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Why Does My Cat Dip Her Paw in the Water Bowl?

To encourage your cat to feel more comfortable drinking the traditional way, slide the water bowl out from against the wall so she can position herself more securely. Have multiple water stations as well because each cat may have preferred drinking locations.

cat licking paw

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Water Fun

Cats love to play and your kitty may have discovered that when she puts her paw in the water, she can create movement. She may have initially started doing it when she first noticed a piece of fuzz or food in her water bowl. Maybe she started paw dipping out of boredom. For some cats, the behavior is simply based on having a little fun.

Everyone wants their cats to have fun but dipping a paw in the water isn’t great for keeping the water clean. If you think your cat may be exhibiting this behavior out of boredom then it’s time to rev up the fun factor in your house. Make sure your cat is getting adequate stimulation in the form of daily interactive play sessions with you as well as having opportunities for solo play. It may be time to buy or create a food-dispensing toy to keep your cat busy. Look at her environment as well and see if there are other areas that could use a little enrichment.

Need More Information?

If you need more specifics, here are some articles to help you.

What is Environmental Enrichment and Why Does Your Cat Need it

Interactive Play Therapy for Cats

Your Cat’s Whiskers

How to Introduce Your Cat to Puzzle Feeders

How Appealing is Your Cat’s Water

You can also find more information in the books by best-selling author, Pam Johnson-Bennett. Think Like a Cat is Pam’s comprehensive guide to cat care and behavior. In CatWise, Pam’s latest book, she answers 150 behavior questions.



For more information on cat behavior and training, refer to the articles on our website and the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. If you have a question about your cat’s behavior or health, contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a medical diagnosis nor is it a replacement for your cat’s regular veterinary care. This article is for general information purposes only.