Why Do Cats Drop Toys In Water?

Cats are known for their quirky and sometimes unpredictable behavior. One behavior that often leaves cat owners scratching their heads is when their feline friends drop toys in water. But why do cats do this?

While there is no one definitive answer, there are several theories as to why cats exhibit this behavior. Some believe it could be an instinctual hunting behavior, while others think it may be a form of play or a way for cats to cool down on hot days. Let’s explore these theories and more in depth to better understand why cats drop toys in water.

Cats drop toys in water as a form of play or to mimic hunting behavior. Some cats may also drop toys in water to cool them down or to make them more appealing to play with. This behavior is common in many domestic cats and is not a cause for concern unless it becomes obsessive.

Why Do Cats Drop Toys in Water?

Why Do Cats Drop Toys in Water?

Cats are peculiar creatures that have a unique way of behaving. They are known for their playful nature and their fascination with water. Many cat owners have seen their cats drop their toys in water, which can be strange and confusing. However, there are reasons why cats do this, and it’s not just about playing. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior and what it means for your cat.

1. Instinctual Behavior

Cats are natural hunters, and they have an instinctual urge to catch prey. When they drop their toys in water, they are simulating the experience of hunting in the wild. This behavior is a way for cats to practice their hunting skills and satisfy their natural instincts.

Moreover, cats are attracted to moving water because they associate it with prey. In the wild, running water is a source of fresh food and a good place to hunt. Therefore, when your cat drops a toy in water, they are trying to catch their imaginary prey.

2. Playful Behavior

Cats are playful creatures, and they love to play with toys. Dropping their toys in water is just another way for them to have fun and entertain themselves. The sound of the toy hitting the water can also be satisfying for them.

Moreover, some cats enjoy playing with water, and dropping their toys in water is a way for them to interact with it. If your cat is playing with a waterproof toy, they may enjoy seeing how it reacts in water.

3. Attention-Seeking Behavior

Cats are social animals, and they crave attention from their owners. Dropping toys in water can be a way for them to get your attention. They may want you to notice their playful behavior and praise them for it.

Moreover, some cats may drop toys in water as a way to get their owners to play with them. They may be bored and want to engage in playtime with you.

4. Stress Relief

Cats can get stressed, just like humans. Dropping toys in water can be a stress-relieving behavior for them. The sound of the toy hitting the water can be soothing, and the act of playing can help release tension.

Moreover, some cats enjoy water, and playing with toys in water can be a calming activity for them. It can help them relax and feel more comfortable in their environment.

5. Marking Territory

Cats are territorial animals, and they like to mark their territory. Dropping toys in water can be a way for them to mark their territory and claim ownership over their toys.

Moreover, some cats may drop their toys in water to leave their scent on them. This behavior can be a way for them to communicate with other cats and let them know which toys belong to them.

6. Dental Health

Dropping toys in water can be beneficial for your cat’s dental health. Chewing on toys can help remove tartar buildup and keep their teeth clean.

Moreover, playing with toys in water can help remove food particles from your cat’s teeth and gums. This behavior can be a way for them to maintain good oral hygiene.

7. Vs. Dropping Toys in Food Bowl

While dropping toys in water may seem strange, it is much better than dropping them in the food bowl. Dropping toys in food can contaminate the food and make it unsafe for your cat to eat.

Moreover, dropping toys in water can be a cleaner alternative. The water can be easily changed and cleaned, ensuring that your cat is playing with clean toys.

8. Benefits of Water Play

Playing with water can be beneficial for your cat’s physical and mental health. It can help them stay active and engaged, which is essential for their overall well-being.

Moreover, playing with toys in water can help improve your cat’s coordination and balance. It can also be a fun way for them to exercise their muscles and stay fit.

9. Toys for Water Play

If your cat enjoys playing with toys in water, there are many options available. You can choose from waterproof toys, floating toys, and toys that are designed specifically for water play.

Moreover, you can also make your own toys by using household items such as bottle caps, corks, and ping pong balls. Just make sure that the toys are safe for your cat to play with and cannot be easily swallowed.

10. Conclusion

In conclusion, dropping toys in water is a natural and instinctual behavior for cats. It can be a way for them to practice their hunting skills, play, seek attention, relieve stress, mark their territory, and maintain good dental health.

Moreover, playing with toys in water can be a fun and engaging activity for your cat. It can help them stay active and healthy, both physically and mentally. So, the next time your cat drops a toy in water, don’t be alarmed. It’s just their way of being a cat!

Frequently Asked Questions

As a cat owner, it’s not uncommon to find your feline friend dropping their toys in water bowls or even the toilet. Here are some frequently asked questions about why cats do this behavior.

What makes cats drop toys in water?

The act of dropping toys in water is a natural instinct for cats. In the wild, cats have to hunt for their food, and they need to be able to catch fish from rivers and streams. This natural hunting instinct has been passed down to domestic cats, which is why they sometimes drop their toys in water.

Additionally, cats are known for their curious nature and playful behavior. They may drop their toys in water out of curiosity or as a way to play with the water.

Is it normal for cats to drop toys in water?

Yes, it’s completely normal behavior for cats to drop their toys in water. As mentioned earlier, it’s a natural instinct for them. However, if your cat seems to be dropping their toys in water excessively, it may be a sign of boredom or stress. Try providing your cat with more toys or interactive playtime to see if this behavior decreases.

It’s also important to note that not all cats will drop their toys in water. Every cat has their own unique personality and preferences when it comes to playtime and toys.

What types of toys do cats like to drop in water?

Cats will drop any type of toy in water, but some toys are more popular than others. Toys that are small and easy to carry, such as balls, toy mice, and feathers, are often the ones that cats will drop in water. Additionally, toys that are made of fabric or have a soft texture may be more appealing to cats to play with in water.

If you’re unsure what type of toy your cat likes to drop in water, try offering them a variety of toys to see which ones they prefer.

How do I prevent my cat from dropping toys in water?

Preventing your cat from dropping toys in water may be difficult since it’s a natural behavior. However, there are a few things you can try. First, consider providing your cat with a separate water bowl and play area. This way, they won’t be dropping their toys in the water bowl that they drink from.

You can also try offering your cat toys that are specifically designed for water play. These toys are often made of waterproof materials and are designed to float in water, making it more appealing for cats to play with them in the water.

Is it safe for my cat to play with toys in water?

Yes, it’s generally safe for cats to play with toys in water. However, it’s important to make sure the water is clean and free of any harmful chemicals. Additionally, if your cat is playing with toys in the toilet, make sure to keep the lid closed to prevent any accidents.

It’s also important to supervise your cat while they’re playing in water to ensure their safety. If your cat seems hesitant or uncomfortable with playing with toys in water, don’t force them to continue the activity.

THIS Is Why Cats Throw Their Toys In The Water Bowl!


In conclusion, the reason why cats drop toys in water can be attributed to their natural hunting instincts and playful nature. Domesticated cats may not need to hunt for their food, but they still retain the instinct to stalk and pounce on prey. This behavior can be seen in the way they play with toys, especially those that resemble small prey.

Furthermore, cats are known for their love of water and their curiosity. They are often fascinated by the movement and sound of water and enjoy playing with it. Dropping toys in water may be a way for them to explore this fascination and engage in playful behavior.

Finally, it is important to note that not all cats drop toys in water. This behavior may be more common in certain breeds or individual cats, and it is ultimately up to the cat’s personality and preferences. Regardless of the reason, watching a cat play with toys in water can be a fascinating and entertaining experience for cat owners.