Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
I have a three-year-old cat named Benny. I resuced him about a year ago and he is fitting in nicely. Recently he has taken up the habit of licking the faucet in the bath after somebody has taken a shower. I am worried that he will make himself sick doing this. Should I be concerned or is this normal behavior?
Siouxsie: Drinking from, or licking water off, faucets is actually a fairly common behavior among cats.
Thomas: Unless your tap water is really nasty, we don’t think you have to worry about Benny’s newfound behavior.
Kissy: It’s precisely because drinking from faucets is so common that the pet drinking fountain was developed.
Siouxsie: Generally, cats prefer moving water to standing water, and this is why many of them enjoy drinking from faucets.
Thomas: Is your cat actually licking soapy residue off your faucet instead of drinking the water that’s dripping out of it? If so, the soap and shampoo residue could give your little guy an upset stomach, but the odds are pretty good that it won’t hurt him.
Kissy: Since your cat does like hopping in the tub for a drink, we’d say that if you’re using one of those automatic shower-cleaning foaming spray products, you should stop. That stuff will make Benny sick if he gets it on his paws and then ingests it when he grooms himself.
Siouxsie: If you want to see if you can redirect Benny’s licking behavior to a more appropriate source, we’d recommend purchasing a pet drinking fountain.
Thomas: Drinking fountains come in all sizes and price ranges. We recommend a stainless steel or ceramic variety because plastic tends to harbor bacteria which, in some sensitive cats, can cause acne breakouts on the chin.
Kissy: We have a Pioneer Pet raindrop-shaped stainless steel drinking fountain, and even though I haven’t gotten to drink from it yet — *sniffle* — Thomas says it’s very nice. It sells for about $38 US on amazon.com, and the ceramic version of the same fountain sells for about $32 US.
Siouxsie: And Mama says the fountain is good feng shui, too. Whatever that means.
Thomas: So, Megan, we’d say don’t worry about Benny’s newfound love affair with the bathtub faucet. Just be sure that when you clean your tub, you rinse it out very well afterward in order to avoid problems.
Kissy: I like the tub. Maybe once I get brave enough, I’ll drink from the faucet, too. Tee hee hee!