I hear the sound in the middle of the night and I know what it is. My cat has just knocked over a half-full glass of water that I had mistakenly left on the coffee table and now everything that had been surrounding it is wet. I can hear her drinking the spillage, greedily, as if other animals were about to steal it from her. I sigh, but I have to use the bathroom so I opt for that over cleaning up the mess I knew the cat had just created.
As I wash my hands in the sink, she is pawing at my wet hands as if she has never had a sip of water in her little feline life. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night, how fast I’m running in and out of the bathroom, if I just filled her four water bowls moments before, she will not rest until she has drank her fill of that running, clear liquid gold that’s pouring out of the faucet. Why?!
Some experts say that this desire to drink water from our hands, from water glasses, from basically anywhere other than their designated water bowls, comes from an instinct ingrained in their DNA to hunt. They have an innate desire to find their water in the “wild.” I find it to be extremely frustrating, however, because when I run in the bathroom to quickly wash my hands, she follows and is at the sink before I can bat an eyelash and she’s looking at me with these eyes that, I swear, they just speak to my soul. I tend to give in, making my 10 seconds turn into 60 seconds and when you have to pick up your kid at school and you only have a limited time to yourself, those are precious seconds!
So this is why, after buying a nice little water fountain for her so she could have a constant supply of running water which I “hid” in a different part of the house and after said fountain broke, I now have anywhere from three to six glass of water of varying fullness strewn about the house just so that she can grab a drink of water anywhere, at any time. Because, even though there are three human beings who live in the house with her and those humans might have upwards of five guests at any given moment all of whom need to walk around the house as if they were in a mine field so to avoid any of the aforementioned water glasses, the cat rules the roost. She cannot be reasoned with and she will not be denied.
So, in conclusion, it doesn’t matter why cats want water how they want water, they will get it how they want it and when they want it and they’ll knock over a glass or two to get you to provide it for them how and when they want it. And, if you’re lucky, they may allow you to pet them every once in a while too.