My cat sometimes dips its paw into its drinking water, licks the water off its paw and then drinks from the bowl. Why does my pet do this?
From the Editors of The Daily Cat
This behavior is more common than you might think. It's actually a very normal thing for cats to do. Some felines don't like sticking their heads into their water bowls because the bowl is either too small, which causes it to squish their whiskers, or it's too large and overwhelming. Since your kitty is dunking its paw, licking it and then drinking from the bowl, my guess is that it's testing the water's depth. Be sure to keep a consistent level of water in the bowl. It also helps to use a water bowl that has a design on the bottom, which will help your cat to gauge the depth.
Additionally, some cats just like to make everything an adventure, so they play a bit before taking a drink.
You may want to consider getting a pet water fountain. It will allow your kitty to play with the running water and yet it provides enough water in the bowl to quench a thirsty cat. The flowing fountain also keeps the water oxygenated so it won't taste stale like some standing water can become.