Why Does My Cat Keep Knocking Over His Water Bowl

We all know that cats hate water. But, some cats love to play with water that they keep on spilling their water bowls. You might be wondering what could be the reasons behind their behavior. Most experts believed that it is out of curiosity. They want to know what is inside the water bowl.

Some cats might have health problems that they need to drink more water. If you notice that your cat is always splashing the water rather than drinking it, there is a bigger chance that your pet cat has some underlying health problem.

We have listed below some of the possible reasons why cats keep knocking over their water bowl.

Underlying Health Problem

Pet owners need to determine the reasons why their cats are spilling the water.  Many believe that it is associated with behavioral problems. It is best to take your cat to a vet to examine and evaluate its situation. This will give you peace of mind that your cat’s interest in water is not because of health issues. Cats with thyroid problems, diabetes, and kidney failure are always thirsty.

Accidentally Tipping or Kicking the Water Bowl

Most of the spillages are due to tipping over the water bowls scattering everything on the floor. This cat’s behavior is quite frustrating for you, who needs to clean the mess and the possible damage it might cause in the carpet and wood when exposed repeatedly to water. Knocking the water bowl often is quite distressing for the hydration of your cat.

If the pet owner is not around when the cat topples its water bowl and does not have access to water, the cat needs to wait for several hours, which is not good.

Playing With Water

Cats hate water, but they also love to play with it. The question is, when the cats are afraid of water and when they are not. Your feline pets are afraid of water if they feel they are in danger of drowning or hypothermia. But for the water bowl, it is all play for them, and of course, they are the ones who instigate it and have control over it. This is true for some kittens, as it is normal for them to be very playful.

Cat Prefers Flowing Water

Just like a human, cats prefer freshwater. If they notice that their water is not fresh, they will knock the bowl over so that you will give them a new one. This is the reason also why you see cats drinking from the water faucet.

Insecure With Other Cats

Most of the time, this situation occurs when there are other cats around. Mainly when the cat is still not yet accustomed to having other cats in the house. Your cat would knock the water bowl if it sees other cats drinking on the same bowl. Cats, by nature, are insecure. If you have multiple cats, give each cat their own bowl, and proper placement is essential.

Testing the Water Depth

Some cats check the water first before drinking. They splash the water to test the water depth. If they found the water safe for them and will not drown from it, they start drinking the water.

Clean Their Paws

You will notice that some cats would dip their paws in the water bowl and then lick their paws after. Some say they are doing this to clean off their feet. By doing this, water may spill all over the floor. But since they lick the water right away after dipping their paws, it is not likely to spread the water, unlike if the kitten splashes it or if they knock it over completely.


In solving the spilling problems, your cat does, knowing why they are doing it is the best way to solve it. If your cat is doing it because of underlying health problems, let your vet check your pet and provide the needed treatment. A veterinarian behaviorist can help your cat if it is because of behavior problems. Don’t stress yourself if your pet is always knocking over his water bowl. It can be resolved if you apply the right solution.


Tips to Get Your Cat to Drink From a Bowl