Why do domestic cats at flick water in bowls?


Update: This is written about 4 days later. Cats flick water from their water bowls because they are interested in it as a novel substance. That sounds bizarre but I believe it is true. They are playing with it as a toy almost.

Well, we don't really know the answer to the question in the title. In the video I argue that cats like to flick at the water in their water bowls so that it ends up on the floor or countertop where they can lick it up as if they are licking water from a puddle outside. Perhaps they are trying to make the situation more natural for themselves. Perhaps they miss muddy rainwater from the outside and are trying to replicate it artificially. One problem with tap water is that it is chlorinated. Even a tiny amount of chemical in water can be slightly offputting for a domestic cat. This is why you often see them drinking what appears to be filthy water outside when there is clean water to be had inside the home. It's all about chemicals and processing water for human consumption. Cats prefer the real stuff: rainwater even if it is tainted by a bit of mud.

Sometimes domestic cats lick the water off their paws. It is almost as if they are fascinated with water. The behavior must hark back to their wild cat ancestor, the North African wildcat. Perhaps wildcats do this too. Perhaps they are testing the water; sampling it before diving in and licking it up in quantity. I am guessing because we don't know why cats do this. Maine Coon cats do this as well in case you're wondering why this post is on a Maine Coon website!

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