Why Do Cats Put Toys In Water Bowl?

Is your cat a bit “feline” when it comes to the water? If so, how do you solve this behavior? Do they like their water dishes full of water, or is it more like an empty bowl?

This article will explain why cats like to put their toys in water and how to correct this habit. Cats like to play with their toys by hiding them in or on top of things.

They enjoy hunting down their toys, so it’s no surprise that they also enjoy chasing them underwater too!

However if your kitty is throwing the toys into the water dish, it may be a sign of boredom or anxiety.

Boredom and anxiety can lead to behavioral issues and stress. Try distracting your cat with some new playthings or games like laser pointers or puzzle feeders!

Why Do Cats Put Toys In Water Bowl?


Cats love to eat, and their lunch bowl is the center of the universe from their point of view.

If your cat enjoys playing with soft toys, like catnip mice or furry mice, she may jump in the water with them and revel in the sensation.

Some cats will like to dunk their toys in the water and then play with them in the water, but it’s common for them to just toss their toys into the water and then watch them bob to the surface to play some more.

If your cat enjoys playing with soft toys, like catnip mice or furry mice, she may jump in the water with them and revel in the sensation.

Pungent things emit a pleasant aroma that cats enjoy sniffing and this can help entice them to partake in a watery activity.

Since she likes eating, she undoubtedly likes the bowl itself.

She associates it with happiness because she associates it with eating and with having another object she appreciates in her domain.

Also, she might like watching the water rise as she puts a toy in it and watches it sink down again.

Your cat’s eating bowl is where she is free to eat in peace and meet her needs.

She unifies her bowl with her toys and food, as a form of affirmation of everything she values in her life.

Hiding Their Prey

Cats’ natural inclinations to hunt and conceal their prey are why they’ll often put toys in water bowls.

They may not have a typical nest, but your cat probably has some safe corner or ledge they like to use to hide in.

If you think about it, your feline friend probably considers any object with feathers to be a toy and will spend plenty of time batting them around with their paws and mouth.

This makes sense with toys that mimic their more well-known natural prey as well.


It’s not uncommon to see a cat with a bottle cap in their water bowl; that’s what they’re doing, playing with their toy.

Just like certain domestic cats, there are some wild cats that are very fond of the water and will indulge in some play time in it.


Your cat may associate her toy with meal times and may dump her toy in her water bowl in hope of catching another meal while she’s eating.

An object in her water dish indicates that it’s safe to drink from.

She may be trying to teach you how to hunt, which means she’s trying to turn you into good friend of hers rather than the enemy.

To make things easier for both of you, leave a favorite toy or treat in the bowl when you leave.


It is widely accepted that a hiding place is more appealing to a cat if it cannot be seen.

Some people believe that cats see water bowls as more comfortable than dry food dishes because the dish is warmer and because the cat is less likely to be overwhelmed by the smell of the food.

They protect a prized possession, such as a toy or their favorite “feather wand” by hiding it in their bowl.

There have been several reports of domesticated cats, including leopards and cheetahs, stuffing their toys into water bowls.

The food and water dishes in indoor cat cages and homes may also look a lot like the ‘natural’ territory marked by trees and other natural things in nature.

Should You Stop Your Cat From Putting Things In The Bowl?

Dropping things in the water dish shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence and behavior like this may indicate a more serious behavioral issue that needs to be diagnosed by your vet.

Additionally, it would be very impossible to keep a cat from removing any object before you get a chance to use it again.

You must, after all, offer water for your cat.

Restricting water to keep your cat from having fun in the water dish is never a good idea. If they can’t use their own water bowl, they’ll have to come up with a new solution.

If your cat, on the other hand, is a regular scavenger of household items and toys, there are two things to keep in mind: some cats feel entitled to everything and may not realize that these things are off-limits to others; if this is the case, you may find your kitty dropping the trash or other items behind and under the furniture in your house — and that’s when it becomes a problem.

To keep your cat from having fun in your personal items or toys, avoid placing them within paw’s reach or sight.

You might also keep them up high on a shelf or behind a door so your cat has to get up to reach it. Your cat might still attempt to likely try to obtain your “prize” by jumping up on the table or reaching up a chair to get it.

Make Sure Your Cat doesn’t eat It

Cats have been known to choke on all kinds of strange things they found around the house, including magnets, bottle caps and plastic bags.

It’s possible for cats to get sick from ingesting certain items like string or rubber bands.

Many household items are not meant for human consumption, so it’s dangerous to give them to your cat as play toys or treats.

If your cat throws up unusual items, you don’t want them to think it’s okay to keep eating things they don’t normally eat. Water may contain too many minerals for your cat’s renal system to process effectively.

If your cat develops an illness relating to them drinking too much water, for example, you possibly can have to make some major changes in your daily routine to accommodate this.

Your cat’s GI system will get damaged if the ingested items are too big or too difficult to remove.

Examine the items to see whether they are water resistant.

Your cat’s water toys should meet Underwriters Laboratory approval and be made of the same material as the cat’s regular food bowls and toys.

When your cat drops anything into the water, it’s on you again to make sure its nontoxic.

Increase or decrease the amount of food you serve your cat based on his or her weight. Specially designed cat homes are great homes for senior cats.

As cats age, they lose muscle tone and become less active. They expend less energy in general, and they might need more TLC than they used to.

It’s not unusual for a cat’s behavior to change as they age. Many cats develop preferences as they age, so that their play patterns change as they grow older.

Younger cats may play with their toys in a more carefree manner than older cats that tire out quicker.

As your cat gets older, he or she may develop a preference for some toys over others, and no longer play with toys as readily as they did before.

How To Stop Cat From Putting Toys In Water?

Change Water Frequently

Playing with the water or throwing toys into the bowl can lead to a buildup of bacteria or a virus in the bowl and can cause the pet to become ill very easily.

Most water bowls are cleaned on a regular basis to avoid this. Water bowls are also rinsed with disinfectant to kill the bacteria living in the water bowl and on the toys in the bowl as well.

If your cat is sick, please seek medical attention immediately if you suspect a bacterial or viral infection.

Ignore It

Once your cat has put a few more toys in the water dish, simply pretend not to notice and clean up the mess without a comment.

You may get sideways glances from your cat a few times as they realize their ploy isn’t working. But by waiting until your cat has done this a few times before getting involved, you’ll send them the message that you are not interested and move on to something else.

So stop ignoring it and deal with it!

As a last resort, you may consider setting up a new water dish in another room so that your cat will start associating this room with the new water bowl and stop using the water dish that you don’t like.

Finally, remember that cats do love water. If cats are deprived of water long enough, they can dehydrate.

So if your kitty is very fond of the water dish (when it’s supposed to be off-limits), go ahead and wash it out and refill it with fresh water for when your cat needs a drink.

Limit Its Access To The Bowl

Try leaving the food and water bowls out for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

Ensure that your cat does not develop a habit of stepping in the bowl or the food dish so that she won’t injure herself with falling in.

You don’t want your cat to believe that drinking water in the tray is a chance rather than somethingreiterated and enforced.

Provide Extra Toys

Add new toys and interactive play to your cat’s daily routine and she’s likely to forget about the water dish altogether.

If your cat likes to put nonswimmable objects in the water dish, give him or her a water-squirting toy to spray around the bowl instead.

Or if you enjoy watching your feline pal entertain herself with the water, try a toy that will float and splash around with the movement of the water.

Why Does Your Cat Put Clothes In Water Bowl?

It’s normal for cats to put their garments in their water bowls.

My cat certainly seems to think that putting clothes in her water bowl is cute or funny or some kind of game.

My cat loves playing in the water and has played in the sink and finish tub since she was two months old.

But only if the item is obviously clean with no odors attached. The smell of detergent can irk your cat or cause it to lose its appetite and refuse to eat.

Just because she enjoys her toys and wants to keep them safe.

Many cats see their bowls as their own realm and a safe haven for their cherished things. Kitties — especially kittens — love to dunk their diapers and clothing in soak-wet water bowls.

Environmental or genetic factors are likely at play when it comes to why some cats enjoy putting items in water bowls versus other cats.

She tosses her toys in the water and helps them float to the top of the bowl and keeps them there by nudging them with her paw.

Also Read: Why Does Your Cat Scratch Your Bed?

Why Does Your Cat Put Things In Food Bowl?

Cats often put their toys in water bowls as an expression of their territorial instincts. In order to deal with this issue, you’ll need to control where your cat’s toys are located and who’s using them.

Cats treat the place where they sleep and eat as their safety zone.

In the same way as wildcats return and conceal their food in their lairs, your cat will return to his or her food bowl frequently to hide his loot away.


This is simply another adorable and amusing behavior of our furry little companions.

Despite the fact that we’ve outlined five plausible explanations why your cat is providing water for you all day long, we aren’t experts on the matter.

In fact, we’re just like you – we’re merely scratching our heads as we look at our cats’ quirkily amusing behavior.

Even while it would be great if we could actually understand our feline companions, we can only speculate about these behaviors.