water?

As a special treat, sometimes we’ll put some water in the kitchen sink for him to splash around in, and this time Daddycat made a film of it!

Why do you think he’s scratching around? Does your cat do it too, or is it an unusual behaviour specific to Bengal or cats with wild ancestry?




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31 comments to Cats love water!

  • Wow, that’s funny behavior! I don’t know why he does it, but Harley likes to splash in about a tablespoon of water, he doesn’t like deep water like that. I have heard that some Bengal owners will buy those “feeder” goldfish and put them in a tub of water for their cat to hunt.

  • Fitty

    All mine do that too, they aren’t Bengals but regular moggies. Bert the youngest of the bunch will sit by the sink for hours just watching the tap dripping.

  • Chrissie Cronnolley

    It might be he can see the shadows and reflections in the water and is trying to get whatever he perceives it to be. Or on another train of thought, if he has a wild heritage, and has been domesticated, maybe that is the way he would behave in the wild at a pool, stirring the water about to catch tiny fish or other creatures that bury themselves in the water bed?

  • My boy Bengal Mazi is the one that is fascinated with water. His sister doesn’t play with it like him. Mazi has at times stood on the kitchen counter while I have the sink filled with soapy water and put his front legs all the way in the sink up to his chest while I am trying to wash. I use pet fountains for their water. Mazi meows a loud calling style meow when he goes to drink out of it, not every time, but very often. He will stand on top of the fountain with his 2 front legs and drink with his head tipped upside down. Such a crazy little boy. At times he will splash in it like your boy, but not too much. I wish I knew the answer as to why they behave like this but I don’t know.

  • I was just wondering what my favourite tire enthusiast and his kids were up to!

  • Loes Aalders

    I think its the behaviour of a cat wanting to do his pee or poop in the water. My bengal cat is going to sit down in the sink when i leave the crane open. I close the crane immediately because i know she will do it!! πŸ˜‰ I dont want her to get accustomed to it πŸ˜‰

  • Jo

    My Snow Bengal kitten (Little Chef) will get in the tub with me when I’m having a shower and stand at the end playing in the water. She also does the scratchy thing as well. So does my Egyptian Mau (Smaug). I bought a Catit water fountain for them just to see how they’d handle it, and they adore it. – Probably 15% of the time is spent drinking, the rest of the time is playing in it. Even better when she runs upstairs and jumps on my face at 5am with wet paws…. :)

  • I HATE water except to drink! If I think I am going to get at all wet, I am desperate to run away!

  • Karen

    My Bengal girl does it somewhat differently. I see this as digging, not scraping. She digs around the sides of the water-filled basin. If the basin has just a little water at the bottom, she digs in it, as if to bring more water to the surface. If the basin is full, she must complete a ritual before she will drink. She first drags her paw gently across the surface, turns it up towards her nose, sniffs and inspects it visually. She’ll often do this several times. Then, she licks the water from her paw. If all goes well, she’ll straddle the basin and drink, but only after she’s assured herself, apparently, that the water is safe to drink. She also digs like this around her food bowl, both before and after eating. In the wild, this behavior would protect any left food from being discovered as well as hide her scent from her enemies. She digs to bury her catnip in the pile of crinkly gift wrapping tissue we leave for her on the floor. And so forth. Anything with an odor … if her companion vomits, she’ll dig around it as if to bury it.

  • I have no idea why he does that but it’s fun to watch. Kirby likes to play in the running water with his Paws like that.

  • mommacat

    I trained Chatzi to clean the sink after you’ve done the washing up, that’s all! Mommacat xx

  • Val

    I don’t have a bengal – I’d never survive their energy – but two of my men like fresh water – right out of the faucet. They do the same scratching on the sink or bathtub, but they don’t like as much water. Like Karen’s girl, Gus likes to bury his food and his brudder’s vomit (after he eats some of it – gross!). I’ve found hidden piles under socks and other pieces of clothing or anything else handy that Gus drags from nearby locations. Unfortunately, Gus’ brudder is nicknamed Mr. Bulimia

  • Sometimes, Cats Herd You

    The theory about doing their business in the water may have some truth. When I visited a big cat sanctuary, they said that one of the reasons for owner surrenders was that the smaller wild cats always insisted on going in running water. Which led to them using showers and sinks as locations for elimination. I never heard this anywhere else, but there might be some instinct at work…?

    Always great to see your adventures!

  • Yve

    Hi! Our Bengal, Tibbie does this too! We rescued him at 3 and he has always done this. (he is 14 this year) One of his favourite things to do is sit in the bathtub and drink from the tap. lol We even have fountains for our guys and we had to put screens in them to stop the splashing. Of course … the worst one was my Boo (rip) we think that his depth perception was really off because he used to “dig” all the water out of his bowl. If he didn’t he would come up snorting and sneezing. πŸ˜‰ poor guy!! I think that it’s just a “cat” thing. :)

    *cuddles* to the kitties! from our “pride”

  • Erika Bruno Lexi and Cookie

    Lexi my blue bengal girl does exactly the same as Chatzi! She scrapes for ages in a sink of quite deep water…
    Bruno does it too but not so intensely!!!

    It is like Lexi is digging, looking for something :-)

  • MOL! Go Chatzi, go! Our Moosey is obsessed with water, too. He will stick his head under a slowly trickling bath spigot until he is soaking wet. He is a white and tabby domestic short hair kitteh (not Bengal). :)

  • I like to splash in the bottom of the shower. But I’m not Bengal.

  • hahaha, this is too cute! So funny though, it is quite unusual for cats to enjoy touching water so much! :)

  • Luna

    Our one year silver Bengal always does this! Wether it’s the bath,sink or her water bowl. We find it quite endearing if wet and messy! We heard the same as you that’s harks back to wild days to clear debris off the surface to get to clean water. She also tries to scrape over her food bowl when saving a bit for later, but can’t manage enough carpet fluff to do it! :-) we are rehoming a Bengal cross kitten this weekend so glad to your introducing video and hope it goes as smoothly as yours did.

  • Of my three cats, Dante the Maine Coon is the only one who does this. I can hear him scraping at the edge of the bowl and patting the top of the water before he drinks.

    I’ve heard a couple of theories on this. One that it is an innate instinct from wildcats who do this to test the safety of the water (from predators under water) before they drink.

    The second is that cats like moving water and that they can replicate this by stirring it up themselves! Both make sense to me.

  • Khansmummy

    My Bengal cat Khan just watched your video and has now gone off to have a scrape in his own water bowl! He often looks like he’s scooped some chosen water over to drink as he licks it just by his foot.

  • Ken Sands

    HI, My two bengals do that to their food. It is their way of say they enjoyed it and want to save more for later.
    Also, my bengals play tag when I am taking a bath.

  • Elviria

    What a lovely way to spend the night before Christmas Eve on – watching cat vids on youtube! I LOVE when Teego is introduced to Freya! About the water, my cat, a mix found in a garbage dumpster, was crazy about water as young. She played with the waterbowl and in the shower. And she came running when I was in the bathroom, she wanted to drink from the tap! I bought her a water fountain and she loves it! Sometimes she plays with it, or as I think, itΒ΄s a behavior like you said in the video, trying to get as clean water as possible.

  • Michele

    Our British Shorthair Cookie also does this digging or splashing in the water. She almost never drinks from her water bowl (into which we put stones to avoid too much splashing – otherwise she would spill all water without being able to drinking any) but goes to the tub and drinks directliy from the running tap. Or she plays with the water the way your cat does if we fill in some water.

    I agree with the comment of CCL Wendy from July 15, 2012. I imagine that cats “try” water whether it’s safe to frink from it or not.

  • Lisa

    I have 4 cats myself. 1 BSH, 1Bengal, 2 moggies. My youngest cat does the exact same thing (she’s a tortie/tabby moggy- not the Bengal)! Although they will all drink with their paws and from running taps! After researching why the most plausible explanation I found was that it is a throw back to a domestic cats big cat ancestry when they drink and fish in moving rivers. Cats like fresh water so many like to drink from a running tap rather than a bowl. There is a water bowl available in pet shops that is like a water feature and has constantly moving water so will appeal to cats, like bengals, with a strong big/wild cat link!

  • Deanna

    Two of our domestic shorthairs do/did this. It always appeared to me that they were trying to determine where the surface of the water is.

  • Lidia

    I have a seven year Maine Coon and she does the same. She loves water and likes to drink from running taps. Before she begins to drink, she sometimes scratches the floor too. She also loves to wet her right paw and lick it.

  • Hmmm, that’s a first one for me. My two cats avoid water – apart from drinking it – under all circumstances. They are having a good kip on the couch when it’s raining and you never see them in a sink….apart from when there are some rests of tuna in there.

  • Lucy

    My sister has a Bengal called Pepe, she has to turn the bath tap on every morning for her to have a drink, she also drinks from my sisters glass through the night. She had five kittens and even though they’re half moggy they all have the same long worm tails, long worm tongues, the same peircing yowl like meow and the same love of water. Eight years on and one of the cats gets into the shower with his owner every morning.

    My sisters cat Pepe was ignored and abused by her old owner and is aggresive as a result, I worked with my sister and her to teach my sister how to respect her boundaries and learn how to play with her, when she was giving birth she jumped on my sisters lap, broke her waters and tried to give birth there, I’m very proud of that bizarrely because when Pepe first went to live with her that kind of bond was unthinkable.

  • Angela C

    My old roomate had a Bengal. When I lived with YJ ,we just had a small water bowl for the cat and I never saw him splash. When YJ had to go overseas long term I took Shinki in. In my house there are several water bowls and two large running cat fountains. Shinki will drink from the running fountains occasionally, and from a large deep pitcher I keep on the counter. He splashes in the pitcher most of the time. But quite often when I go to fix my morning coffee he yowls and prowls until I fill my largest mixing bowl and let him splash. It always seemed to me he was clearing his drinking area. I always had this image of a jungle cat clearing debris from the surface to check for underwater predators and make a clean place to drink.

    I;m so glad I found your site. Your behavior videos are wonderful.

  • hi, bengals scraping the surface of the water with their paws is an instinct from their asian leopard cat ancestors – they use their front paws to scrape dead leaves and other debris off the surface before drinking. and bengals do love to play in water so you must keep the toilet seat closed!