Water is important for all living animals, cats included. With so many different water types out here, you need to know which one is safe for your cat.
What kind of water can cats drink?
1. Can Cats Drink Bottled Water?
Cats can safely drink bottled water. The FDA regulates bottled water making sure they all meet the required standards. The bottling process also removes any chemicals and contaminants from the water making it safe for your cat. Avoid giving your cat water bottled in a plastic container.
When exposed to the sun, some plastic bottles release a cancer-causing agent in pets. Some plastic bottles also contain a chemical called BPA that negatively affects cats.
Glass bottled water is the safest. But this can be expensive, so a balance has to be found.
Don’t get me wrong. Not all plastic bottled water is bad for you and your cat. Some are actually safe! There are manufacturers who are putting your health (and your cat’s) first and you can check out these 19 best bottled water brands for cats.
2. Can Cats Drink Distilled Water?
Cats should only drink distilled water in emergencies. Although the distillation process removes contaminants and heavy metals, it also strips all important minerals away from the water. Continuous drinking can also lead to electrolyte imbalances in cats.
Cats need some of these minerals like calcium for proper bone formation. Giving distilled water to kittens would lead to stunted growth. While pure distilled water might seem like the best water, it is arguably among the worst because it doesn’t do much for the body.
3. Can Cats Drink Filtered Water?
Filtered water is safe for cats to drink. Filtration removes contaminants such as arsenic and pesticides making the water safe for cats. Most filters (including those in pet fountains) will have charcoal to remove any strong odors that may discourage your cat from drinking the water.
You can also put filtered water in your cat’s fountain. It will only be double protection to make your furry pal safe.
4. Can Cats Drink Mineral Water?
Cats can drink mineral water safely. Some of the minerals include calcium and magnesium, both of which support a cat’s health. Just don’t give them sparkling mineral water as this is harmful to them, especially in the long run.
5. Can Cats Drink Aquarium or Fish Tank Water?
Fish tanks may be interesting to watch and may even tempt your cat to take a sip from them. However, cats should not drink aquarium water. Some of the risks cats might face from drinking aquarium water include bacteria and pathogens, toxins and chemicals, fish excrement, and an increased risk of kidney disease.
Most fish tanks may also have excess salts and minerals. When cats are exposed to them for a long time, they may develop metabolic acidosis. This is a dangerous condition to cats that may affect their kidneys, heart, and urinary system.
Cats being cats may find it hard to resist the temptation to take a sip from the fish bowl. If you’re facing this problem, you might want to check out these clever tips on how to keep your cat away from the fish tank water.
6. Can Cats Drink Ocean Water?
Cats can drink ocean water. Despite sea water being salty, felines have capable kidneys that filter out the salt and hydrate the cat. However, continuous drinking ocean water greatly reduces a cat’s quality of life.
To give you some context, a quarter glass of seawater (250ml) has roughly two tablespoons of salt. Your cat would have to be 45kgs to be able to take 250ml of water.
I’ve prepared a cool article on the topic providing some interesting information that may change your view on cats’ survival instincts. If you’d like to find out more on this topic, check out my post on whether cats can live off seawater.
7. Can Cats Drink Alkaline Water?
Cats can drink alkaline water. Due to its slightly higher pH than water, alkaline water can neutralize acids in the cat’s stomach. This neutralization is called oxidation where the alkaline and acids balance out to create water.
Some benefits of alkaline water include:
- Hydration with the help of electrolytes and minerals.
- Has colon cleansing properties.
- Maintaining a healthy fur and coat.
Before giving your cat some alkaline water, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your cat pregnant or lactating?
- Is your cat on medication?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then it’s best if you don’t give them some. Also, avoid giving your cat alkaline water as they eat. It slows down their digestion. In this case, plain old water is the best.
8. Can Cats Drink Pond, Creek or River Water?
Cats can drink water from ponds, creeks, and rivers. Flowing rivers are the best since they provide flowing fresh water. Although sometimes cats may drink from ponds and muddy paddles, they are not always safe. There’s the possibility of them being infected with bacteria that thrive in stagnant water.
Cats being cats will drink wherever they want including ponds especially if they are outdoor cats.
If you have an outdoor pond, it would be best to cat-proof your pond. You can do this by:
- Using cat deterrents
- Using decoys like stationary ducks, swans, crocodiles, etc.
- Install physical barriers such as a raised rocky edge.
- Plant fragrant herbs such as mint, eucalyptus, pine, thyme, lavender, and rosemary.
- Install moving water features such as sprinklers.
There’s more to catproofing a pond than I can list here. If you’d like to learn more on this topic, check out this guide to cat-proofing ponds.
9. Can Cats Drink Natural Spring Water?
Natural spring water is an excellent hydration source for cats. It is loaded with essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Additionally, spring water helps to flush out toxins from a cat’s body. Apart from the great taste, water from springs provides cats’ brains with oxygen.
10. Can Cats Drink Sparkling Water?
Cats can drink sparkling water as long as it is plain and unflavored. However, carbonated water makes cats become bloated from all the carbon added. Sparkling water also triggers overeating in cats so they should take it in moderation.
The bubbling in sparkling water may entice cats to drink it and up their water intake. However, this same aspect that makes it fun also makes it a little unhealthy for cats.
Different water brands add different levels of carbonation to their water. While this may be safe for you, some levels are too high for your catto.
If your cat likes sparkling water, check out this compiled list of 17 best and worst sparkling water brands for cats.
11. Can Cats Drink Flavored Water?
Cats should not drink commercially flavored water. Most of these have artificial flavors and sweeteners that can harm cats. If you wish to flavor your cat’s water, add some tuna juice to their drink.
Related read: Can cats drink Smart Water
12. Can Cats Drink Pool Water?
Cats can drink pool water, whether it is salty pool water or chlorinated pool water. For it to be safe, the pool chlorination level should not exceed 10-12%. Indoor pools may have chlorine gas from the poor air circulation. This may cause throat irritation in cats.
Sometimes, cats develop gastrointestinal problems from drinking too much pool water. If this is the case with your catto, you might want to check out his post on how to stop cats from drinking pool water.
13. Can Cats drink Ice Water?
Cats can drink ice water, especially during summer. However, they should not directly eat ice cubes. The cold might cause brain freeze and damage their tooth. Frozen water also slows down digestion so it’s not advisable for cats to drink it often.
Instead of providing ice-cold water, you can provide cool water from the fridge. It doesn’t have to be chilling cold.
In some instances, slightly warm water is beneficial to your cat. If you’d like some guidance on water temperature, you can check out this post on the benefits of warm water for cats.
14. Can Cats Drink Lemon Water?
Cats should not drink lemon water. Lemon, oranges, and lime are toxic to cats. These fruits have toxic compounds to cats such as linalool, limonene, and psoralens.
15. Can Cats Drink Fruit Water?
Cats can drink most fruit water. Fruits are natural sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which can be beneficial to a cat’s health. However, some fruits such as grapes are toxic and cats should never drink fruit water made from them.
Also avoid giving your cat fruit water with added sugar, flavors, or colorants.
Safe fruits for cats include apples, watermelons, mangoes, strawberries, cherries, and blue and blackberries.
Fun fact: Did you know cats can’t taste sugar’s sweetness? This is because they don’t have tongue receptors to perceive the sweetness.
16. Can Cats Drink Well Water?
Of course, cats can drink well especially if it’s the one you’re using too. As long as the water is clear, clean, and fresh, there’s absolutely no problem with giving your cat well water.
17. Can Cats Drink Toilet Water?
Cats should not drink toilet water. Toilet water has many bacteria that could harm cats. They could also accidentally consume human waste or toilet cleaners. If your cat is curious, it’s best if you put the lid down and deny them access to toilet water.
Some cats are just sneaky and will try their best to have a sip. However, don’t fall for those cute eyes begging to let them in the washroom.