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Where Should I Put My Cat’s Water Bowl?

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Ever wonder where you should put your cat’s water bowl?

It’s a good question that can actually have a BIG impact on your cat. While the most intuitive answer might be to put all your cat’s bowls in one place it might not actually be the best.

The most important thing is that your cat likes where the water bowl is located. While this will be a little different for every cat, we’ve got a list of 7 things to consider when deciding where to put your cat’s water bowl.

If you’re just looking for a quick answer, here’s what you need to know about finding the perfect place for your cat’s water bowl:

Look for a quiet location that’s separate from food bowls, litter boxes and not easily accessed by other pets. Ideally, your cat has water bowls in several locations since cats prefer some variety when it comes to water options. Once you’ve established water bowl locations, try not to change them too frequently. 

Now let’s take a closer look at all the details.

1. Look For A Quiet Location

Make sure your cat’s water bowl is in a quiet place where your cat feels safe. You’re looking for a spot without too much traffic or people coming in and out. Traffic could obviously mean people, but if you’ve got dogs you’ll want to consider where they hang out too.

One of the most commons spots for water and food bowls is in the kitchen. The kitchen can be a great spot but with a teenager in the house my kitchen is anything but quiet! Other ideas could be a guest bathroom or bedroom.

Another popular spot is the laundry room but not only can the laundry get a bit loud you also don’t want what’s in the lint trap to end up in your cat’s water bowl!

You might want to consider placing the bowl somewhere up high. Cats already love looking for an elevated spot to perch and a shelf that’s easy for your cat to access could be the perfect place for your cat’s water bowl- especially if you’ve got dogs in the home.

There are actually quite a few cat trees on the market that have a water build into one of the platforms. We absolutely love this feature as it creates a truly “cat only” water location and caters to your cat’s natural desire to seek high up places.

One of our favorites is this large 63-inch cat tower from Feandrea. It has a water bowl on the second to last platform that’s built into the tower so cats can’t knock it over.

Because we all know there’s nothing cats would love more than to push a bowl full of water from five feet up!

If you’re interested, you can click here to get the latest price on this cat tower from Amazon.

2. Keep Water Bowls Away From The Litterbox

Okay, this should be an obvious one but make sure your cat’s water bowl isn’t anywhere near the litter box. The most important consideration is keeping your cat’s water clean.

We all know what’s inside that litter box and it’s the last thing we want our kitties to be drinking.

3. Keep Water Bowls Away From Food

While it might seem like a good idea to keep water and food bowls right next to each other. It might not actually be the best option for your cat.

First, you want to limit the chances that food will get in your cat’s water. Cat’s can be picky about drinking water and you want to do everything you can to make sure the water is always fresh. Little floating kibbles won’t help with that!

Additionally, the French pet food company Royal Canin, also completed a study in 2018 where they reviewed the water preferences of domestic cats. One of the things they looked closely at was whether or not cats preferred their water bowls next to food bowls.

They found that “cats generally prefer water points sited away from where they eat. It is possible that this reflects original feline behavior, as feeding sites and available water sources in the open countryside are often not close to each other.”

So if possible, there’s a strong case the best practice for water bowl placement is away from the main food location.

4. Offer Multiple Locations

The same study from Royal Canin noted that if given the opportunity, cats would use multiple water sources. In fact, cats with access to the outdoors would be found drinking from puddles, watering cats, humans dishes, and anything else they could find even if they had fresh water provided to them.

My takeaway is that cats just like to have multiple places to drink water from so it would be a good habit to have multiple water locations in the home.

5. Create A “Cats Only” Water Bowl

If you have other pets like dogs in the home, make sure your cat has a water bowl that’s exclusive to them. Not only will this help keep the water bowl clean as fewer pets are using it, but it will also make sure your cat never has to compete for water.

6. Separate Locations For Each Cat

If you’ve got multiple cats in your home it’s best to have at least one water bowl for each cat. I’d really recommend two but it’s going to depend on the size of your living space at a certain point. Each cat will get a feel for which water bowl is theirs.

Not only will this help prevent any scuffles or kerfuffles it will also more closely align your cat with their natural tendencies. Remember, cats are naturally territorial so having important resources (like water) that’s all their own is in line with how their wild ancestors would act.

7. Set It And Forget It…Kinda

Once you’ve got the perfect water bowl location it’s best to not change it. Your cats will get into the routine of knowing where their water bowl is and you don’t want to mess up the routine.

Putting It All Together

With these 7 things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect place for your cat’s water bowl.

But if you’re still looking for ideas on where you should put your cat’s water bowl, I’ll let you know where I put mine. I have one cat (named Debbie) and two water bowls.

The first one is in the guest bathroom on the counter. While not everyone is going to be comfortable with their cat jumping on the bathroom counter this bathroom doesn’t get much use and I don’t mind at all.

This bathroom location hits all the requirements since it’s quiet, slightly elevated, and a spot that only she can get to which is important because we do have a dog. I use a heavy ceramic water bowl that won’t tip over as Debbie has been known to enjoy a good splish-splash. I actually wrote a post on the best water bowls that won’t get tipped over if you’re interested in reading more.

The second bowl location is in my bathroom. This works out because Debbie spends most of her days lounging my bedroom. The water bowl is in the corner and we use an elevated whisker-friendly water bowl there. You can read more about whisker friendly water bowls here.

Let me know what you think and if you’ve been able to come up with any extra clever locations for your cat’s water bowls!

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