(Kahn’s Korner) Today’s question comes from Iggy from San Diego, California.

Iggy’s Question: Meow?My water bowl is not kept clean to my meticulous standards. How can I get my owners to wash it out on a regular basis? ~ Iggy

Kahn’s Answer: First things first, Iggy. The humans that are failing you do not “own” you. The reality is that you are in charge. This is a fact that you must consistently remind them of. Although most human handlers want to do anything to please us felines, sometime their ignorance and laziness leaves them woefully inadequate in many ways.

When humans become oblivious to your needs, then you must GAME them. What is GAME?

1) Get their attention.
2) Act out.
3) Manipulate the situation.
4) Enjoy the rewards.

In the case of old, stale water, here is what you must do. First, find a plush cat toy, a used cotton swab, or a piece of clothing and place it into your water bowl. (Bonus if the item contains a dye that turns the water a color. Try for red, as it is the color of “urgency.”)

Next, stand at the water bowl and meow. When the humans come to investigate the noise, make sure to look back and forth between them and the bowl with a pitiful face. Upon seeing the item in the water bowl, they should feel obligated to clean it out for you. If your human handlers are a bit dense, you may have to escalate the situation by dumping your dry food into your water bowl.

Eventually, you will be rewarded with fresh water in a clean bowl.

Remember, Iggy – they don’t “own” you. Humans are blessed when in the presence of any feline. Make sure your handlers understand that you are in charge.


Have a question for me? Submit it to meow@kahnthecat.com. Please include your first name, the city and state in which you reside, and your personal photo, if available.

My lawyers require me to state the following:

  1. By submitting a question, understand that you are asking for advise from a cat. I have not been formally educated, I have not earned any degrees, and I have no licenses. Therefore, temper your expectations accordingly. Although my advice is alway brilliant, you must use your best judgement in implementing said advice.
  2. If you provide a photo, you are indicating that you have rights to the photo and that I have permission to use it on KahnTheCat.com.

Pin It on Pinterest