Saturday, June 18, 2005

Water Batting: A New Cat Sport

Just when we thought that paper-towel eating would be the most difficult thing to deal with, Arthur goes and discovers a new toy, his water bowl!

This evening, he has been flooding the kitchen by dipping his paw in the water bowl and splashing the water all over the floor. He then runs around with wet paws, leaving water all over the floor.

Anyone else have this problem? How can I stop him?

42 comments:

Caryn said...

My cats used to love knocking around their water bowl. What a mess. I got new bowls that can't be knocked over. (Stainless steel bowls that sit in a stand that has rubber stoppers on the feet.)

Avram said...

It's not that they knock it over. They dip their paws in it and splash it. The water bowl is actually big jug which dispenses water into a bowl so it's too heavy to knock over, but they splash it around.

Alysha said...

That's kind of a tricky one... The only other possible option that -I- can think of is just buying normal bowls so they can't make a huge mess.

I think you expressed earlier in your posts that you wanted them to have fresh water at all times... so this post not might be of any help. But if you change the water regularly, I don't think it'd be a difference to them and I don't think it'd be a huge health problem...

But then again, what I know...

Liz G said...

Towels under the bowl. If the fun water does not make a mess, then they get tired of it. At least for my cat, towels worked.

Avram said...

Every time I whip out a towel to wipe the floor, they try to eat it.

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James said...

My cat had the same issue ... a couple of months after I got her, she decided it would be funny to start splashing all the water out of her bowl. I bought her a new one with a water pump in it that provides a continuous flow of water and she hasn't done it since. It's apparently healthier for them and makes it taste better anyway but I'm just glad not to have to clean up the mess all the time. This is the one I got ...
http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441779167&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302025542&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=2534374302023690&bmUID=1152975509386&itemNo=2&In=Cat&N=2025542&Ne=2

Anonymous said...

gWe just returned from being gone for 3 days and the cat's water dish was comletely empty. It's one of those that disperses the water as needed. Anyway, I immeidately filled it up and one of the cats started drinking like crazy. The other cat went out into another room with another cat water dispenser and began drinking from it. After she drank for a little bit she started splashing in the water ...flooding the carpet. I was wondering if she was mad that we were gone? I'm thinking that must have been what happened to the completely dry bowl, too, since I had just filled it when I left. The blanket under it was soaked. Do you think they were mad or just playing? Thanks for any ideas anyone may have. ~Ruthie

Anonymous said...

hi, i have the same problem, one of my cats dips her paws into the water bowl and then walks around the house leaving footprints all over the wood floor. then if she really feels good she goes into the litter box and then her paws are caked with litter , and all over my floor.
is there any type of bowl, that i can use to just have all 3 cats drink out of, something like a hamster water bottle, where she cant put her paws into it ?
help me please, i am overwhelmed with 3 cats and 1 dog in a 1 bedroom condo.

t-mye said...

I have the same problem. She's driving me crazy. I wonder if it's an eye sight thing. I don't know. If anyone can help it would be great.

Anonymous said...

My cat has the same problem and I have been scouring the internet for explanations as it drives me and my partner mad!
Everyday for 9 years now we have had to avoid the puddles made by our cat 'Chip' or else it's soggy socks for us!
Not only does she paw the water out of the bowl but she seems to have a strange habit of 'dragging' her water bowl around the room until it is completely emptied all over the kitchen floor!
I could perhaps understand it more if she drank it off the floor after, but she always does this after drinking out of the bowl!
I have tried numerous different bowls over the years including the heavy dog bowls and also placing them in different positions but nothing helps, she still manages to empty it!
Does anyone please have an explanation to; Why she does it and How can i stop her?

meannod said...

Oh thank heavens my kitty is not as demented as I assumed he was, there are others. Yes my cat too has the problem, one paw then the other being sure they both wet, and yes he drags the bowl across the floor leaving a trail as water sloshes out from the sides. Why?
Why? I have asked him over and over. Why do you have to do that? But I don't think even he knows why.

Michelle said...

I have a Maine Coon who thinks the water bowl is his own personal paw spa.

I've tried regular bowls, auto waterers, hamster style vertical waterers and nothing has helped. I am about to purchase a bubbling waterer to see if it helps, but I have a feeling it will only encourage my silly boy to play even more.

The only temporary solution I've come up with is to place the water bowl inside an unused plastic litter box. At least when he scoops all of the water out of the bowl, it's trapped inside the litter box and my other cats can still get access to water while I'm away and it doesn't go all over the kitchen floor.

jen elslager said...

My cat just started this tonight. I'm not really encouraged that apparently no one has an answer for this.

We find it quite amusing to watch, but really wet.

M. A. said...

My new cat does it too. She was a rescue from somebody with Alzheimer's that didn't know she was there for 2 years. So I don't know if it's neurotic or what. The person that was feeding her used those deep dog bowls, so I thought maybe using the more cat-friendly shallow dishes would help. Not much. My vet book only makes the observation that some cats use their paws like hands. She lays on the floor next to the dish, dips her paw, and licks it off. She seems to have some problem drinking straight from the bowl, because she sneezes when she does. Cats normally lap water from the backs of their tongues. I don't think mine quite gets that, and seems to be trying to drink like a dog. That's how water gets in her nose and she sneezes. Then she throws the water all over the floor and lays in it. She did this in the winter too, so it's not the heat. Somehow, it seems to comfort her.

Cindy said...

I am so relieved to see other cats with the same issue of spilling water. I thought my cat was plain nuts. He not only paws at it, I can't let him be around when I pour water into it from a pitcher because he attacks it. He also does the dip and lick thing too. To make matters worse, our new Australian Shephard/Collie puppy has watched this spectacle and started imitating the cat!! Now I have a huge water issue with the puppy, too. She cannot seem to drink water without putting her paws into it. I've tried the towel underneath, but it just gets soaked. I have a pergo wood floor and it's getting totally warped from all the water. Someone write about using an unused litter box under the bowl--that seems like it would work well and I'm going to try that. Sure would love to know why they do this!!

Anonymous said...

This isn't a perfect solution, but my wife has at least significantly decreased the sogginess of our kitchen floor with this trick. Cover your cat's water bowl with two layers of plastic wrap, then secure the cover with tape wrapped around the bowl just below the lip, then cut two triangular openings opposite each other in the cover that are just big enough for your cat to fit his or her mouth and tongue into.

This won't prevent your cat from putting his or her paw in the water, but it does prevent him or her from scooping the water out in waves.

Susie said...

My cat does this ALL the time. Her new trick (she likes to fetch) is to drop all of her toys into her water bowl before she brings them back. It's quite disgusting. She also loves to bite plastic, so I don't think the bit with the plastic wrap would work. We got a heavy ceramic bowl and put it in a large pot, so that when she knocks the water out, it goes into the pot instead of on the floor. She's learned to get past this though - any new ideas?

Gwen said...

mine doesn't dip his paws in or splash, he shoves the bowl across the floor with his face until the water empties out completely.

we nailed the bowl to the floor tonight.

Lauren said...

I had to laugh out loud at some of these comments. I am SO glad my crazy cat isn't the only one who does this. I have 3 cats, and it's just the newest 3rd cat that does this. I found him as a stray at around 9 months old. Everything was fine at first........
Then he started to splash around in the water and keep "digging" in the water until almost all of it was spilled out. I have tried every kind of bowl and am going nuts!
My sister, who used to work at a vet, said that the only explanation she has heard from the vet is that cats can't see depth so they are trying to figure out how far in to put their head. But if that was true, you would think after a few bats, they would get it and stop batting until the bowl is almost empty!
I too am at my wits end!!!

Then, I got the bright idea to put the water dish in the sink (all 3 cats LOVE the counters) so that if it splashes out, it's no big deal. Well, not only did he somehow manage to spill water all over the counters and turn the bowl upside down, but he then proceeded to PEE into the bowl in the sink. GROSS!

My suggestion, and it's a terrible one, but it definitely works, is I leave the faucet in the bathroom slowly trickling all day so the cats can drink from that. Not very earth friendly and I feel very wasteful (and he does get water all over the counter still) but at least this way I am not cleaning up water multiple times a day.

Any other suggestions are VERY MUCH appreciated!

Amy said...

My cat does the water bowl splash too. I thought he might be moving the water so he could see it b/c sometimes it goes up his nose. LOL! Then I thought maybe he is trying to season it with his paws. IDK! This is really annoying! I have had to move the food dishes away to keep the dry food from getting soggy! I am trying the towel suggestion but I know I am going to be washing towels like crazy now. My husband suggest I beat the cat with a plastic grocery bag when he does it, but I don't think that will work either. Anyway all suggestions welcomed!

Anonymous said...

I have three Maine Coon cats. The youngest, Emile, loves to empty the water bowl. We've got a huge, heavy, rubber-bottomed steel dog water dish for the cats. Emile digs to China with both front paws until it is empty. he then licks the water off his paws and walks away. When we mop us the tile floor, and refill the dish for the other cats, he comes back in the room to empty it again. Our only solution was to put a plastic boot tray under the water bowl to catch the slopped water. We've also stopped filling the bowl with more than one inch of water.

Michael said...

My cat has the same and here is what I think. I give him dry cat food, not the tender moist meat or fish out of cans. He had that a couple of times as a 'treat' but after that started throwing around his water. What he seems to like is throw it over his food a little. Maybe, just like us, they like some 'gravy' over their food. So I put both bowls away from eachother and used a water bowl he can't move around (first time I put the water in a movable bowl and guess what.. when I came home it was near his food...). He stopped making a huge mess, although he still likes ffing around with the water but not too much... hope this helps...

Anonymous said...

I have 2 tabby siblings - a boy and a girl. Roger started the water-batting thing awhile back, and my kitchen tiles have started to come loose. I finally got the largest flat-bottom stainless steel dog bowls I could find and fill them to only about one-inch depth, or so. I also put them on an area rug. I can still hear him batting, and sometimes he manages to drag it off the rug - I think he likes to lay on the rug. Even when I fill up the bowls, he positions himself on the spot where the bowl was after I pick it up, so I have to coax him to move. He also will just stand in the water. The girl has started standing in the water, too, but at least she doesn't bat it around or move the bowl around. In the meantime, I am going to replace my individual tiles with one large sheet of vinyl flooring so it isn't so much of an issue. Maybe one day they will identify the water-batting/bowl-moving gene and develop a treatment. Let's all write our congress-people, I'm sure they'll get right on that. ;)

Anonymous said...

My cat does the same thing. It's so incredibly frustrating because the wood floors have warped. I bought a large dog bowl with a rubber bottom hoping that it would stick to the floor. Unfortunately, my cat is strong enough to pull it, even when it is full of water. The solution that I came up with is to TAPE the bowl to the floor. I put wide clear tape around the bottom of the bowl, half of the tape on the bowl and half on the floor. I stick the bowl to the floor. I also put additional tape on the portion that was on the floor to keep it stuck there. The cat has since been completely unable to move the bowl. THE DOWN SIDE: the cat puts toys into his bowl and somehow gets cat hair in there, inevitably requiring me to clean it out every other day. This means I have to rip it off the floor, clean it and re-tape it to the floor. I wish they made hamster-esque water bottles for cats to spare me this frustration!

M.A. said...

Additional to my earlier post: I had 2 cats. Because they were both senior females, 2 separate feeding stations were required at first. They seemed to like this arrangement, and combining feeding later was a problem. Aquacat was ticking off me and Ancient cat because of food theft and litter/debris in Ancient cat's water bowl, plus so much water on the floor, Ancient cat couldn't reach her bowls without getting wet. Aquacat is also a major plastic eater, but I found a plastic pet food mat she couldn't chew with a lip on it at Petco and got her an "untippable" bowl. Also kept her away from Ancient cat's stuff til she had time to eat and drink. Result: Ancient cat got Aquacat to at least try drinking normally more often. This mat discourages her from laying down and "digging" the water out of the bowl, keeps lots of water from wrecking the wood floor. But she still drinks mostly from her paws. Unfortunately, Ancient cat died a few months ago, so now there is nobody to "impress". Aquacat refuses to eat where Ancient cat did, even though she used to steal food there. But she wants water where it used to be. So I let her have 2 dishes. She still has to get enough water IN her! Aquacat's problem still seems to be that she doesn't drink the way cats usually do, scooping water forward with the tongue instead of backward. I've yelled at her in utter exasperation about the flooding, which seemed to reinforce that it isn't OK to splash the water around. She doesn't like it when I insist on drying her paws before she gets on the bed or furniture, either. So she usually only does it about once a day now, if at all. But she did it 3 TIMES this morning! I wonder where I can find animal behavioralist answers. She will do it to be comforted, when she's frustrated or bored (like a zoo animal throwing its dish?). But this morning, she just did it, after she was well-fed and had her morning cuddles.

Ren said...

not only does my cat drag his water bowl around, any glass or mug with even the smallest amount of water or any liquid it it will be knocked to the floor... i almost have to replace my carpet, as i was stupid enough to leave a glass of red cordial unattended when i when to let a friend in the door... he spilt it then walked/rolled in it.


think yourselves lucky you cats only seem to go for water..

Anonymous said...

my cat started doing the same thing over a year ago, my solution was to get a giant water dispenser, it holds 16.9 cups of water, my cat has tried reluctantly, but to no avail, he can't move it! this means no more puddles and less wet towels:) also trying a water fountain for cats or putting a rubber cat mat under the food and water bowl sometimes helps....

eaglecat said...

Huh. Too many stories. Not enough solutions. Will check other forums. But if stories... here is where I'm at:

Current water configuration:
Just cleaned water bowl, a self filling type holding when newly full I'm guessing 3 liters. Duct-taped bowl with reservoir to a 25 lbs plate weight (for barbell in gym) with weight wrapped in used grocery bags (cause had been rusting from water). Whole assembly placed in winter-boot tray.

1 hour later male cat Ratchet had splashed so much that had half inch water depth in boot tray and a good 8-12 oz or more spilled on rug. I'm gonna have to get rug steam-cleaned here soon so as to prevent mold before it starts and spreads throughout my house.

Been going on for a while, but this is a new escalation of behavior today. So much so, I'm at my wits end.

If this is not solved within a week or two, he can go up for adoption. It'll break my heart. I LOVE him DEARLY. BUT

My cat ain't worth tearing house to drywall and so forth cause mold spreads cause he splashes so much that gets floor-boards under carpet wet. In my humble opinion, no cat is worth that.

Oh, also, his sister Socket does not have this issue.

Anonymous said...

Velcro! I velcroed the water bowl to the tile floor and stopped the pushing the of the bowl all around. Now, she does the paw thing. Going to try putting small rocks in the bowl. Had rocks in all cat bowls in past and never had this problem with any cat over 40 years!

Rachel said...

I'm so sad there's not a solution for this to be found anywhere! My two cats, Jim and Pam, love playing in the water bowl. They also love playing in the tub after my shower is over, and in the sinks after i use them.

I thought a pet fountain was the answer (the running water thing), but i left them for ONE HOUR and came back and the floor was soaked and the fountain's motor was making funny noises! I'm going to try the towel and the plastic container thing and see if that helps... but i think i'll have to return the pet fountain because even if the water gets contained, they'll still knock it all out and ruin the fountain's motor. i'll probably also do the velcro TO the plastic container for added protection.

Anonymous said...

I have a very expensive water fountain with a heavy ceramic bowl. For a month my cat didn't throw the water out of it, but now he started again. My entire floor is soaked. Why do they do this? I am going to take sonmeone's suggestion and put the fountain in a shallow litter box because a boot tray just gets filled with water and it is hard to empty it without spilling it on the floor.

Bluecat said...

Don't know just how much this will help, but we have one (out of seven) cats that loves to slop water all over, either by dragging the bowl around or (more fun) splashing it out of the bowl with his paws. We were originally using a cat-sized water bowl with a 2-liter reservoir (from Green Bottles USA) from which he also pulled out the inner bowl often, as well as splashing out the entire reservoir of water with great gusto. Then we tried a large dog bowl (also from Green Bottles USA), and he decided it was even more fun to stand in the middle of the bowl while splashing all the water out onto the floor with all four feet. Cute as all get out, but we don't own enough towels for that mess. With seven cats we need to keep a lot of water available, so I decided to try the Plant Waterer from Green Bottles USA, that uses a 2-liter soda bottle the same as the cat bowl, but is much shallower (making a very level surface necessary) and has no inner bowl to pull out. There was a little water on the floor a few times after the initial change, but I think the bowl is too shallow to make splashing fun anymore. Additionally, the cat water (and separate food dispenser) is kept on a single Metro style metal wire shelf with 7-inch feet (elevated only about 4 inches) over a washable cotton area rug, just in case. The open metal shelf has a lip that helps keep the bowl from being moved. The shelf also keeps scorpions from getting in the water bowl and drowning (sometimes a problem in the desert southwest).

Anonymous said...

This worked for me...My 5 month old kitten Ranger puts his paws in the bowl then decides to splash the water out. I tried automatic water bowls, putting the water bowl in small liter pan to catch the water, nothing worked. Till I saw the post here by someone about the trick with the bowl and lid with the triagular shape cut out just enough for there mouth and tongue to fit. Everytime he goes to water bowl and tries to put his foot in the bowl I snap My fingers loudly, and when he drinks normally from the bowl he gets a treat (temptations are his favorite) so he gets one. A TV show called Cats 101 says to praise the good behavior and eventually they will realize that what we want them to do will get them the good stuff. In the begining I gave him treats every time. then i started gradually decreasing the amount of treats untill he drinks normal with no treats. Hopefully it stays this way.... but so far so good.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem, which I'm coining "water-mania". I adopted two 5-month-old siblings, and the sister is normal, but the brother loves to play with water. He splashes in/moves/tips over every water bowl I've had, frolics in the damp bathtub after I'm done taking a shower, and (I haven't seen this mentioned) splashes in the TOILET WATER! If I forget to leave the toilet cover down, he turns it into a water park! He sits on the toilet seat, reaches down, and bats around the toilet water until it's covering the toilet seat, walls, floor, etc. Yuck!

Thank you for any and all suggestions for the water bowl! I'll try anything to keep him from creating huge water pools in the kitchen, which is causing mold to start growing under my appliances.

And I've noticed that both my cats drink water "abnormally", sometimes getting it up their noses. They both only drink from the edges of the bowl, but only the boy has water-mania, so I'd assume they're separate issues.

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post but since it ranks high in Google I thought I'd post my experience - we had the same problem and it is now resolved so wanted to drop in a line and share the information.

This worked great for us: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001L4M214/ref=ox_ya_os_product

I've written a review on there as well - look for it under Manjula.

Anonymous said...

Have a cat that does the same thing.
So I did several things and it seems to have eliminated the problem.
1. Got a petmate lebistro mat. its rubber so it doesnt move and the bowl doesnt move on it ...and it has deep grooves to collect water should it spill.
2. Put smaller water dish, but added another water dish in the basement just in case...
3. Frankly I think this is the most important: I got her some toys. More toys actually. I got this nylon tube thingy from target and a few rattle type animals and this one that really distracts/entertains her...its a ball with a furry tail like thing attached...its battery operated and it rolls around and does funny things. Usually I hate toys with batteries and such but it does a good job I have to admit. Not to mention its a topic of conversation for visitors:)
4. ...and the last thing I did was for about a week I only put a small amount of water in the dish. It was certainly enough for a drink but no where enough to play with. I think a week of this conditioned her to not be interested as there was not much to play with.....this plus all the new toys :)
I love my cats and want my hard wood floors to remain unstained and clean :)

catlover in connecticut, audrey

D wright said...

I thought I was the only one with a cat the plays in her water dish. But I guess not. My cat doesn't dip her paw in the dish she scoops the water with her paw like she is digging a hole. Her belly, paws and chest got dripping wet. I have bought new bowls, rubber mats, even a small tub to put her dishes in. nothing is working. I have bought her toys lots and lots of toys the only ones she likes are the real fur toy mice. After she uses her litter box she digs in her water dish, after she eats she digs at her water dish, after she wakes up from a nap she digs in the water dish. I love my cat to death but this water digging is getting annoying. I thought she was going to out grow it, I thought it was a kitten thing. It has been 3years and she is still doing it.

Anonymous said...

My Calico loves to play and dump her water dish. I got a large ceramic water dish, super glued it to a plastic mat, and finally velcroed the mat to the floor. She hasn't figured it out yet...at least mostly, but I don't have a floor full of water!

Anonymous said...

my cats are also wateraholics. their favorite is to shove the bowl around till it's empty. i have recently tried a new trick that seems to work. i took a ceramic baking bowl and taped it to the floor with mounting squares. i then took a cheap dog dish that has the bowl and an extra lip to it, and shoved that over the ceramic bowl. it seems to work, and i can easily remove the drinking bowl for cleaning. after reading these though, i really hope they don't start the paw thing...

Sarah Bain said...

I've also been having this problem with my kitten. He splashes the water out of the bowl and it's ruining our floor. He loves water so every time he starts to flood the kitchen, I start a small bath for him. He runs into the bathtub and starts splashing in there. He comes out soaking wet but I don't have to deal with the empty bowl anymore!

Ari's Bowtique said...

Same here!