Why is my cat dipping its paw in water?


Have you ever observed this behavior in your cat? He puts his paw in the water and is visibly satisfied after having accomplished this funny gesture. There are several reasons for this habit.

If all these explanations have no scientific basis, you will see that some can be funny, even completely eccentric. Others, on the contrary, stand very well.

Anyway, this original behavior has the merit of making us think about our favorite felines!

1 – Your cat is looking for freshness

Most cats love water, and some even need to dip their paws in water to relax or revitalize themselves.

Thus, each time your cat soaks its paw in water, it would mean that it seeks the heat or on the contrary the freshness provided by the temperature of the water.

Note that its pads are a particularly sensitive area to changes in temperature. This would therefore explain that.

2 – your cat suffers from dermatitis

If your cat has sensitive skin, she can develop dermatitis, most often related to an allergic reaction to certain foods.

This usually results in the appearance of a thick gray down around its mouth and / or hind legs.

To counteract this aggression, your cat may soak its front legs in water, and sometimes even its rear legs and stomach, to relieve the itching.

It is then advisable to turn to your veterinarian for medical confirmation.

3 – Your cat shows you his love

Studies show that cats, under certain circumstances, can dip their paws in water to express their feelings.

Indeed, scientists have observed that several times a day, particularly loving cats approach the caregiver after placing their paw in the water.

They then come to rub on you with their wet paws, to refer to the friendly contact they have with their fellow creature.

Convinced? Let your cat get you wet, it’s a love ball!

4 – your cat feels a biological need to clean himself

Cats and humans have little in common, but they do share a few behaviors, including the need to wash and stay clean at all times.

Thus, the cat likes to keep its coat clean and cleans itself with the tongue. He also likes to get rid of leftovers from a meal by, for example, rubbing his head against the baseboards.

It is therefore likely that he will dip his paw in water to clean them when they are dirty or when the odors present bother him.

5 – Your cat simply enjoys playing with water

Water can be a source of pleasure for your cat. Contrary to popular belief, not all felines hate water, and some are very fond of it.

Very playful by nature, it is quite possible that your cat is just playing with water. Soaking your paws in it, seeing drops in the bowl and shaking your paw to spread the water is indeed a fun activity.

You can observe the same phenomenon in cats who drink from the tap. They often put their paws under the trickle of water before coming to drink. Sometimes they even just play, fascinated by the movement of the water.

The explanation is simple, they like moving water and avoid stagnant water as much as possible. Investing in a water fountain would undoubtedly make your cat happy.

6 – your cat is trying to get your attention

The cat is an animal of very calm appearance. But under his mysterious air, he sometimes hides a good dose of stress, anxiety and nervousness.

He may poorly coordinate his movements or act inappropriately if he feels helpless and wants your attention.

So, putting its paw in the water and creating a paddling pool around its bowl is sometimes just one of the ways your cat uses to make you react.

Give him affection, that’s all he is looking for: hugs, a play session, a soft voice to talk to him … So many gestures of love that will make him happy and strengthen the bonds with his human being. .

7 – your cat doesn’t like his bowl

Do you know the phenomenon of mustache fatigue? It is a feeling of discomfort that the cat feels due to the sensitivity of its whiskers.

Whiskers, also called vibrissae, are indeed connected to the nervous system and send a lot of information to your cat.

However, if his bowl, or bowl, is too narrow or too deep, his mustaches inevitably touch either the edges of his bowl or the surface of the water.

As a result, he will prefer to catch the water with his paw to lick it after, rather than suffer this sensory overload. Do not hesitate to opt for large, shallow and preferably glass containers, more suitable for felines.

8 – Your cat evaluates the distance

You are probably more likely to observe this practice if your cat has access to the outdoors. A puddle, a stream, are all obstacles for him to his little walk.

Thus, if for one reason or another it does not want to bypass this body of water, it will assess its depth to know if it can cross it easily.

Its goal ? Cross or drink at the source, avoiding getting your muzzle wet, because he hates that!

9 – Your cat must be on the lookout

Your cat, especially if he lives with fellow creatures or a dog for example, likes to dominate and know everything that is going on in his environment so as not to be surprised.

Their hunting instinct and predatory habits are not foreign. Thus, he can put his paw in the water, both in his bowl and in a source outside, to avoid lowering his head.

In this way, Grisou keeps a view of what is going on around him. By staying on the lookout, he avoids being surprised by another animal, or even a human.

10 – Your cat communicates with his reflection

Instinctively, the cat does not know how to recognize itself. It is only through learning that he will be able to identify his reflection, and not all cats succeed.

Thus, it is possible that your kitten or your adult cat will see its reflection in the water. He soaks his paw in it, the reflection moves, then returns to normal when the water is calm.

He therefore dips his paw in the water several times to try to understand who this mysterious double is. We can also observe surprising reactions, ranging from curiosity to fear through aggression.

Indeed, he may want to make a friend by playing with his reflection, or on the contrary chase from his territory this unwanted individual who seems to come out of the water!

11 – your cat wants to catch a fish

If you have an aquarium, which is open on the top, you will no doubt have found that your cat likes to sit there to observe fish, but not only that.

He can spend long minutes identifying their movements and their trajectory, then give in to his hunting instinct. In the wild, it is not uncommon for a cat to catch a fish for food.

And its mode of operation is to pounce on its prey, as soon as it is nearby, to grab it. For this, there is no need to dive into the water, it prefers to wait for the fish to approach the edge to grab it with its paw and claws. Like a good fish eater, he will then take the caught fish in his mouth to go and enjoy it in peace …

What do you think your companion thinks when he dips his paw in the water? Were you able to identify the possible cause of his behavior thanks to this article?