Convincing a feline to drink enough water can be a challenge for any pet owner. A distaste for tap water amplifies this problem, leaving you wondering if bottled spring water is a better option. Purchasing bottles of Evian water for cats may seem excessive, but it could be necessary.
If the water is bottled fresh from a spring, it is healthier for cats to drink. However, plastic bottles contain harmful chemicals/toxins that leech into the water. Instead, look for a bottle made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), or give your cat spring water from a glass/cardboard carton.
There are alternative hydration options for cats. You could get a purifier and give her filtered water. Just ensure that your cat is drinking a sufficient amount of water each day.
- 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?
Premium bottled water from a natural source is ideal for your cat. You can easily taste the difference when you sample tap and mineral water. Your cat will also be able to tell the difference.
When purchasing bottled water for your cat, always choose a reputable brand. Less scrupulous manufacturers bottle and sell city water. This is no different from the water that comes out the tap.
If you buy natural spring water, your cat will be pleased. It will provide her with sufficient hydration that is free from the chemicals that are found in tap water. So, it’s far less likely that your cat will take one sniff and walk away. Just check the packaging very 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 that is constructed from polyethylene terephthalate, aka PET, which is deemed safe. Of course, you could just get glass bottles or cartons of water.
Can Cats Drink Sparkling Water?
The bubbles generated by carbonated water are more exciting to a cat than when they’re completely still. This is not recommended as regular refreshment, though. Carbonated refreshments, when drank to excess, can affect your cat’s stomach in the following ways:
- Hiccups. This may sound amusing, but it can cause your cat stress.
- Stomach bloat. This compresses a cat’s internal organs, if left untreated.
Cats are very skilled at hiding discomfort, so you’ll have to understand the warning signs. The symptoms of stomach bloat in cats 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 dependent on it, though. They’ll need to return to still water sooner.
Can Cats Drink Flavored Water?
Another bottled water that may tempt a reluctant cat is a flavored option. If your pet avoids plain water, but loves the smell of fruit, her interest in drinking more regularly may pique. Watermelon and strawberry are very likely to attract the attention of your cat.
But it’s advisable to avoid using store-bought flavored water. These fluids are typically packed with sugar. Worse still, they often include artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol.
That’s not to mean that you cannot flavor your cat’s water yourself. Infusing tap water with the essence of fruit may mask the smell and keep your pet interested in drinking.
Why Won’t My Cat Drink Tap Water?
Cats 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, and more likely do her harm.
The smell of tap water will be off-putting to your cat. The quality of tap water varies from state to state, but it will always be treated with chemicals, such as fluoride and chlorine. In theory, these are safe for cats. It doesn’t change the fact that your cat will be able to smell these chemicals.
Make sure that your cat doesn’t drink water from the toilet. Although it’s likely to be fresher due to the regular flushing, it can be toxic due to the use of cleaning products, such as bleach.
Don’t put your cat’s water next to her food. This can put your cat off drinking tap water due to the smell, or possibly particles of stale food getting into the water.
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, you should be understanding of your cat’s reluctance to do so.
Why is Fluoride Bad for Cats?
Fluoride can be toxic for cats, if consumed in substantial amounts. It forces your cat’s kidneys to work harder. Thankfully, the levels of fluoride needed to harm a cat’s vital organs are high.
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. So, consider a quality bottled spring water as an alternative.
Does a Purifier Make Tap Water Safe?
An alternative to spring water is purified water. That way, you can make tap water as safe as store-bought water. This is 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 harmful chemicals. This means that your cat is more likely to drink it. Of course, your cat may still consider it dull and ignore it.
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 attractive to your feline.
Can Cats Drink Boiled Tap Water?
Boiling water is the simplest form of purification. To achieve the effect of filtered water through boiling, you’ll need to empty the tap water into a saucepan.
Heat your water on the stove until it boils, and leave it to cool off in a safe place. A curious cat and a saucepan of boiling water can be a volatile combination. This will kill any bacteria in tap water.
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.
Almost every territory of the U.S. has hard water. Completely soft water is undrinkable due to its high sodium content. It would be like pouring sea water from the tap. 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, hard water isn’t harmful to 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 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 it should be avoided. A water purifier can be helpful. If you are unsure of the water quality in your home, ask your supplier for further information.
Is My Cat Allergic to Tap Water?
There are so many chemicals and trace metals in tap water, so allergies in cats are possible. These intrusions are in small quantities, so they’ll rarely have this effect. All the same, you must understand the warning signs. These include:
- Scratching to excess. The head, neck, tail, and ears are most commonly affected.
- 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 her tap water. Your cat may need an antihistamine to ease any immediate discomfort. If the change to spring water creates a noticeable difference to your cat’s health, you have your answer.
If you have any concerns about your cat’s relationship with water, consider a bottled alternative. Many experts advise against giving a pet tap water, but others disagree entirely.
What cannot be contested is that quality bottled spring water is safe for cats. If you find a brand that your cat likes, it’s worth continuing to provide your cat with this type of hydration.
The health of older cats, in particular, will benefit from drinking spring water. The fewer contaminants they encounter, the healthier their internal organs (especially the kidneys) will be. While bottled water can be more expensive, it’s a small price to pay to keep your pet healthy.