It’s just water, cats need to drink it to survive just as we do — but get it *on* them, and it’s freak-out time. Unless they are drinking out of the sink, somehow then the “wadder monsters” don’t have the same affect.
We’ve got the kitty food bowls on the counter-top by the sink, and sometimes Orion gets up there and sets about making a nuisance of himself while I’m washing dishes. I’ll say, “remember, you are afraid of water” and he looks at me incredulously just before jumping down to the floor.
We have a spray bottle in the living room and merely holding it in my hands (I hardly ever have to use it) makes them stop whatever mischief they were into, and run away post-haste. It’s just water, but it is what gives us our only advantage over felinus domesticus.
If you happen to have one of those cats who is the rare exception to the rule, well, just give up my friend, there’s really nothing you can do, the cat has won.