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Why Does My Cat Drink Out of My Water Glass? (8 Common Reasons)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cat looking at drinking glass

Why Does My Cat Drink Out of My Water Glass? (8 Common Reasons)


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are active animals that love to investigate the world around them. Because of that, it’s not uncommon to notice them sniffing things around the home or trying to drink water straight from the faucet.

But have you ever noticed your feline trying to drink water from your glass?

If so, you’re not the only one! It’s common for cats to drink or at least try to drink water from their owner’s water glasses. However, while some people find this behavior okay, and others aren’t fond of such actions, one thing is for sure—you shouldn’t share a glass of water with your cat.

Read on to find out why your cat drinks from your water glass and how to remedy the issue.

cat paw divider

Why Does My Cat Drink Out of My Water Glass?

1. Your Feline Is Following Its Instincts

One of the most common reasons a cat drinks water from their owner’s glass is instinct. While this may sound strange, you should remember that cats were once wild animals. In their natural habitat, they typically didn’t have water at the same spot where their food was. Therefore, some cats simply prefer to drink water far away from their food.

Image Credit: Felineus, Shutterstock

How to Remedy the Behavior?

Most cat owners keep the food and water bowls near each other, which may be causing the behavior. Try moving the water bowl to another location. That should encourage your cat to start drinking water from their bowl again instead of your glass.

2. Your Feline Is Sick or Dehydrated

If you notice your feline drinking more water than usual and going after your water glass, ensure that everything is okay with their health. It’s common for sick or dehydrated cats to seek any available water source to calm their thirst.

How to Remedy the Behavior?

If you notice out-of-the-ordinary thirst in your feline, consult your vet. While such actions don’t necessarily mean your feline is sick, they could also be indicators of more significant health problems, including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Urinary tract disease

Try and get a professional opinion. That way, you can exclude the possible diseases and health problems or treat them if needed.

3. Your Water Is Cooler or Fresher Than the Water in Your Kitty’s Bowl

Many cat parents simply refill their cat’s water bowl when it gets empty. While this seems practical, the new water inside the bowl is not fresh as the bowl is not clean. Just as we wouldn’t enjoy drinking water from one glass every day without washing it, cats dislike such things too. Cats prefer cool, fresh water, so if the water from your glass is fresher or cooler, your cat might take a sip.

cat drinking from faucet
Image Credit: Sample Stars, Shutterstock

How to Remedy the Behavior?

Ensure your cat has a fresh, cool water source, and clean their water bowl regularly. As long as you keep up good maintenance of the bowls your feline uses, they should start drinking from the bowl again.

4. Your Cat Doesn’t Like Its Water Bowl

Like humans, felines have specific preferences for things they like, which could also be important when drinking water. Your cat may not like their water bowl’s size, shape, color, or texture, which is why they drink water from your glass instead.

How to Remedy the Behavior?

Try to get a new bowl for your cat. It might be best to stay away from materials like plastic and ceramics. Instead, look for water bowls made of high-quality materials like stainless steel.

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5. Your Cat Feels Vulnerable

It’s typical for cats to feel vulnerable when their heads are down, and they can’t see what’s happening around them. Most water bowls are on the ground, so they may put cats in an uncomfortable, vulnerable position. However, your glass might be on the table, which makes cats much more comfortable while drinking water.

Yellow Tabby Munchkin Cat
Image Credit: Phannasit, Shutterstock

How to Remedy the Behavior?

All you need to do is move the water bowl to a higher location to see if your feline will like it better. You could also provide multiple water bowls in different places and allow your cat to choose the one tbey prefer.

6. Your Cat May Prefer Glasses Instead of Bowls

Most people look for a logical explanation for why their cat likes drinking water from their glass. However, this behavior in cats can simply be a matter of preference. Your cat might not like bowls in general and wants to drink water from a glass cup or a mug.

How to Remedy the Behavior?

Because feline preferences can vary, it might be helpful to offer multiple choices to replace the regular water bowl. Try introducing various styles of dishes to help your cat find the one that feels comfortable.

7. Your Feline May Have Sensitive Whiskers

Feline whiskers can be quite sensitive, considering they are a high-sensory organ. They help cats to understand their environment and the world better. When cats drink water from bowls, they can easily get their whiskers wet, which may lead to stress, anxiety, and drinking water from your glass. Glasses are tall, so the whiskers are not in contact with water while the cat is drinking, which is typically more convenient.

close up of cat whiskers
Image Credit: Annette Meyer, Pixabay

How to Remedy the Behavior?

Provide a shallow water bowl for your cat instead of the typical water bowl. That will keep your cat’s whiskers dry, encouraging them to drink from their own water bowl.

8. Territorial Problems

If you live in a household with multiple cats, your feline may have territorial problems and, therefore, drink from your water glass. That typically happens when one of the cats claims another cat’s water bowl.

How to Remedy the Behavior?

Try to provide enough separate bowls for all of your cats. However, if there are enough bowls, but one cat is still drinking out of your water glass, it might be helpful to provide a safe space for your cat to drink away from the others.

cat face divider 2Should I Allow My Cat to Drink Water from My Glass?

Most people are against allowing their cats to drink from their water glasses. While allowing your feline to drink from your water glass occasionally is not dangerous, it could negatively affect your health if it keeps repeating.

Primarily, sharing a glass with your cat is unhygienic, especially since cats tend to lick their bodies, private parts, and things around them. Also, while such actions wouldn’t be lethal, you could develop several health issues if sharing a glass with your feline, which is why it’s best to avoid it.

cat paw dividerConclusion

There are multiple possible reasons why your cat drinks water out of your water glass. Start by figuring out the possible cause and make some changes to help your cat start drinking water from their own dish. Remember to be patient, and avoid drinking from cups and glasses your cat drank from to prevent possible health problems.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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