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C2008-01

Dear Christopher Cat

One of our cats paws the floor in front of the water bowl before she drinks. Our other cat touches the surface of the water with his paw before he drinks. Why do our cats behave this way?

Christopher Responds

My brother Dougie paws the floor before he drinks, too. He says he doesn’t do it consciously, but instinctively.

He thinks the behavior goes back to when he was a kitten, nursing from his mother. Kneading her mammary glands helped stimulate milk flow.

Like your other cat, I often touch the water surface before drinking, so I know exactly where it is.

I learned to do that after one embarrassing episode when I misjudged the surface and got water up my nose. To prevent a repeat performance, I test the water level first.

Many people feel that watching us cats is the best form of adult entertainment. We’re happy to oblige.

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