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Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water?

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water?

“Why does my cat scratch the floor before drinking water? What is she looking for?”

You came here looking for answers to this question and be sure that you’re going to get them. But firstly, you need to know a couple of things about cats.

These amazing, furry creatures can sometimes surprise us with all of their daily antics. Just when you think that you’ve seen everything and she can’t catch you off guard, she comes up with something new.

Well, I think that life wouldn’t be as fun and fulfilled if it wasn’t for their daily predicaments that make you laugh out loud. However, their behavior doesn’t have to mean fun and games all the time.

Sometimes, pet parents will worry about their feline’s behavior if they notice something strange. Perhaps their pet never did anything similar to that before, so why now?

Just like humans, cats have a mind of their own and will come up with different things for entertaining purposes or just out of pure curiosity. After all, it’s what felines are known best after, aren’t they?

But why does your cat scratch the floor before drinking water? Does this behavior mean something or is it simply a way to amuse herself and make her time pass by quickly?

Unfortunately, it seems like we won’t get an answer from our furry companions any time soon, even though they can be very vocal at times. Therefore, let’s dive in and see the possible causes of this behavior.

Why does my cat scratch the floor before drinking water?

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water

You wake up early in the morning because, obviously, your pet woke you up to feed her. She screeched like she has been starving for days. But at least you don’t need to invest in a new alarm.

After some morning cuddles and kisses, which is actually her way of bribing you to get up and make her wish come true, you finally comply. You should consider yourself lucky because my cat bites me in the morning in order to get me out of bed!

Guided by this furry, starving companion, you come to the kitchen and do as she wishes.

Even though she had dinner just a couple of hours ago, she waits impatiently in front of her bowl. If you’re taking too much time for her liking, your cat will probably start circling you and rubbing herself against your legs as if to say you should hurry up.

Once you fill her food bowl, you change her water so your princess always has access to a clean and fresh source of hydration. Not that she actually drinks that much, but oh well.

In time you make yourself some coffee to help you wake up, your pet gulps down her food and is already asking for more. You know she’s on a diet but even though you want to grant her this wish, you refuse. Good choice.

Once she’s done with the begging and realizes you’re not going to cave in like you usually do, she goes to take a sip of the fresh water.

Just as you’re rubbing your eyes to get rid of any trace of sleep, your cat starts scratching the floor around her water bowl. What should this mean?

Does she not like it? You’ve never seen your pet paw at the tiles like this before. Did she just wake up early and had a good sleep so she has some extra energy?

1. Instincts

Felines are creatures that belong to the animal world and are guided by their instincts. It’s really rare that a cat will do something that’s not based on her instinctive behavior.

So what could be the possible cause of your cat scratching the floor while drinking water? Is it some kind of a nature call? Well, it might be!

You know how cats go around occasionally digging the ground? Well, they can do this for various purposes. One of the most common reasons for this behavior is when they use the bathroom.

Felines have a natural urge to bury their waste in the ground. But what does drinking water have anything to do with that? Well, just like she digs around to find the perfect spot to do her business, she might scratch around her water bowl.

If she was in the wild, your pet would paw around in order to find a water source. Also, she’d use the same tactic to search for food and perhaps some important information left in scents.

The closest thing to this behavior in your household is her pawing at the tiles. So, if your cat scratches the floor around the water bowl, it might be a part of her nature.

2. Kneading

If your pet’s making a gesture that mostly resembles kneading instead of simply digging around, there might be a good reason behind that.

When your feline was a little kitten, she used to do this when she would breastfeed. She would get all comfortable and choose a position that suits her the most to enjoy her mother’s warm milk.

If you thought that this is just a thing kittens do, you’re wrong. Once again, it’s pure instincts with these furry creatures! A kitten will knead the area of her mother’s stomach in order to urge the milk flow.

Therefore, she’ll get more milk faster. The things these greedy animals will do, even from such a young age! Jokes aside, this is another proof of how well their instincts work.

But then again, why does your cat scratch or knead the floor before drinking water? What does kittenhood have to do with all of this?

Your pet remembers the breastfeeding time to be something positive and a time when she felt the safest and at peace. At that moment, she was surrounded by her mother’s scent and warmth.

Therefore, kneading represents something positive and it’s a behavior that might help her calm down. That’s why you can also see your cat kneading when she’s getting ready for bed.

Drinking milk might be similar to taking a sip of water to your pet because both are liquids. Even though the water bowl doesn’t resemble her mother, your cat might feel content around it and scratch the floor.

3. That’s how she does it

Having a cat is like having a toddler, seriously. They will get into lots of trouble, will probably disobey you more than not, and you’ll possibly spoil them rotten.

The only difference is that felines are furry! Even though they can sometimes be a handful, we love our pets to bits and wouldn’t change anything about them for the world.

Just like toddlers, all cats are unique. This means that even two felines who are siblings might be complete opposites. For instance, my two cats grew up together but they’re totally different.

They both have their own personalities and act like individuals. Both Simba and Ivy have a mind of their own and they’ll also act differently even if they’re in the same situation.

This just goes to show you how our furry companions are awesome. You can really never get bored of them because they’re like an endless source of fun.

Therefore, if you wonder why your cat scratches the floor before drinking water, it just might be her thing. It’s not possible to always know why our pets do something.

4. A sign of discomfort

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water

Although cats have been domesticated for quite some time now, they still haven’t learned the human language. Weird, right? Jokes aside, sometimes they can seem as if they’re speaking to us directly.

However, humans oftentimes forget that these furry little creatures are their furbabies, but they’re still a part of the animal world. Therefore, they communicate in other ways.

While humans use words mostly, felines will use their body language. Sure, your pet might scream at you from time to time demanding more treats, but she’ll resort to gestures most of the time.

Therefore, your cat scratching at the floor before drinking water might be her trying to tell you something. It’s never an easy task deciphering feline behavior, so what could this possibly mean?

She’s maybe not able to tell you, but she can definitely show you. By pawing and kneading around her water bowl, your cat might be trying to let you know that she isn’t happy with what she sees.

There are a couple of reasons why your pet might feel any kind of discomfort regarding her water bowl. First, it could be that she doesn’t like the water because it might be old and she requires a fresh source.

After all, felines are known for not being too fond of water or drinking it in general. Usually, cats shake their paws when they get in contact with it. That’s why most cat owners try to find another way to inspire their pets to stay hydrated, such as buying those expensive water fountains.

On the other hand, this behavior could possibly mean that your pet doesn’t want to drink from this exact spot. I know they’re spoiled, but sometimes you have to comply with their wishes in order to keep them healthy and happy.

Therefore, try moving the water bowl to another spot where she’s more likely to drink. Your picky cat might be giving you a hard time, but it’s all worth it in the end!

5. Whisker problems

If your cat scratches the floor before drinking water from her bowl, perhaps the placement isn’t the issue. I know, these furry little creatures can sometimes be so complicated.

Yet, the things they do mostly end up making a lot of sense. Remember how we said that they’re mostly guided by their instincts and live their life according to them?

Well, this might not have to do much with their natural urges, but it’s rather a reflex thing. This might sound funny and strange, but it could be her whiskers causing her to exhibit such unusual behavior.

The thing is that her water bowl might be too small or narrow for her whiskers. They don’t fit in so they always crash into the hard plastic or whatever material your cat’s bowl is made out of.

This is a really uncomfortable feeling for your feline. Cats’ whiskers have a great number of receptors in them. They’re her sensory organs which means they’re very important to her.

With the help of her whiskers, your cat manages to navigate her way around and know her surroundings. You can think of them as a tool that helps your pet’s vision.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that a feline’s whiskers are an important piece of equipment to her. So, if your water bowl is giving them trouble, your pet might try to tell you that.

This is probably why your cat scratches the floor before drinking water. Also, she might be constantly trying to take a sip of it but unsuccessfully all while jerking her head backward.

To avoid this from happening any time in the future, make sure your pet’s bowl is wide enough for her to comfortably drink from it. Time passes and your furry feline grows, so her bowls should be adapted to her growth.

6. Inquisitiveness

Oh, cats! What would we do without them? Well, I don’t really want to find out but I can definitely take a guess at what the world would look like without them – very, very sad.

The thing we love the most about our furry companions is their curiosity. You can deny it all you want but it’s something that makes these animals very special.

I know they can sometimes be all over the place and get into trouble because of their stubbornness. On the other hand, it’s one of their most remarkable qualities.

However, their inquisitiveness isn’t just something that we find entertaining and they certainly don’t do it for that purpose. As I already mentioned, felines always do things with meaning.

Curiosity is a big part of their life that teaches them many things. This way your pet is able to learn what she can and what she can’t do, what’s good for her and what’s not, etc.

So if you recently brought your cat home, it’s normal that she wants to explore her new place. Especially if she’s a kitten or a cat that’s been a stray previously.

For instance, when I brought my first cat from the shelter, she had a couple of situations that made me question my knowledge of feline behavior. She also used to circle around the water bowl and I used to wonder why does my cat scratch the floor before drinking water too. Later on, I figured that she had never seen it in her life.

As a street cat, she used to drink water from ponds, lakes, rivers, and puddles. She didn’t have a water bowl following her around everywhere she went. I assume she also dug around in order to find a fresh and clean source from time to time.

7. Marking her territory

Yes, your cat might be marking her territory this way. Felines will try to occupy the space they like the most or value. Just like she will guard her food bowl, she might want to keep her water safe from others.

But why does your cat scratch the floor before drinking water if she’s trying to guard it? How does that even work? Well, you probably associate guarding with teeth baring and flaring nostrils.

However, there are other ways your feline can keep her eye on something these obvious signs. If she’s resource-guarding her water, she’ll probably dig around it and even scratch the floor.

The reason behind this is the release of pheromones. A cat’s paws have scent glands around them that help her release the pheromones while she’s scratching and pawing around.

This way she leaves her scent all over the place as if to say “Back off, this is mine.” Also, your pet might rub or headbutt the water bowl, as well as roll around on the floor.

This sends a clear message in the feline world. Maybe you own another cat and she’s the reason why your feline feels the need to do this. Perhaps you should consider getting another bowl so they don’t need to share it.

Just like a cat scratches the sides of the litter box, your pet is pawing at the floor around her water bowl to warn others off.

Bottom line

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water

“Why does my cat scratch the floor before drinking water?” A couple of minutes ago, this question seemed to be one of those you can’t get an answer to.

I understand why you’d be so concerned about that because even though there has been a lot of research done, feline behavior still remains quite a mystery to us. They always end up somehow surprising us and coming up with all these fresh ideas to leave us completely baffled.

Therefore, I narrowed down some of the main reasons why your pet might scratch the area around her water bowl moments before taking a sip.

Remember that each cat is unique so they all do it for different reasons. Maybe she doesn’t like it, doesn’t want to drink in that spot.

Perhaps the water bowl feels uncomfortable to her whiskers, and so on. Either way, make sure you understand the cause of this behavior and try to minimize and eliminate everything that gets in the way of your cat being healthy and happy.

Read more: Why Does My Cat Use Her Paw When Drinking Water? Does She Need Help?

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water?