Alita the Maine Coon on a rock by the river waterfall

Do Maine Coons Need Running Water To Drink?

Maine Coons are one of the most interesting breeds of cat there is.

They are fun, playful, and loyal.

In short, their personality is amazing.

They still have to do basic functions though, eat, sleep, drink, and things that we don’t like to think about.

In nature water sources are varied, but as a domesticated breed, they often get bowls of fluids, like milk or water.

Is that best?

Do Maine Coons need running water to drink?

Maine Coons don’t need running water but instinctively most cats will associate running water as being safer. It’s more likely to be cooler, free of parasites and dirt, as well as the fact that it’s more oxygenated and tastes a whole lot better.

There’s nothing more important to animals than water other than air.

Most animals can survive only days without access to these most precious of resources.

Cat’s sense of smell is so acute that they can actually smell water – which I always find astonishing.

In a way it makes sense as patrolling in jungles or undergrowth, finding water is essential.

Prey also appears around water so it’s likely to be a fertile hunting ground.

Finding water is one thing, but a cat needs to instinctively know that the water is safe.

These instincts have developed down the ages, and are now firmly embedded in your Maine Coon.

Alita, my own Maine Coon drinks water from sinks, glasses filled with water, bowls, and from a pet fountain.

She doesn’t seem fussed at all.

Alita the Maine Coon drinking water from a glass

Why Maine Coons Will Love Running Water

You may have noticed your Maine Coon is really finicky with water.

While they seem to have a love for it – at least they’re meant to, drinking it can come with a whole load of quirks.

Humans just tend to turn on the tap and drink.

The cat though has thousands of years of instincts that it’s fighting.

Some Maine Coons won’t drink water where they eat, some will.

Some may like it in a bowl, while others will only drink it from puddles, sink bowls, or even a local stream.

Water from taps may also have a chemical odor to the cat’s extremely effective sense of smell.

Undetectable to you, but a sign that it’s not fresh for a cat.

It may even be the temperature, which seems not natural to them – there are a plethora of reasons.

Above are instinctual no’s to water but it could just be that the cat’s whiskers hit the sides of the bowl and the reflex mechanism makes them back away.

It’s even been said that some cats can get alarmed at their own reflection.

Running water comes with a great many positive connotations, naturally speaking.

It’s far more likely to be fresh, and free of parasites.

Running water goes through sediment and washes away larvae eggs and parasites.

Stagnant water attracts mosquitoes whereas running water doesn’t so much.

maine coon by the river

Water Hydration And The Maine Coon Diet

Cat’s are obligate carnivores which mean they get their minerals, vitamins, and nutrients from the meat they consume.

Cat food is designed to replicate this.

What’s less well known is that cats will get their water from meat as well.

Food is a source of water in the kitty world.

Most animals have a high percentage of water, and cat’s can consume most of their prey, meaning they get hydrated with prey kills.

Wet food is designed to replicate this, but dry food isn’t.

If you have a preference for giving your Maine Coon dry food, then make sure there is an adequate water source.

Alita the Maine Coon about to drink water from a glass

Cat’s Prefer Running Water

Running water is fresher water.

A bowl of water will need to have that freshwater feel and smell to it, so you need to replace the water in a cat bowl every day.

You shouldn’t let dirt and grime build up on their water bowl.

There’s a possibility that cat’s will go to drink water that’s moving because they can hear it.

Stagnant water makes no sound while running water can be heard away from the source.

It seems a fair bet that your cat associates running water as safer water, but additionally it’s more likely to be cooler and well oxygenated, which is healthy.

It probably just tastes better too.

Should You Give Running Water To Your Maine Coon?

Personally, I give Alita, my Maine Coon both options.

There is always a bowl of water about.

Additionally, I have one of those pet fountains.

It replicates a babbling brook rather than a torrent from a weir, but it’s cool and it’s filtered.

Both get approval, but I also notice she jumps up onto the draining board and likes to drink directly out of tall glasses of water.

Weird but true.

She gets plenty of high-protein wet food so she should never be dehydrated.

Altta the Maine Coon with petkit water fountain


You don’t need to run out and find a large pet fountain to make sure your Maine Coon doesn’t dehydrate.

Cat’s get most of their water source from food.

In domesticated cat terms that’s wet food.

A water source will definitely be needed if they live on dry food.

Like many animals that have wild instincts, running water is associated with being safer, so a Maine Coon will take sips from a fountain – no problem at all.

The most important thing is to make sure your cat is getting enough water.

Kidney problems can develop otherwise.

It’s more essential in an indoor Maine Coon as they can’t go out to resupply.

Providing your cat any and all of its needs will make you both happy.

Water included.

About the Author


My name is Ann and I have been looking after and breeding cats since 2013. I am currently the proud ownder of Alita, a female Maine Coon to whom I've dedicated this site. She has had 2 litters and is around 3 years old. We share adventures and stories together.

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Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One