Cat Drinking From Paw
(San Francisco, CA)
Reader Question: Why is my cat drinking from her paw?
One of my cats recently (last couple of months) started drinking water with her paw - she still does drink the normal way, just not nearly as much as she used to - more often than not, she'll put her paw in the water, scoop it and lick her paw, only. In other words, she is not even trying to clean the rest of her body after drinking-licking the fresh water off her paw. It is simply how she takes in water!
She'll sit at her water bowl and will do this for a good 10 minutes or so!!
From time to time, I do notice she will lightly do the same with her canned food - very gingerly tip the edge of her paw in it and scrap a bit off and eat it - like she is testing its efficacy or something.
Strange behavior - well... (She often sees things in the house the rest of us cannot - sometimes she stares so hard and so long, we actually look, too, to see what she is seeing.) Have you heard of this paw-drinking behavior?
CathyVet Suggests Reasons For Why Cat Is Drinking From Her Paw
I have seen cats behave in this manner before. It could certainly just be a way that she has found to entertain herself, but I worry that it might be a sign of problems in her mouth – dental disease comes to mind.
If one or more of her teeth hurt, she could be drinking water and starting to eat in this way to avoid pain. Your veterinarian should be able to get a good picture of her oral health with a physical exam.
Jennifer Coates, DVM