why does my cat scratch the floor before drinking water

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water?

Cats are fascinating creatures, and it’s not always simple to figure out what they’re up to. Some behaviors, however, are common and easy to explain, such as when they paw the floor before taking a drink. So, before drinking water, why does my cat scratch the floor? This is usually an instinctual habit that has its origins in the wild. It might also indicate that your cat is unhappy with its drink or that something on the floor has piqued their interest.

Let’s go through why your cat scratched the floor before drinking in detail below:

Why do cats touch water before drinking?
Photo by Marco Giuseppe on Unsplash

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water

The following are the reasons why your cat scrapes the floor before drinking water:

1. It is an instinctive behavior

You might have probably noticed that your cat engages in a variety of strange habits, such as pawing at the floor before drinking water. One of the most known instances is how cats will scrape the edges of a litter box to bury their droppings.

Burying their droppings is an instinctual activity for cats, and in a restricted environment like a litter box, scratching on the wall may be the only thing that seems natural to them.

A similar concept underpins scratching at the ground before drinking water. Pawing and digging for food and water is a natural habit for cats. When your cat is getting ready to drink, it may instinctively try to “dig” the water up. In a domestic setting, the best they can accomplish is paw at the ground in front of the water.

2. She is unhappy or discontented with the water

Some cats demonstrate their dislike for certain items by burying them in the same manner as they would bury droppings.

If you know your cat communicates dissatisfaction by attempting to bury something and you notice him pawing at the ground alongside his water bowl, it’s possible that he’s dissatisfied with the water.

Check the water to ensure that it is clean and free of anything that would alter the flavor.

You should also examine the water’s location since many cats prefer not to drink their water as an addition to their meal, and a very finicky cat may be expressing its dislike for the water’s location.

3. A curious cat

Your cat may be clawing the floor before drinking water because it’s inquisitive about the water or water bowl. The purity of the water, how it moves as she attempts to flip the bowl over, or if the bowl is clear may all stimulate her curiosity. As a result, she could scratch to examine the water dish.

Scratching the floor can be done for fun or to indicate uneasiness in cats. It’s their instinct, passed down from their wild ancestors, to keep an eye out for an easy route out. It might also indicate that a cat is anxious as a result of home changes, such as a renovation or the arrival of a new family member.

4. Your cat doesn’t like the taste or smell

Another explanation might be that your cat doesn’t like the taste or scent of its water. My cat paws the floor as if he’s attempting to burn a hole in it, which is one of my experiences. After smelling his food, which he didn’t like, he did it.

This is the same as the water bowl for your cat. Your cat will try to bury the water if it has an unpleasant taste or scent. They do this because they believe the scent is similar to feces.

5. Your cat is marking its territory

Finally, your cat is most likely establishing a territorial claim. When another cat tries to drink from the same water bowl as your cat’s, then the behavior may occur. It may also occur if the water bowl is new or has been relocated. Most of the time, once your cat has marked the place, the behavior will go away. If not, there are steps you may do to stop the behavior.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Scratching The Floor

If your cat’s propensity of scratching the floor has become damaging and unpleasant, you may put a stop to it. Here are some suggestions for reducing or controlling your cat’s scratching behavior:

1. Spray a pheromone

You may use a specific cat pheromone to prevent your cat from marking its water dish area. This allows cats to rest, allowing them to drink in peace rather than digging through the floor.

An artificial cat pheromone imitates the smells that cats naturally leave on surfaces. Your pet will not feel compelled to continue marking and pawing on the floor in this manner.

2. Cover up the drinking spout

Covering the scratched area is the simplest approach to stop the scratching. You may cover the floor with a tiny carpet to prevent your cat from scratching it. It’s not a good idea to cover the area with unpleasant stuff since your cat could stop drinking, which is something you don’t want to happen.

Other options for preventing your cat from scratching the floor are:

  • When your cat starts scratching or pawing the floor, get her attention or divert her with a toy.
  • When your cat starts scratching or pawing the floor, get her attention or divert her with a toy.
  • As your cat sips water, remain close by or stay with her. Keep an eye on your cat at all times. When they’re done, put the bowls away. It will ensure that the cat does not attempt to hide or dispose of it in any way.
  • Because it is an innate behavior, do not penalize or criticize your cat. When it comes to this habit, one must be cautious with the cat. If you reprimand a cat too much, it will grow hostile and more difficult to handle in the future.

It takes a long time for cat owners to figure out why their cats act the way they do. When they scratch, paw, or knead the surface around the food or water bowl before drinking from it, it’s perplexing. It is a cat’s natural characteristic, and it is impossible to change. When a behavior becomes out of hand, one must keep an eye out for it and take the measures outlined above.

Cats also display similar behavior when engaging in other vocations; let’s have a look at some of them.

Why does my cat scratch the floor before eating?
Photo by Vivek Doshi on Unsplash

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Eating?

To keep herself secure and hide the remains of hers from other predators, your cat scratches the floor before eating. She may also use it to bury her food if she has too much and wants to store it for later. It’s a natural survival instinct that even tamed cats have.

Caching is another term for this type of behavior. Leopards are well-known for their instincts, but their smaller, distant cat cousins have them as well.

The scratching, on the other hand, may indicate kneading. Because the kitten appears to be kneading a non-existent dough, pet owners refer to this as “baking biscuits.”

When cats are pleased and comfortable, they knead on surfaces. It’s a suckling action that kittens make on their mother’s chest. Adult cats who do this after eating indicate that they are content and satisfied with their food.

Why Does My Cat Keep Scraping The Floor?

While dogs are better known for digging, cats may also do so on the floor. The cat may be attempting to bury its food, drink, or toy. The cat may knead the floor for comfort or as an inclination that dates back to their kittenhood.

You should, however, cease this habit before it becomes harmful. Diverting the tendency to scratching posts and toys will be quite beneficial.

Why Do My Cats Move Their Water Bowl Before Drinking?

Cats may be seen tapping on their water and then moving it. Cats tend to tap on their water dishes and for good reason. Felines have far-sighted eyesight, which they utilize to hunt and identify predators from a distance. They can’t see their water bowls well when drinking because of this. They tap the water to determine where the surface begins so they may drink thoroughly without getting drenched.

To shift their water bowl, some cats may paw on it. This indicates that the kitten dislikes the bowl’s original position. They may be uncomfortable in this area. Allow the cat to select a location and put it up from there.

If the cat continues to move it around, though, you may need to act. Some cats have an uncontrollable urge to play with their food dishes.

Why Does My Cat Keep Tipping Her Water Bowl?

Cats have a reputation for knocking things over and pushing things over the brink. Your cat may be doing it for attention if it repeatedly tipping its water bowl. The kitten will continue to spill the water since it receives your complete attention.

Your cat could also believe its water bowl to be a toy. Because boredom is a major factor, it’s critical to keep your pet active with toys and scratching posts.

Photo by Vivek Doshi on Unsplash

Why Does My Cat Meow at Her Water Bowl?

For hidden reasons, some cats will meow at their water dishes before drinking. Static electricity is one of the explanations for this behavior. This may occur because some bowls are made of metal, which conducts electricity.

Cats’ delicate whiskers allow them to detect or receive a charge as soon as it contacts the bowl. Most times a cat’s technique of reacting to the charge and releasing it is to meow.

Placing a rubber pad beneath the water dish is a simple solution. The rubber acts as an insulator, repelling static and preventing the bowl from moving about.

However, if your elderly cat is yowling loudly at the water bowl for no apparent reason, you should suspect dementia.

Why Does My Cat Dip Their Paw in Water Before Drinking?

Drinking water is a straightforward task for many cats. They approach the water bowl, lower their faces to the water’s surface, and put out their tongues to take a sip. Other cats, on the other hand, use their front paws as a critical tool when thirst hits. Why do these cats dip their paws in the water and then lick it as if it were a popsicle? This behavior can be attributed to several factors.

1. Inconsistent Water Depth

Your cat may use her paw to measure the depth if you are uneven with the amount of water you put in the bowl. I’ve seen this happen with cat parents who don’t replace the dish until it’s nearly dry, and then when they do, it’s full to the brim. A cat may not feel safe dropping her head into a nearly empty water bowl so far that she can’t see over the edge in a multicat house where there may be some tension. It might be safer for her to use her paw so she can keep an eye out for any intruders.

2. Whisker Discomfort

Your cat’s whiskers are extremely sensitive tactile hairs. They have more nerve endings and are more deeply rooted than regular hairs. When the cat lowers her head for a drink, the whiskers might get squashed if the water bowl is too tiny or deep. A cat may learn that it is simpler to merely dip a paw in the water to escape this discomfort. Use a water bowl that is broad enough to accommodate your cat’s long whiskers to ensure whisker comfort. To prevent needing to refresh the water supply as frequently, use a shallow, broad bowl that you can refill every day rather than a deep, narrow one.

3. Water Bowl Placement

At times this is more about security and safety. If the bowl is against a wall and a cat must drink with her back to the room, she may choose to dip her paw in to avoid being too vulnerable. Slide the water bowl out from against the wall so your cat may position herself more securely and feel more comfortable drinking the traditional manner. It’s also a good idea to have different water stations because each cat may have a favorite drinking spot.

Why does my cat keep scraping the floor?
Photo by Carolien van Oijen on Unsplash


Cats are cute, but they tend to engage in queer behavior, such as clawing the floor before drinking water. They may be acting this way because they are unhappy with the water, or just because it is instinctual. They may do it for a variety of reasons, including curiosity, enjoyment, or tension.

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