Why Is My Cat Obsessed With The Sink? 6 Reasons Why

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Have you ever caught your kitty in the sink and wondered what in the world they are doing there? If so, you’re not alone! Cats often curl up in the sink. Although they look very cozy and content in there, it’s hard to believe they are actually comfortable. Let’s explore why cats do this.

#1 Cooling Off

The cold hard ceramic or porcelain of the sink offers your cat some comfort as it allows them to cool down. If the weather is warm or you have the heating on in your house, the temperature may be too hot for your cat. They are covered in a thick layer of fur after all. They will often seek somewhere they can lie down and cool off. The sink is perfect for this as the material is cool to the touch so will allow the heat from your cat to transfer to it.

Also Read: Why Does My Cat Guard Me When I Go to the Bathroom?

#2 Perfect Shape

Your sink is usually the perfect shape for your cat to curl up in and fit snuggly. If you think about it, they are a pretty similar shape to cat beds. You might not expect it but sinks and cat beds do share a few attractive characteristics for cats. Cats like to feel secure when they lie down or sleep. The sink offers them a nice rounded shape that they can lie in comfortably. It contains them well.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Pee On Bathroom Rugs?

#3 Water On Tap

Another attraction for your cat is the proximity to the faucet. Cats just love to drink from running water. Most owners are aware of cats’ fascination with running water. We think this is because it’s easier to spot than still water so they are attracted to it. This is also why you might catch your cat tapping the top of the liquid in a cup or a glass of water as they want to confirm if there is liquid in there or not.

The tinkling sound of the running water also attracts them. They may also find it appealing as evolution has taught them that as wild animals, running water is considered safer and cleaner than still water. This is because it’s less likely to be contaminated.

Lots of cats prefer the taste of running water. Water in their bowl may taste unattractive to a cat as it may have residue in it from food previously in there, or if it hasn’t been washed properly.

Even if you have washed it really well, your cat might not be keen on the cleaning products you used. It is best to regularly clean your cat’s bowl with a non-scented cleaning product so that there is no residue left that might put them off.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Like Faucet Water?

#4 Vantage Point

Another reason is that the sink offers a really good lookout post position for your cat! Your cat can look out over the top of the sink while staying relatively well hidden. Cats like to keep a close eye on the activity in their environment as they are always on the lookout for threats. This is an instinct as they can be predators or prey in the wild as they hunt and are hunted.

Also Read: What Can Cats Drink Besides Water?

#5 Quiet Time

Cats often crave a quiet space to call their sanctuary. Your bathroom will usually be a quieter place for them to hide in as it is away from the usual hustle and bustle of the house. Your bathroom will usually only be occupied by one person at a time, compared to somewhere like the lounge or the kitchen which will often be busy with people and never quiet or empty.

Also Read: Why Does My Cat Hiss at My Partner?

#6 Attention

Some clever cats realize that getting in the sink not only brings them physically closer to us but also that they will get lots of attention. If you are about to wash your hands or brush your teeth and you find your cat there, you will more than likely talk to them and pet them, even if you are doing this as you move them out of the way.

Your cat will begin to associate this with a positive experience and gravitate towards the sink as they want some quality time and positive interactions with you, their favorite human!

Also Read: Why Is My Cat So Desperate For Attention? Top 10 Reasons

How Do I Stop My Cat From Sleeping In The Sink?

If cat sink slumbering is not for you, there are a few things you can do to persuade your cat to pick a different spot. The first thing would be to have a closed bathroom door to prevent your cat from sneaking in and curling up. If you do this, ensure you have other places around the house that they can go to as they might be very upset if their special place is suddenly out of bounds.

You can buy cat beds that mimic the shape of your sink which some cats might like as an alternative. Be sure to place them in a quiet room away from the usual foot traffic in the house. If you think it’s the dripping tap and running water element your cat is attracted to, you can buy water bowls that have a mini water fountain in it so it mimics a little stream or river.

You can also try reinforcing positive behavior, so if your cat decides to curl up somewhere other than the sink, be sure to pet them and make a fuss of them and give them treats. If they do keep going to the sink, calmly remove them and place them gently down somewhere else without giving any attention or fuss. It’s best not to scold your cat for going in the sink as this may frighten them.

Also Read: Why Is My Cat So Annoying? Cat Attention-Seeking Behavior Explained

Should I Be Worried If My Cat Hangs Out In The Sink?

Usually, if your cat is snoozing in the sink, this is just an adorable (and bizarre!) habit they have picked up. Bear in mind, however, that there are a few reasons they might be going near the sink that could mean something is up. If your cat is hanging around the sink because they are constantly thirsty this could be a sign of something like kidney disease or diabetes.

If you notice your cat is extra thirsty and possibly using their litter box more too, then it’s best to get an appointment with your veterinarian. Especially if this has come on as a sudden change. There may be an underlying health problem that needs addressing.

Another issue some owners are concerned about is hygiene reasons. If your cat is padding about your bathroom frequently throughout the day, at some point you know they will have just been in their litter tray.

If they are then walking around your sink where you wash your face and near to your toothbrushes, some people might think this is unhygienic and feel uncomfortable. This does depend on personal preferences.

Also Read: How To Pet A Cat – The 3 Basic Do’s And Don’t’s

Conclusion

There are many reasons you might find your cat in the sink. Most of these are behavioral explanations, however, there are a few reasons that mean your cat is poorly and needs some help from your vet. Once you have ruled out any medical issues you can let your cat lounge about to their heart’s content, as long as you are ok with it too!

Also Read: 8 Reasons You Should Never Punish Your Cat

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my cat obsessed with the sink water?

There are a few good reasons your cat chooses to drink water from a running tap over the still stuff in their water dish. The water from the tap might taste better to them. They may not like the location of their water bowl (too busy, too hot, too cold, too drafty)

Historically, they would have avoided stagnant water as it may be contaminated. Running water is considered safer as it is cleaner and fresher. So your cat's survival instincts draw them to the running water source.

Is it normal for cats to sit in the sink?

Yes, it certainly is. Your cat might be seeking a cool place to chill out after an afternoon of sunbathing. They may want to sneak off somewhere quiet away from the noise of a busy family home. They may be hanging out until someone turns the tap on so that they can have a drink. The sink is a pretty cool place in your cat's eyes!

Do cats like sink water?

They certainly do. Lots of cats prefer running water from the tap over the still water in their bowl. From an evolutionary standpoint, cats prefer cool fresh water. If the water in their bowl has been there for a while it may become warm and dusty. Your cat may still drink it if they are super thirsty, but they would definitely prefer the fresh stuff!

How do I stop my cat from going into the sink?

There are many ways you can stop your cat from sitting in the sink. You can shut off the room so they can't enter it. You can get them a similar bed somewhere else to tempt them away from the bathroom. Some owners even manage to clicker train their cat to not use the sink using treats and a clicker. This is pretty labor-intensive though!

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About Emma Chandley MRCVS

Emma graduated from the Royal Vet College in London in 2011. She has a keen interest in surgery and went on to do a post graduate certificate in small animal surgery and was then awarded advanced practitioner status in the same discipline.

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