Cat Keeps Knocking Over the Water Fountain: Let’s Solve This

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Cat Keeps Knocking Over the Water Fountain

You’ve set up the perfect hydration station for your feline friend, but there’s a twist – your cat keeps knocking over the water fountain.

It’s a splashy mystery that leaves you with more questions than answers. But don’t worry. We’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons behind this peculiar behavior and provide practical solutions.

So, let’s navigate these choppy waters together and find a way to keep the water in the fountain – not on your floor.

Understanding Cat Behavior

1. Playfulness and Curiosity

Cat standing in front of water fountain

Cats are the epitome of curiosity, and their playful nature is as endearing as it is exasperating.

Picture this: your feline friend spots the water fountain. Its eyes light up, and its paws twitch with anticipation.

The fountain isn’t just a source of hydration; it’s an exciting toy, a mystery to be solved.

You see, cats are natural hunters, and their play often mimics hunting behaviors.

The movement of water in the fountain can trigger these instincts, leading to a swat, a pounce, and, before you know it, a toppled fountain.

It’s like a game of cat-and-mouse, only this time, the mouse is your water fountain, and it’s losing.

2. Preference for Running Water

Now, let’s dive into another fascinating aspect of feline behavior: their preference for running water.

Cats are connoisseurs of freshness, and when it comes to water, they prefer it straight from the tap, so to speak.

In the wild, running water is typically cleaner than stagnant water, so this preference is likely an evolutionary adaptation. Your domestic diva or dapper tomcat hasn’t forgotten its wild roots.

The sight and sound of water flowing from the fountain can be irresistible, leading to some enthusiastic pawing and, you guessed it, a potential water fountain flip.

3. Dislike of the Fountain

Just like humans, cats can be picky. They have their likes and dislikes, and yes, that can extend to their water fountains. Your cat might be sending you a message if it’s consistently knocking over its fountain.

One possible issue could be the noise. Some fountains can be quite noisy, and this could be off-putting for your feline friend.

Cats have sensitive hearing, and what seems like a gentle hum to us could be a roaring engine to them.

The fountain’s design could also be a factor. If it’s not easy for your cat to drink from, or if the water flow isn’t to their liking, they might express their displeasure by knocking it over. It’s their version of a one-star review.

4. Territorial Behavior

Two cats drinking water from a water fountain

Now, let’s talk about territory. To your cat, your home isn’t just a home; it’s their kingdom, and they rule it with an iron paw. This territorial nature can sometimes lead to a toppled water fountain.

Cats mark their territory in various ways, and one of them is by moving objects around.

If your cat sees its water fountain as a movable object within its territory, it might knock it over as a way of saying, “This is mine.”

If you have multiple pets, the water fountain can become a contested territory.

Your cat might knock over the fountain to assert dominance and send a message to the other pets: “This is my fountain. Stay away.”

Effective Strategies to Keep Your Cat’s Water Fountain Upright

1. Choosing a Sturdier Water Fountain

When it comes to dealing with a cat that’s determined to play ‘pin the fountain on the floor,’ choosing a sturdier water fountain can be a game-changer.

Think of it as upgrading from a feather to a bowling ball – your cat might still take a swipe, but it’s going to stay put.

Look for a fountain that’s heavy enough to resist your cat’s pushes and pounces. Materials like ceramic or stainless steel can offer the weight and stability you need.

Also, consider the design. A broad base can make the fountain more stable and less likely to tip over.

2. Changing the Fountain’s Location

Cat drinking water from a blue water fountain

Location, location, location. It’s not just important in real estate; it’s also crucial when it comes to your cat’s water fountain.

If the fountain is in your cat’s play zone or in a high-traffic area, it’s like a bowling pin set up for a strike.

Try moving the fountain to a quieter location where your cat is less likely to be in play mode.

Also, cats prefer to drink away from their food and litter box, so make sure the fountain is at a comfortable distance from these areas.

3. Adding Weight to the Fountain

If you’re not keen on buying a new fountain, consider adding weight to the one you have. This can be an effective way to keep the fountain grounded, even in the face of a feline onslaught.

You could add clean rocks or marbles to the basin of the fountain to increase its weight.

Just make sure the items you add are large enough that your cat can’t swallow them.

4. Placing the Fountain in a Plastic Tub

Sometimes, the best defense is a good… tub. That’s right.

Placing your cat’s water fountain in a plastic tub can be an effective way to manage the mess of a toppled fountain. Think of it as a moat around a castle, only this time, the castle is your water fountain, and the moat is there to protect your floors, not fend off invaders.

Choose a tub that’s larger than the fountain but not so deep that your cat can’t comfortably reach the water.

The tub will catch any water that spills if your cat manages to knock over the fountain. It’s a simple solution, but sometimes, simplicity is genius.

5. Training Your Cat

Owner giving a treat to his cat

Now, let’s talk about training. Yes, you can train a cat.

It might not be as straightforward as training a dog, but with patience and consistency, you can teach your cat to stop knocking over the water fountain.

Start by observing your cat’s behavior. When does it usually knock over the fountain? Is it during playtime? Is it when you’re not around? Once you understand the ‘when,’ you can start working on the ‘how.’

Use positive reinforcement to reward your cat for good behavior.

For example, if your cat approaches the fountain and doesn’t knock it over, give it a treat or some affection.

If your cat starts to knock over the fountain, distract it with a toy or a gentle ‘no.’

6. Regular Cleaning of the Fountain

Cleanliness is next to catliness. Cats are meticulous groomers, and they expect their water sources to be just as clean.

A dirty fountain might be off-putting to your cat, leading to less drinking and more knocking over.

Regular cleaning of the fountain is essential. This includes changing the water regularly and cleaning the fountain parts to prevent the buildup of bacteria and algae.

Most fountains can be disassembled for cleaning, but always check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Use a cat-safe cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the fountain. Rinse thoroughly to ensure no residue is left behind.

A clean fountain is more likely to be used for its intended purpose – drinking – and less likely to be used for an impromptu game of cat bowling.


And so, we come to the end of our exploration into why your cat keeps knocking over the water fountain.

We trust that the insights and strategies shared in this article will prove beneficial in managing this quirky feline behavior.

We’d love to hear about your journey – your triumphs, your challenges, and everything in between.

So, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

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