One of my cats urinates in the water bowl


One of my cats (which one) urinates in the water bowl. Why? How can I stop this behavior?

We have five inside cats, all males, ranging in age from 3 months to 15 years. We've had the three-month old for about a month +.

Within the past week one of the cats has been urinating in the water bowl.

How can we identify which cat is the culprit, why would a cat do this and how do we correct this behavior?

My Thoughts: One of your cats may have a medical issue, such as a urinary tract infection or crystals/stones. It's very common for urinary tract problems to cause litter box problems, and cause a cat to urinate in odd locations.

You'll have to involve your vet once you figure out which one it is. Does one of the cats seem like he's having any discomfort?

Do any of them strain when using the litter box to urinate? Does one of them not use the litter box to urinate lately? Does one of your cats excessively lick his groin area?

If it's not a medical issue, then...

It may not be a factor, but adding a new cat to the mix can shake things up a bit, so that may be partly at fault.

Are any of your cats not neutered? I would look to a non-neutered cat as possibly being the culprit as that may cause odd behavior with respect to urination/marking.

Do any of your cats seem particularly stressed (or have a reason to be)? Have there been any changes in the house other than the new cat? Furniture, litter,
box, people? Any of these things can put stress on a cat. I would suspect the most stressed cat.

I would also look for any aggression between two of the cats, and suspect that one of the fighting cats is the problem.

Some wild cat species live near water. It's been said that for some of these cats, urinating in the water is a way to conceal the scent of the urine. A dominant cat probably won't do this (some dominant cats won't cover feces in a litter box either), but a subservient cat might.

If one of your cats has any Bengal ancestry (or other wild cat or hybrid ancestry), it's more likely that this cat is the culprit.

If one of the cats is feeling subservient (or threatened in some way -- by the newcomer maybe?) he may be using the water to mask the scent of his urine.

Some ideas:

1. Use a remote camera or web cam to spy on the bowl activity.

2. Restrict access to the water bowl. Confine each cat, one at a time, to a room. Give him his own litter box and water/food bowls. If he uses the bowl in the room with him, you found your guilty party. If instead, the other bowl is contaminated while he's in there, he's innocent. Move on to the next cat.

3. Try raising the water bowl up off the floor a little and see if the activity stops. There are raised bowls/racks you can buy if needed.

I hope that helps to give you some ideas. Please update us when you find out what's going on.

Comments for One of my cats urinates in the water bowl

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May 03, 2022
Cat using water bowl to pee in...
by: Anonymous

My female cat , 2 years old, bottle fed and raised inside, with my male cat,a Ragamuffin, neutered, been together for for 2 years. I recently found out my female is part lynx. For 2 months she started urinating in her water bowl, my water lily ponds, or any standing water container, is not safe around her. How can I get her broke from this? Any ideas?

Dec 12, 2021
Probably a UTI
by: Jim W.

Females can display dominance as well as males, but I would guess UTI.

Dec 05, 2021
I have the same problem but the it's a female who"s doing it
by: Rawson H.

My mother and I have 7 cats. Males and females. They are all inside/outside cats. All of the males are older and two of the females are very young (2 or 3). One of the young females is the culprit and I know bc she did it as we were sitting in the kitchen. When we first got her and her sister, she was using the litter right away. Then ,just recently, she started doing this. There are no new "stress" factors involved. Everyone gets along so I am assuming that a UTI is most likely the reason. Correct? Unless, you can think of anything else. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks...

Sep 12, 2009
by: Susan

new kitten in the house... - if it's a male - your dominant male may be doing it. take turns putting a cat in the bathroom for the night with a water dish and litter box

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