Convincing a feline to drink enough water can be a challenge for any pet owner. Distaste for tap water amplifies this problem, leaving us wondering if bottled spring water is a better option. Purchasing bottles of Evian water for cats may seem excessive, but it could be necessary.
There will always be alternative hydration options for cats. You could get a purifier and offer filtered water to your cat. The vital thing is to ensure that your cat is drinking appropriately. We’ll look at the suitability of spring water for felines, and how to keep your pet adequately hydrated.
- 1 Can Cats Drink Mineral Water?
- 2 Can Cats Drink Sparkling Water?
- 3 Can Cats Drink Flavored Water?
- 4 Why Won’t My Cat Drink Tap Water?
- 5 Is Hard Water Bad for Cats?
- 6 Is My Cat Allergic to Tap Water?
Can Cats Drink Mineral Water?
In theory, bottled water from a natural source is the optimal water source for your cat. You feel sure that you can taste the difference when you sample tap and mineral water. The same goes for your cat – and they can also smell the disparity.
When purchasing bottled water for your cat, always choose a reputable brand. Less scrupulous manufacturers bottle and sell city water, no different to that in your tap.
If you find natural spring water, however, your cat will likely be delighted. This will provide them with sufficient hydration, and none of the chemicals found in tap water. This makes your cat less likely to take one sniff and walk away.
There is a note of caution to sound with bottled water, however. When choosing your pet’s brand of refreshment, check the packaging carefully.
Fears have long been expressed about bisphenol A, aka BPA. The website Facts About BPA aims to dispel these, but many experts advise against using plastics constructed from the material.
When inspecting a plastic bottle, check the label for a recycling logo with a number inside. This is called a resin identification code. The American Chemistry Council provides explanations of these, and recommends plastics with the number 1.
This denotes that a bottle is constructed from polyethylene terephthalate, aka PET, which is deemed safe. Of course, you could also bypass plastic completely. Spring water is also bottled in glass, and available in cartons.
Can Cats Drink Sparkling Water?
We seek different ways to encourage our cats to drink, and sparkling water may be considered an option. The bubbles generated by carbonated water are more exciting than still. This is not recommended as regular refreshment, however.
The problem with sparkling water is the impact it has on your cat’s stomach. Just like humans, cats feel the effects of carbonated refreshments.
In the best case scenario, your cat will suffer from the hiccups. This may sound amusing initially, but they may cause your cat stress. What’s more worrying is stomach bloat. This can become life-threatening if left untreated, as it compresses a cat’s internal organs.
Cats are very skilled at hiding discomfort, though, so you’ll have to understand the warning signs. The symptoms of bloat in your cat include:
- Visible swelling around the stomach, almost akin to pregnancy
- Constant dry heaving, or unsuccessful attempts to belch
- Pale and discolored gums
- Trouble breathing
- Low body temperature (typically below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Sparkling water can encourage your cat to start drinking if they appear dehydrated. Try not to let your cat become too depending upon it, however. They’ll need to return to still water sooner.
Can Cats Drink Flavored Water?
Another bottled water that could potentially tempt a reluctant cat into drinking is a flavored option. If your pet avoids plain water, but loves the smell of fruit, their interest may pique. Watermelon and strawberry are particularly likely to attract attention.
Despite this, it’s best to avoid using store-bought flavored water. These fluids are typically packed with sugar. Even worse, they may use dangerous artificial sweeteners. If your cat drinks these in substantial amounts, they could do themselves harm.
That’s not to mean that you cannot flavor your cat’s water yourself. Infusing tap water with essence of fruit may mask the smell, and keep your pet interested.
A little goes a long way in such situations, though. Store-bought flavored water will provide more risks than benefits to your cat’s health.
Why Won’t My Cat Drink Tap Water?
We have look at the different bottled water options. However, we haven’t adequately addressed why your cat rejects tap water in the first place.
The first thing that you have to remember is that cats will never be voracious drinkers. Cats continuously live on the edge of dehydration.
This, like so many feline behaviors, stems from your pet’s ancestry and instincts. Cats instinctively reject still water, as they don’t trust it. Wild cats drink from running streams, as they know this water is fresh. Some still water in a bowl could be dirty or stagnant in the eyes of your pet.
Perhaps more importantly, however, the smell of tap water will be off-putting to your cat. The quality of tap water varies wildly from state to state, but it will always be treated with cleaning chemicals.
In theory, these are safe to humans and cats alike. It doesn’t change the fact that your cat can smell these chemicals, though.
According to Apec Water, your cat should never be given tap water if you won’t drink it yourself. Even if you do drink from the tap, acknowledge your cat’s reluctance to do so.
They will likely be deterred by the smell of fluoride or chlorine within. The former is arguably the most dangerous.
Why is Fluoride Bad for Cats?
Fluoride is considered beneficial for humans. It’s even included in toothpaste, because it cleans and polishes our teeth. Fluoride can be toxic if consumed in substantial amounts, however.
This is because fluoride places a great deal of pressure on the kidneys. In their desperation to flush it from their bodies, cats experience many health difficulties.
Thankfully, however, the levels of fluoride needed to harm a cat are pretty high. Your pet would need to drink a vast amount of water to suffer this impact. The water in fluoride alone is not enough to immediately endanger your cat.
Over time, fluoride can gradually damage a cat’s health. As the American Cancer Society explains, there have long been suspected links between fluoride and bone cancer. Investigating the safety of your local water supply is essential. If necessary, consider bottled spring water as an alternative.
Does a Purifier Make Tap Water Safe?
An alternative to spring water is to invest in a water purifier. This way, you can make tap water as safe as anything you purchase in the store. This is especially advisable if you live in one of Best Life’s cities with the worst drinking water.
The use of a water purifier softens hard water, and removes any offensive chemicals. This means that – on paper at least – your cat is more likely to drink it. Of course, this doesn’t change the fact that your cat may still consider it dull.
Some cats will not countenance drinking still water, preferring to find a running source. In such an instance, consider infusing the water to make it more interesting.
Can Cats Drink Boiled Tap Water?
As any keen camper knows, boiling water is the simplest form of purification. This means, if you do not have a purifier, your stove is the next best thing.
To achieve the effect of filtered water through boiling, empty tap water into a saucepan. Heat your water on the stove until it boils, and leave it for around a minute. This will kill any bacteria or associated dangers within the tap water.
Of course, this water must be allowed to cool off before your cat drinks it. Most cats prefer their refreshment lightly chilled.
It may be some time before your water cools enough to refrigerate, so store it safely. A curious cat and a saucepan of boiling water can be a volatile combination.
Is Hard Water Bad for Cats?
Water is deemed ‘hard’ when it contains dissolved calcium, magnesium, lime, and chalk. If these dissolved minerals total more than 1 grain per gallon of water, it’s deemed hard.
Pretty much every territory of the USA has hard water, which is a relief. Purely soft water is undrinkable due to high sodium content. It would be pouring seawater from the tap. However, there is a sliding scale of hardness:
- 1 – 2 Grains per Gallon (GPG) – Slightly Hard
- 3 – 6 GPG – Moderately Hard
- 7 – 9 GPG – Hard
- 10 – 13 GPG – Very Hard
- 14+ GPG – Extremely Hard
In theory, slightly, moderately or hard water is not dangerous for your cat. It isn’t any more dangerous than any other form of tap water.
If your pet seems reluctant to drink, it won’t be the hardness that deters them. It will be the very same chemicals that deter them from standard tap water.
As this study from Trupanion shows, extremely hard water is linked to feline urinary issues. This suggests that such refreshment is best avoided. A water purifier can aid with this. If you are unsure of the water quality in your home, ask your supplier.
Is My Cat Allergic to Tap Water?
There are so many chemicals and trace metals in tap water that allergies are possible. These intrusions are in small quantities, so they’ll rarely have such an impact. All the same, it’s vital that you understand the warning signs. These include:
- Scratching to excess. The head, neck, tail, and ears are the most likely areas to be impacted.
- Watery, streaming eyes.
- Large and noticeable sores.
- Discolored gums, and ulcers in or around the mouth.
If you notice these symptoms in your cat, cease offering them tap water. If the change to spring water creates a noticeable difference, you have your answer.
Your cat may need an antihistamine to ease any immediate discomfort. Additionally, your vet may want to run tests to eradicate any concerns about long-term health damage.
If you have any concerns about your cat’s relationship with water, considering a bottled alternative. Many experts advise against giving a pet tap water, though a similar number disagree.
What cannot be contested, however, is that quality bottled spring water is safe for cats. If you find a brand that your cat appears to appreciate, it’s worth sticking continuing with this choice.
Older cats, in particular, will benefit from drinking spring water. The fewer contaminants they encounter, the healthier their internal organs will be. While bottled water can be costly, it’s a small price to pay to keep your pet healthy.