THE FORBIDDEN WATER BOWL

Hello! Nigel, here. To try something different this month, I requested that my fans write in on Facebook to let me know what is on their minds. I have sifted through the many responses, and have decided on the following topic…

Ms. Gayle Cherro of Wellington, FL writes: “Nigel…Why do some kitties like to play with the water in the toilet bowl?”

That is an excellent question, Gayle! Quite frankly, I have never played with toilet water, nor do I consider the human Lou an appropriate place for recreational activity. I am certain that cats that like to do this are either deranged, are on some sort of mind altering medication, or have been told that playing in the toilet will grant them some type of special super power. Since I am absolutely baffled by this unlikely choice of playground, I decided to consult with Dr. Stephanie on this matter.

Dr. Stephanie explained that many cats find the flushing mechanism of the toilet quite amusing. If there aren’t other forms of stimulation and environmental enrichment (toys, boxes, etc…), the cat may develop an interest in watching the water swirl around whenever the toilet is flushed. That visual fascination may then lead to curiosity and she may dip a paw in the water to see what is happening or to try and “catch it”. Some exceptionally brilliant cats have even learned to flush the toilet themselves so that they can keep the fun going. One must ask themselves…”If the best source of entertainment for my master is for her to hang out at the toilet, maybe I have calamitously dropped the ball when it comes to keeping my cat occupied.”

Dr. S went on to discuss the fact that many cats will also drink from the toilet. The reason being that the toilet water tastes better due to the oxygen content. The usual bowl of water that is provided for most kitties sits as a still little puddle. Sometimes you slaves will even leave this water out for several days without changing it. In contrast, the toilet water is flushed regularly and so tastes cooler in temperature and has better oxygenation, which most cats prefer. This is the same reason why many cats like to drink water running from a sink faucet.

So, now that you know why your cat overlords like to play in the toilet (again…I, Nigel…do not do this), your next inquiry may involve how to put a stop to it. Your first task, obviously, should be to restrict access to the toilet. This is easily done by keeping the lid closed. Most cats are not able to lift a heavy toilet lid…perhaps your kitty can if he is freakishly strong. If this is the case, you can purchase a toilet lid lock at most baby stores. Second, be sure to offer your cat the type of water that he is clearly asking for…whether it is for playing in or for drinking. You can accomplish this with a kitty water fountain that recirculates water in a constant trickling mechanism for your cat to enjoy. Because the water is recycled, it is important that you thoroughly clean the fountain every 2 to 3 days to avoid build-up of harmful bacteria. Lastly, be sure to engage your cat in plenty of interesting play time activities. Chasing fishing pole styled toys and little fuzzy mice may be just the thing to keep her head out of the toilet. (Get it?)

Well Gayle, I hope that I have answered your question. If your cats have any other disgusting habits, be sure to give the doctors and staff at For Cats Only a call so we can attend to them straight away.

This is Nigel, signing off. Meow!

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