bottled drinking water

Can cats drink bottled water? Facts and concerns reviewed by your veterinarian

Photos by Dr. Alice Athow Frost

The information is current and updated according to the latest veterinary research.

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Water is essential for cats and is essential for survival and basic health. Most cats rely heavily on the moisture of their food for hydration, which is why wet diets are sometimes preferred. Cats are generally less interested in drinking standing water than dogs, however, and should always be offered an additional water source or two alongside their food.

All cats should have access to fresh water at all times, whether it is from a bowl or a drinking fountain. Although it is common to give cats tap water, bottled water can be a good alternative. However, some bottled water may contain harmful contaminants that you will want to avoid giving to your cat, as it is expensive and much less environmentally friendly.

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Is bottled water safe for cats?

Yes, most bottled water is safe for cats to drink and can be used as an alternative to tap water. Bottled water refers to any drinking water that has been stored in a plastic or glass bottle. Some bottled water contains tap water as the source, but others may use spring, distilled, or mineral water.

Drinking water that is safe for humans will generally be safe for cats as well. However, the water should be pure and free of flavors, harmful contaminants, and carbonates that may be unsafe for cats. Bottled water is great to have on hand for cats in emergency situations because it is easy to store. It is also a good alternative water source for cats if your tap water is not potable, as is the case in some areas.

Calico cat sleeping next to a water bottle
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What types of bottled water can cats drink?

Not all bottled water is created equal, and water quality can vary greatly. There are different types of bottled water, but only a few are safe for cats to drink.

Let’s take a look at the different options below.

1. Spring water

Spring water is collected from underground aquifers where the water flows to the Earth’s surface. It contains a balance of various minerals while being low in contaminants. Spring water is safe for cats and is one of the most popular types of bottled water you can offer them.

Bottled water
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2. Mineral water

Mineral water It comes from natural springs, where water flows to the surface of the earth. It contains minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. Mineral water is safe for cats to drink.

3. Carbonated water

Carbonated or sparkling water refers to any water that contains gases added to make the water fizzy. The water undergoes a process of adding carbon dioxide gas which gives the water a slightly bitter taste. Cats can take a sip of soda from time to time if it is free of additives such as sugar, artificial flavors and sweeteners. However, carbonated water should not replace still water for your cat.

Carbonated water is poured into the glass
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4. Distilled water

Distilled water is purified water Which has been boiled into steam and condensed. This type of water is free of impurities, pathogens, minerals and electrolytes. Unfortunately, distilled water may not be safe for cats or humans to drink as their only water source. While a little distilled water is not harmful to cats, it lacks the minerals cats need to replace those they lose through urine and sweat. More studies are needed to look at the effect of distilled water on hydration and kidney health in cats, as there are no peer-reviewed studies at present.

5. Filtered water

Filtered water is probably one of the best types of water you can offer your cats. It contains minerals and electrolytes that cats need in water, but most impurities have been filtered out using a mesh or carbon sieve. You can either give it to your cat Filtered water from your tap Or directly from bottled water.

What type of bottled water should you not give to cats?

Flavored water

Flavored water in water bottles
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This type of water contains additives to give the water a fruity, sweet, or bland taste, and is intended for human consumption. Flavored water is not safe for cats to drink due to the additives and amount of sugar it contains. Cats should only drink plain water that does not contain sugar or artificial ingredients that may put their health at risk. Some common sweeteners used in flavored waters include aspartame, xylitol, and saccharin. These sweeteners are not good for cats and can cause digestive upset. while Xylitol is highly toxic to dogsIt doesn’t appear to be toxic to cats, but it can upset their stomachs.

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BPA concerns in plastic water bottles

Most bottled water is stored in plastic containers, which may raise concerns about its safety for cats. Those Plastic bottles may leach harmful compounds into the water Which may be harmful to cats. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a compound found in many plastic bottles and storage containers, but it can be a health concern for our pets. This naturally makes people wary about giving plastic bottled water to cats for fear of exposing them to BPA and microplastics.

To avoid exposing your cat to the virus Chemicals leaked into plastic water bottles, Try choosing filtered tap water instead. Alternatively, you can check for and use BPA-free plastic water bottles. However, make sure not to use other harmful BPA compounds as a substitute.

Red-haired cat playing with tap water
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Artificial fluoride in bottled water

Fluoride is commonly found in drinking water to help prevent tooth decay. It can be found naturally in both tap water and bottled water, but is sometimes found in synthetic form. Some bottled water companies add synthetic fluoride to the water if it is removed during the filtration or purification process.

In humans, small amounts of fluoride are needed to prevent tooth decay. However, research is not clear on whether fluoride in water helps reduce gingivitis (the most common dental disease in cats and dogs). Excessive fluoride consumption can be dangerous for cats, leading to fluorosis, but the amount added to bottled and tap water is unlikely to cause any problems. A lethal dose of fluoride is found in most cats 5-10 mg/kg.

Is bottled water better for cats than tap water?

Many people view bottled water as a purer water source than water that comes straight from the tap. However, some contaminants found in bottled water may be just as harmful as those found in tap water. Both bottled and tap water can contain heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, and other contaminants that you may want to avoid exposing your cat to.

Giving your cat filtered water that contains fewer dissolved solids and traces of chlorine can be a better option than just bottled or tap water, and is also cheaper and more environmentally friendly than purchasing bottled water.

Cat drinking water
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How often and how much water should cats drink?

Cats should drink about 4 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day According to the experts at PetMD. Your cat should always have access to clean, fresh water, even if they are fed a moisture-rich wet food. Some cats do not enjoy drinking water from a bowl and prefer to transfer water from a fountain. It’s important to find a water source that your cat enjoys drinking from, no matter how difficult it may be. Replacing your cat’s water bowl with a water fountain may help encourage him to drink more water throughout the day.

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Final thoughts

Bottled water is usually safe for cats to drink if it doesn’t contain any harmful additives, but it doesn’t appear to be any more beneficial than tap water. If you give bottled water, it should be plain and not contain carbonates, artificial additives or… Or sweeteners. There are conflicting opinions about giving cats bottled water, and more research is needed. Filtered tap water can be a healthy alternative to bottled water. It saves you money, helps the environment, and is good for your cat.

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