Best Water For Cats (& Which Kind to Avoid)

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It’s important for a kitten or cat to drink enough water each day. There are so many types of water to choose from; tap, filtered, bottled, natural spring water, distilled. But which type of water is the best water for cats to drink. This article will answer that question, as well as whether or not each type of water is safe for your cat.




Best Water for Cats

The best water for your cat to drink is filtered water. You may use a filter on your tap, filtered water from a Brita, or use a cat water fountain that has a filter built in. As long as you’re regularly changing the filter, it’s the best water for your cat to drink.


It’s also best to give your cat fresh water each day. Their water dishes can be breeding grounds for bacteria, especially if the water is standing (not constantly moving through a cat water fountain) or in a plastic bowl (which allows bacteria to hide and grow in nicks and scratches). No matter what type of water or water bowl you use, or how often you change the water, be sure to clean the bowl at least once a week.



Can cats drink filtered water?

Cats can drink filtered water and it’s the best option for them. A filtration system will remove contaminants in tap water, as well as odors and tastes that may turn your cat off from drinking the water they need to in a day.


The water may be filtered by a home filtration system on your main water supply or individual taps. Brita offers a tap filtration system for less than $20. But there are many options to choose from to suit your needs and the style/look you prefer.

Or you may use a water filter pitcher to fill up and keep in your fridge; there are many affordable options here.


A cat water fountain will also have a filtration system; you’ll just need to change the filter each month (or as often as required). Below is a popular option, but there are many styles to choose from here.


If you’re using a cat water fountain that circulates the water and runs it through the filter, it will be important to stay on top of changing the filter. Each product will have guidelines to follow, but generally, filters will need to be changed every 2 – 4 weeks.



Can cats drink natural spring water?

Cats can drink natural spring water and it’s another good option after filtered water, as long as it is actually living spring water. The downside to spring water is that it is bottled. Individual plastic water bottles are bad for the environment and can leach harmful chemicals into the water, even if the bottle is BPA-free.


Spring water may also come in 5-gallon jugs for water coolers/dispensers, which are reusable and better for the environment. However, you do run into the same problem with chemicals in the plastic leaching into the water.



Can cats drink distilled water?

Cats should not drink distilled water as it is acidic. Too much acid in a cat’s body can cause several health issues and is especially dangerous if your cat has kidney disease and the kidneys don’t function properly to flush out extra acid (source).


Distilled water also doesn’t contain minerals and can actually remove potassium and sodium from your cat’s body as it travels through it. This can lead to a deficiency if your cat drinks distilled water regularly.


A few drinks of distilled water likely won’t harm a healthy cat, but it’s not a good idea to give it to them on a regular basis.



Can cats drink tap water?

In general, cats can drink tap water if the tap water is safe for humans to drink. However, you do want to be aware of what your city’s water system adds to your tap water.


Your cat may not like the taste or smell of added chlorine or ammonia, in which case, they may not drink enough water, which can be dangerous to their health, especially if they eat dry cat food. When cats eat wet cat food, they get the majority of their water from the food and won’t need to drink as much water.


Fluoride is also commonly added to cities’ tap water and can be toxic to cats in higher doses. It’s unlikely your cat will drink enough tap water to be poisoned by the fluoride (as the fluoride levels are too low). However, it’s uncertain whether fluoride in low doses over long periods of time will have an impact on your cat’s health. It’s best to filter your tap water before giving it to your cat.


Hard water Vs. soft water

It’s also important to consider whether your tap water is hard or soft. Trupanion conducted a study, and their findings suggest a link between hard water and urinary health issues in cats (especially male cats), however, it’s not conclusive (source).



Can cats drink bottled water?

Cats can drink bottled water but it’s not a great option long-term. Even if the plastic water bottle is BPA-free, it can still contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the water. Not only that, many bottled water brands are simply putting tap water into the bottles (source), which can be full of contaminants. Plastic bottles are also bad for the environment, even when recycled.




What if my cat doesn’t drink enough water?

If your cat turns their nose up at all kinds of water, consider switching their food. In the wild cats get most of their water from eating their prey. But domesticated cats are often put on dry food diets since dry kibble is cheap and convenient.


Try switching your cat to wet cat food, or even better, a raw food diet. Many specialty or holistic pet stores will carry frozen raw cat food that has all the minerals and vitamins your cat needs (you can’t just give your cat raw chicken). It also contains much more water than dry kibble and isn’t full of fillers your cat’s body wasn’t designed to digest and can contribute to health issues (such as obesity, diabetes, etc.).




How much water does my cat need to drink per day?

According to Pets WebMD, your cat needs to drink about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight. Your cat may be getting some of that water from their food if they eat wet food.


If your cat has dry gums, low energy, sunken eyes, is panting or refusing to eat, they may be dehydrated, and you should get them to the veterinarian clinic right away.




One thing is for sure when it comes to the water your cat drinks; you don’t want them drinking from the toilet.



I hope this article has helped you determine which type of water is best for your cat 🙂





The Best Water for a Cat to Drink