What Can't Cats Drink?

What Can't Cats Drink?

It is surprising to hear that is there are some things that cats can’t drink. It is generally considered that cats are pretty flexible in their eating and drinking habits. Cats are known for their independence and for having their minds. They are also often finicky about what they eat and drink, and that they are sensitive to odors and tastes. This will affect their water consumption because, if they do not like something about their water, they probably can’t drink it.

 What kind of water should I give the cat?

Everyone knows that water is the basic element for the survival of every kind of life on earth. It is widely distributed on earth and easily available in most parts of the planet. The type of water you offer to your fluffy friend directly affects her health, as all types of water are not equal. And you may consider that it is an easy job to provide this basic necessity to your cat. But the fact is that there are multiple options available when it comes to offering water to your cat. You may wonder which sort of water is best for your cat, and what kind of water your cat may not like or can’t drink. Therefore, the question arises what type of water is best for cats?

To get the answer, you must know about different kind of water normally available, and their pros and cons from a feline perspective.

1.1. Tap / plain water for cats

Tap water is the most easily available and also the cheapest form of water. And most of the owners find it easier to offer tap water to their cats. But the quality of tap water is not the same in all parts of the world. It may contain certain chemicals and may smell foul, and your cat may not like it.

1.2. Boiled water for cats                                  

Some cat owners believe that it's fine to offer their cats, low-quality water after boiling. They are misguided. During the boiling process, water evaporates and this increases the concentration of salts in the leftover water. It also contains certain particles that can convert freshwater into “heavy water”. Continuous use of boiled water may cause kidney stones in cats.

1.3. Mineral / Bottled water for cats

Bottled water can be a comparatively better option for cats. But it must be from a natural, underground source and must be of high quality. If you are not ready to spend money, then don’t consider this option.

1.4. Pure / Distilled water for cats

Although distilled water is clean and does not have any kind of impurities in it. So it can be offered to your cat. However, it can’t be offered for a longer period. As the scientists themselves are not on a single page that distilled water should be used continuously for cats or not.

What cats can’t drink

Normally it’s recommended that a cat should only drink water and there are not many things that a cat can drink other than water. And we have a long list of items that you should not offer to your cat. Below is a list of some common items that you simply shouldn’t offer to your cat.

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Milk
  • Sugary Drinks and Juices
  • Drinks having Caffeine

 What happens when cats drink milk?

Here is a common myth that milk is necessary for a cat’s health. Almost all pet owners offer milk to their cats. And the fact is that milk contains lactose and cats are lactose intolerant. They have lactase (a lactose digesting enzyme) in their body for a shorter time and that is during the first few days of their life when they were being fed by their mother. So milk can cause digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, colic, diarrhea, vomiting, and a cat may become dehydrated very quickly. Scientists are agreed on the fact that there is no need to give milk to cats. It has more harmful effects than beneficial effects on your cat.

Water requirements of a cat

The amount of water needed by a cat depends on many factors like

  • Age
  • Body weight
  • Environmental temperature
  • Physical activity
  • Feeding pups or not
  • Type of diet being fed

 Normally, a cat daily needs 50 ml of water per kilogram of body weight, which suggests if a cat's weight is 4-5 kg; it must drink 200 to 250 ml of water daily for optimum functioning of the body. If dry food is offered to the cat then it needs 2.5 to 3 times more water than the food consumed. This means it must drink at least 250 ml of water for 100 grams of dry feed. Cat owners must provide more than the minimum recommended amount of water. Because if cats can’t drink enough amount of water, they can easily dehydrate, which can be life-threatening.

Best water for cats

Now the question arises, what type of water is best for cats? And the answer is, “Tap Water” from a natural source, can be offered to cat. A simple filter should be applied that can remove the impurities from water. After filtration, it is good enough for your cat. It can be used regularly and for whole life, and it is also a less expensive but safe option. In fact, cats like drinking tap water just because cats feel naturally satisfied while drinking running water, and it is also fortified with oxygen.

Natural drinking behavior of cats

As we all know that water is of prime importance for life and is needed to perform many functions of the body. The same is true for cats. But the important thing about our cute companion is that it has a weak sense of thirst genetically. So cats may drink less or may not drink at all if moist food is being offered by the owner. This can lead to dehydration and other serious medical issues that can be lethal. So we can conclude that “Cat must drink enough water”.  Another important thing about cats is that they are “sweet blind” which means they don’t have receptors to detect sugar. So giving juices is of no use to cats.

Encourage your cat to drink more

Now, if your feline friend is drinking less water, how can you encourage him/her to drink enough amount of water? It is important to know that cats prefer drinking running water over still water. The second thing is that cats like to drink from multiple sites. So to encourage your cat to drink enough amount of water, you must

  • Use “Running Water Cat Bowl
  • Place water bowls at different places
  • Place water bowl away from feeding bowl
  • Place multiple bowls
  • Use bowls of different sizes
  • Replace the water 3 times daily
  • Add ice cubes in warm weather
  • Clean the bowl daily


Running Water Cat Bowl” is the best solution, as it fulfills its instinct. To add spice and variety, you can add bone broth to this water occasionally (as a treat). Once Cat starts enjoying drinking, he/she will drink more often, body’s water requirement will be fulfilled and overall health will be improved for sure.

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