Why Does My Cat Scratch the Ground Before Drinking Water

Why Does My Cat Scratch the Ground Before Drinking Water?

If you are a cat owner, you may have noticed your furry companion scratching the ground before drinking water. This behavior is quite common among cats and has its roots in their natural instincts. Here is why your cat scratches the ground before quenching its thirst:

1. Marking territory: Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching the ground helps them release their scent. By doing so, they are marking their territory and signaling to other cats that this water source belongs to them.

2. Instinctual behavior: Scratching the ground is an instinctual behavior inherited from their ancestors. In the wild, cats would dig up the ground to uncover fresh water sources. This behavior has been retained by domestic cats.

3. Simulating natural conditions: Cats prefer running water over stagnant water. By scratching the ground, they imitate the sound and movement of running water, which makes drinking more enticing for them.

4. Improving water quality: scratching the ground may also serve to filter debris or dirt that might be present in the water. Cats have a keen sense of smell, and they may be trying to make the water more appealing by removing any potential contaminants.

5. Stimulating appetite: Scratching the ground before drinking water can stimulate a cat’s appetite. This behavior is similar to how cats paw and scratch their food before eating, which helps trigger their hunting instincts.

6. Establishing comfort: Cats are creatures of habit and often develop routines. Scratching the ground before drinking water may simply be a comforting ritual that your cat has adopted.

See also  Why Is My Cat Acting Skittish

7. Maintaining hygiene: Cats are known for their cleanliness, and scratching the ground may be a way for them to ensure that the area around the water bowl is clean. By doing so, they prevent any dirt or debris from getting into their water.


1. Is it normal for my cat to scratch the ground before drinking water?
Yes, it is a common behavior among cats and is perfectly normal.

2. Should I be concerned if my cat doesn’t scratch the ground before drinking water?
No, not all cats exhibit this behavior. Each cat is unique and may have different habits and preferences.

3. Can scratching the ground damage my floors?
If your cat scratches the ground vigorously, it may cause minor damage to certain types of flooring. Providing a suitable scratching post nearby can redirect this behavior.

4. Will my cat stop scratching the ground as it gets older?
Not necessarily. Some cats continue this behavior throughout their lives, while others may eventually outgrow it.

5. Can I train my cat to stop scratching the ground before drinking water?
It can be challenging to train a cat to change its natural instincts. However, providing alternative sources of running water, such as a cat water fountain, may help redirect this behavior.

6. Should I be worried if my cat scratches the ground excessively?
If your cat’s excessive scratching is accompanied by other signs of distress or discomfort, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

7. Can scratching the ground before drinking water be a sign of a health problem?
In most cases, it is a normal behavior. However, if you notice any changes in your cat’s drinking habits or suspect a health issue, it is best to seek professional advice.

See also  How to Get Rid of Rats When You Have Dogs