Many owners observe that their cats scratch the floor before drinking water. This is often interpreted as a sign of thirst. However, scratching is not actually an indication of thirst in cats.
There are a few different theories out there about why cats scratch the floor before drinking water. Those theories range from believing that kitties scratch because they’re trying to remove fur or other materials from their paws before interacting with the water, to the idea that cats scratch just prior to drinking in order to get our attention and let us know it’s time for a refill.
Most people think that when a cat scratches, it’s because she’s trying to sharpen her claws. But that’s not usually the case. What do you think?
One theory is that cats scratch to remove the scent of other animals from their territory. Ιt’s acting in their own self-interests by doing what comes naturally. Cats, like all animals, are motivated by what’s in their best self-interests.
When cats are drinking water, their whiskers are touching the sides of the bowl often while they’re lapping. By scratching before they drink, it leaves a scent mark that says this is my water and these are my territory markers.
In the wild, cats scratch trees and other objects to mark their territory. They also do it as part of social communication. When a cat scratches, she leaves behind her scent, which tells other cats who she is and that she’s been around.
Τhat scratching leaves visual marks, too. The scratches are a visual signal to other animals that this area is already taken and they need to steer clear.
Another theory is that cats scratch the floor before drinking because they’re trying to create a good hunting ground. By making the surface rougher with their scratches, they’re making it more difficult for prey to escape. This makes it easier for the cat to capture its prey when it’s ready to hunt.
Τhey might be trying to create an uneven surface so that the water will flow more easily to their mouths. Another theory is that they are doing it to clean the water of any contaminants.
Some veterinarians believe that there may be another reason why cats scratch the floor before drinking water. They believe that the scratching motion helps to activate the cat’s thirst response, causing the cat to drink more water.
Others believe that cats scratch the floor before drinking water in order to clean their paws and get rid of any dirt or debris that might be on them. Kittens learn to scratch the floor before drinking water as a way to avoid ingesting any dirt or dust that may be in the liquid. This behavior usually persists into adulthood, even if the cat no longer needs to worry about ingesting dirt or dust.
No matter the reason, one thing is for sure – cats have been scratching the floor before drinking water for centuries. And there’s no evidence to suggest that this behavior is going to change anytime soon.
Do you think it’s one of the reasons listed above, or is there another explanation? Let us know in the comments!
Can you stop this behavior?
While you may not be able to stop your cat from scratching the floor before drinking water altogether, there are a few things you can do to discourage the behavior.
You can try adding a water bowl that is elevated off the ground, so your cat doesn’t have to scratch the floor to drink. This might work if your cat is scratching the floor because she’s trying to create an uneven surface.
Another idea is to provide a specific scratching area that’s designated for claw sharpening and not in the path of your cat’s drinking area. With this method, you’ll probably need to spend some time training your cat to use the designated scratching area instead of the floor by rewarding her with praise or treats when she uses it.
If your cat is scratching the floor before drinking because she’s trying to leave her scent, you can try spraying her with a water bottle or using a loud noise to startle her when she attempts to scratch. This might prevent her from leaving her scent mark in the area.
Many cats love to drink running water, so you may want to consider getting a pet water fountain if your cat prefers to drink from moving water.
No matter what you do, it’s important to remember that cats are independent creatures and they may never stop scratching the floor before drinking water altogether. But with a little bit of patience and perseverance, you can help your cat to break the habit.