My cat is around 1 year old and I have had her for 4 months. 2 months after I got her she started knocking over her water dish. At first I thought it might be because she didn't like the high sided dishes with a lot of water in them, so I replaced it with a large wide do bowl with just a little water in it and she still tips it over. She also isn't playing with the water, she doesn't like water and hates when her paws are wet. It isn't because the water isn't fresh because sometimes she does it seconds after I place the bowl on the floor or her shelf. I was looking into getting her a fountain, but she doesn't like the tap when it is running and I'd hate to spend all that money on something she doesn't use or knocks over.

She has non slip wide dog bowls now and still knocks them over 3-4 times a week. I've seen her do it before and she isn't just smacking with her paws, She carefully steps over the bowl and scoops her front paws backwards until she catches it and gets water everywhere. If anyone has suggestions it would be nice, I'd rather not clean up water every few days.

  • could it be boredome? Has she other ways to "play" and be "entertained"? Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 18:31
  • @Allerleirauh Thank you for posting but I don't think so. she actually doesn't like water and is not happy when it gets on her feet. She also doesn't even look back at the bowl when doing it.
    – Kayter
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 15:44
  • This is a deeply temporary solution but could you put like a big rock in the bowl? Just something to make it heavy enough she can't tip it over.
    – Kitkat
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 16:42
  • Alternatively, attach the bowl to the floor/a tray with command strips or similar (this is what I use to keep my cats from knocking knick knacks off shelves) and use a separate container to fill it, or pick up the big tray to wash it--a little unwieldy, but she can't knock it over then.
    – Kitkat
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 16:49
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    @Kayter It is not a question of pleasure with water, but a kind of riddle to solve, mental task for the intelligence. How often do you play with your cat? What kind of toys does she have? Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


It seems that you provide the water in a bowl which can be knocked over. There are specially made bowls for cats and for dogs, which are pretty much impossible to knock over - as long as they are on the floor. If you place them on a tall surface (e.g., a table), we change the discussion.

Example: enter image description here

I cannot imagine how this kind of bowl can be turned up-side down by mistake. We have this kind of bowl for our dog, and it is difficult even for us (the humans) to handle it, once it is laid on the floor. So the chance for a cat or a dog to mis-handle it should be practically zero.

However, this is not a real solution, because it will not prevent the contents to get out. The cat will just throw the water or the food out - if she is inclined to do so.

So try to find out WHY your cat behaves in that way. Here are some ideas:

  • she is bored; she does not necessarily play, she just does something; she needs toys, or a play partner (a human or another pet);
  • very likely: she tries to draw your attention; find the purpose for that; she might need affection; she might need more / better food; she might find the water to be of bad quality - always provide fresh water (replace the water in the bowl several times a day, even if there is still enough water - quantity-wise);
  • she is jealous on something / somebody; find a way to share yourself between all "affected parties".

Because of lighting, reflections etc they paw the bowl to create ripples and therefore see where the surface of the water LVL is, sometimes it takes multiple attempts and more violent attempts for the cat to identify where the water line is. They hate putting their face down and getting water up the nose BC they have no idea where the water LVL is.

  • 3
    Do you have some kind of source for your statement? Experience, website, book? Commented Jan 17 at 11:37

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