This is something people tend to only associate with dogs. It’s quite ironic because you’d think of a cat being too shy with noises and water to ever attempt it. I got news for you, some cats do drink from toilets, but why?
Why Do Cats Drink from Toilets?
Much like dogs, cats will seek out water if they do not have any readily available. If your cat doesn’t have fresh water, they will go looking for it and water is always in the toilet. They tend to remember this after doing it a few times and make a habit of going straight to the toilet when they are thirsty. For some cats, the moving water attracts them as well so even if you do offer clean water they may still opt to drink from the toilet.
Toilet water also contains different organisms and bacteria in it and thus will taste different to your cat. If you suspect your cat is enjoying the taste of the toilet water, you can try offering different sources of water to them to see if they do have a preference such as tap from a different faucet in your home, water from the hose outside, bottled water, or spring water.
How Can I Correct This Behavior?
You must first understand this is not a behavior you want to correct. Finding water sources is a natural instinct for cats. It’s not something they should ever be punished for doing. If your only option for water was to drink from a toilet or be without fluid, you would do the same! It’s simply a survival instinct.
What you want to do is make sure your cat always has fresh water sources. It is best to have at least two they can easily reach. Some cats will not drink from bowls where their whiskers touch the sides so be sure it is wide enough. You can also choose the option of using running water and buy a pet fountain. This way they will always hear and smell the water.
Is It Safe for My Cat to Drink from the Toilet?
If your toilet area is kept clean, you don’t have to worry about your cat digesting the water. Cats have far superior bacteria in their mouths to handle eating raw meat and natural/unclean water sources in nature. Just make sure to never have chemicals or chemical residue in or around the toilet. If you use any kind of continuous cleaning capsules, pads, or liquid in your toilet it’s best to just keep the lid closed at all times.
Toilet cleaners are toxic
Bleaches, gels, and tablets in the toilet are very dangerous to cats. Never let them near a toilet that has recently been cleaned or uses continuous cleaning products in it.
Keep the toilet bowl lid down or the bathroom door shut when not in use.
Keep water near food dishes to associate eating with drinking in the same area.
Use two sources of water – One near food and one near their favorite resting area.
Offer your cat different types of water to see what they prefer (tap, bottled, spring, etc.)
Do not scold your cat for doing this, they are only doing it out of instinct.
NEVER use chemical cleaners in a toilet with the door or bowl open.