Cats love to share our meals and you may have seen your cat slurping on some sparkling water. But can cats drink sparkling water? Is it safe for them? Read on to find the answer and the 17 brands discussed.
Cats can drink sparkling water as long as it is plain and unflavored. Although sparkling water is safe for cats in small amounts, it’s best to not let them drink it because of the unpleasant side effects it can have. More than a few sips are enough to make your cat have some stomach upset.
- Is Sparkling Water Good for Cats?
- Risks of Giving Sparkling Water to Cats
- Can Cats Have Flavored Sparkling Water?
- How Much Sparkling Water Is Safe for Cats to Drink?
- Which Brands of Sparkling Water Are Safe for Cats?
- Do Cats Like Sparkling Water?
- How Much Water Does My Cat Need?
- How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water
Is Sparkling Water Good for Cats?
Sparkling water is not good for cats in the long run. It is carbonated which makes cats bloat. Sparkling water may also promote overeating in cats by triggering their stomachs to produce ghrelin, a hunger hormone. Over time, carbonated water may make cats become overweight.
Recent studies1 on rats and humans have shown that drinking carbonated drinks makes them gain weight faster. The carbon triggers their stomach to release ghrelin and stimulates a hunger response.
Although there are minimal studies on cats and carbonated drinks, it’s best to avoid the risk altogether.
Risks of Giving Sparkling Water to Cats
We’ve all experienced some bloating after drinking some carbonated drinks. This happens to cats too.
Cats experience gassiness after taking a considerable amount of sparkling water.
Bloating is uncomfortable for humans but it is worse for cats. This is because cats have a horizontal digestive tract, making it difficult for them to expel the gas.
With humans, we have a vertical GI tract which makes it easier for us to get rid of any trapped gas.
Because of their horizontal tracts, serious bloating can compress their other organs causing serious health problems.
Some common bloating symptoms in cats include:
- Attempts to belch
- Attempts to vomit
- Swollen stomach
Although these symptoms are not exclusive to bloating, they show you that something is wrong with your cat, especially after they have eaten something new.
Sparkling water is slightly acidic. The water and carbon dioxide react to form carbonic acid.
Just like humans, acidic compounds affect cats’ teeth. Because their enamel is thinner than ours, regular intake of acidic fluids rapidly thins out a cat’s tooth.
3. Stomach Upsets
Cats with sensitive stomachs also suffer from stomach irritation from taking acidic foods. Although sparkling water isn’t acidic enough to trigger serious health concerns, it may still worsen an existing digestive problem like irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux.
Can Cats Have Flavored Sparkling Water?
Cats should not have flavored sparkling water. Most sparkling water brands use artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, and xylitol. While the first two are not toxic to cats, they can still cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats.
A small amount of xylitol can elicit an insulin release that may lead to low blood sugar in cats2.
Instead of giving your cat some flavoured sparkling water, you can opt for bottled water which offers more benefits with fewer risks.
Some bottled water can cause feline cancer (some of the plastic bottled water), so it’s best to know which one to give them. To find out more, check out this list of bottled water safe for cats.
How Much Sparkling Water Is Safe for Cats to Drink?
What Sparkling Water Should I Avoid Giving My Cat?
When giving your cat some sparkling water, avoid those with:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Artificial sweeteners
- Acesulfame K
- Steviol glycosides
Which Brands of Sparkling Water Are Safe for Cats?
|Sparkling water brand||Safe/not safe|
|1. La Croix (plain)||Safe|
– No added sugar
– No added additives
– No added sodium
|2. Canada Dry Original Sparkling Seltzer Water||Not Safe|
– High levels of carbonation with big round bubbles
|3. Good & Gather sparkling water||Safe|
– Less carbonated
-Uses natural flavorings
|4. Spindrift sparkling water||Safe|
– Less carbonated
– Flavoured with real fruit (Don’t give your cat lemon & lime flavors)
|5. Hal’s seltzer water||Not safe|
– Highly carbonated
|6. San Pellegrino||Safe|
– Low natural carbonation
– Has naturally occurring minerals
|7. Bubly Sparkling Water||Safe|
– Less carbonation
– Zero added sugar
– No artificial flavors
|8. Nixie||Not safe|
– High levels of carbonation
|9. Polar||Not Safe|
– Moderately high carbonation with big fizz and bubbles.
|10. Waterloo||Moderately safe (better avoided)|
– Moderate to high carbonation.
– Free from phosphoric acid (used to give most sparkling water a tangy taste)
|11. Aura Bora Aura Bora||Moderately safe|
– Moderate levels of carbonation
|12. Sanzo||Moderately safe|
– Moderate carbonation
– Avoid the Calamansi flavor
|13. Gerolsteiner Mineral Water||Safe|
– Has mineral
– Low carbonation
|14. Recess||Not safe|
– Has added sugars
|15. Perrier||Not Safe|
|16. Aurora Hemp Elixirs||Not safe|
– Ginseng is toxic to cats and other pets
– Has added sugars
|17. 365 by Whole Foods||Safe|
– Low levels of carbonation
– Subtle flavoring
Avoid giving your cat sparkling water with citric acid or citrus flavoring as these are more acidic. The more acidic the carbonated water is, the higher the chances of it ruining your cat’s teeth with frequent exposure.
Do Cats Like Sparkling Water?
Some cats like sparkling water because of the bubbles which intrigue their curiosity. The acidic pH also stimulates their whisker’s nerve senses. This gives them a burning or a fizzling sensation, which some cats love.
Polar Seltzer Original and Hal’s seltzer have among the highest carbonation and should be kept away from cats. Most mineral sparkling water have the lowest carbonation since the gas is natural and not artificially added.
Is Carbonated Water Better Than Regular Water for Cats?
Regular water is much better than carbonated water, especially for cats. Regular water (be it tap, filtered, or bottled water), offers proper hydration with minimal to no side effects. Sparkling water however makes cats bloat from the carbon gas added.
Carbonated water may also have some additives that may cause cats to have stomach upsets.
How Much Water Does My Cat Need?
An average house cat weighing 10 pounds requires roughly a cup of water daily. This is an estimate, the actual figure depends on the weather, your cat’s breed, and activities (are they active or do they mostly sleep all day).
There’s much that goes into how much water a cat may need for proper hydration. I’ve prepared a separate post explaining this, you can check it out on calculating your cat’s daily water needs.
How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water
As a cat purrent with a fussy water-drinking cat, I’ve had to become creative to up my cat’s water intake.
If your cat dislikes water, you might want to encourage them to drink more by:
- Incorporating more wet food into their diet.
- Flavouring their water by adding some tuna juice
- Giving them plain broth and bone soup.
- Encouraging some of their weird drinking behaviours like using a faucet
- Getting them a pet water fountain.
- Providing more water spots (2 spots for every 1 cat)
- Moving their water bowl away from their food bowl or litter box.
- Changing their water dish to a different material
- Changing their water every single day.
I’ve discovered my cat drinks more if she gets broth and bone soups. Try experimenting to find which method works for you and your cat.
If you’d like more ways to encourage your cat’s hydration, check out this cool post on tricking cats to drink more water.
If you’ve tried all the above and it still doesn’t work, you might want to visit your vet as there could be an underlying problem.
Can Cats Drink Topo Chico?
Cats can drink Topo Chico in low amounts. The sparkling water is naturally carbonated and has natural minerals which can benefit a cat’s health. Overdoing it can make a cat bloat and develop stomach problems, so keep it low.
Can Cats Drink Drink La Croix?
Cats can drink La Croix in minimal amounts. The carbonated water is acidic (2.7pH) and could worsen an already sensitive stomach. The acidity is even higher in flavored La Croix making it a bad choice for cats. Stick to the blue can which is unflavored and better for your cat.
Can Cats Drink Carbonated Drinks?
Cats can drink carbonated drinks in small quantities as long as they are plain and unflavored. Avoid giving your cat highly carbonated drinks as this could affect their health in the long run. Carbonated drinks with lime/citric acid should also be avoided as they ruin cats’ dental health.