Many humans prefer their drinking water to be on the chilly side. Whether it’s to cool down on a hot summer day or simply personal preference. But what about cats? Do cats like to drink cold water? While many people simply fill and leave their kitty’s water bowl out at room temperature, there are sensible and scientific reasons to believe cats prefer cool water, just like we do.
Let’s dive in to learn all about cats and their relationships with water.
Do Cats Like Cold Water?
Cats prefer their drinking water chilly. Like most humans prefer chilled beverages, cats are partial to cold water. Not ice cold, but refreshingly cool. You may have noticed your cat trying to stick its face into your tall glass of ice water or jumping up onto the sink to drink directly from the faucet. These classic behaviors partially stem from your cat’s preference for this more refreshing temperature.
Cats are perfectly fine drinking lukewarm water, just like we are. However, given the choice, wouldn’t you reach for the glass fresh from the cold water tap or with a few ice cubes in it? Your cat likely would too.
Why Do Cats Prefer Cold Water Over Warm?
Cats need water to stay hydrated, just like other animals and humans. Cats prefer to drink cold water versus stagnant warm water. So, cats are particular, unlike different types of animals that can be satisfied with almost any water temperature. It’s because chilly water speeds up their metabolism and regulates their body temperature when they get too hot.
Cats’ love for cold water stems from their species living in the wild outdoors. They look for clean water from springs, which is why they cats also enjoy drinking flowing water out of a faucet or hose.
Some cats also like ice cubes. They have fun playing with them and licking them. However, ice cubes might be too cold and even cause a brain freeze like humans can experience. Essentially, since water can change a cat’s body temperature consuming something too cold can cause the brain to react by narrowing blood vessels. This leads to a headache, similar to what we experience when we eat a popsicle too fast and get brain freeze. So, it’s best to avoid ice cubes or only give your cat one or two on a really hot day.
What Kind of Water Is Best for Cats to Drink?
The best water for cats is the same water you drink. So, filtered water from the tap, spring water, or bottled water is good for felines.
Distilled water is not recommended because it can cause health issues. It lacks minerals and can lower urine pH, which could lead to kidney stones. This is because distilled water can soak into your pet’s tissues more than water containing minerals.
While cats are famous for drinking out of toilets, it’s not a good idea for them to consume toilet water. Again, if you wouldn’t drink it, your cat shouldn’t either. And that goes for puddles in your yard too. We understand it’s challenging to keep an outdoor cat from drinking any water it sees, but puddles and streams can have run off of pesticides, antifreeze, and other chemicals. All of which can make your cat very sick.
The best way to keep your outdoor cat from drinking potentially toxic water sources is to have a designated water bowl outside. Teach your fur baby where it is and keep it fresh and cool daily. Often just keeping it in a shady spot can create enough of a temperature difference to keep them happily hydrated.
How Much Water Does a Cat Need Daily?
Cat dehydration leads to serious health problems, such as decreased circulation and organ dysfunction. So it’s imperative to ensure your cat consumes four ounces of water per five pounds of body weight daily. Fortunately, you will rarely have to monitor them this closely as they are usually very adept at taking care of themselves.
Cats that eat wet food may drink less than those that eat dry food. Wet foods can contain up to 80% of water, so be mindful if your feline isn’t drinking the recommended amount.
In addition, cats that live in warm climates or are highly active may need more water than others. No matter the temperature or environment, keeping fresh water out for your cat, where it can access it at any time, is vital. This goes for both indoor and outdoor cats.
Thinking of introducing your cat to the outside world? Here’s our step-by-step guide to the transition outdoors.
How Can You Keep Your Cat Well Hydrated?
Cats like cold water, but the essential takeaway is that they must be kept well hydrated. Proper hydrated prevents health issues and promotes a healthy, long life for your fur baby.
Cool and Fresh Water
The water in your cat’s bowl will likely turn warm if you’re gone for a day. That’s perfectly fine. The goal is for them to have access to water at all times. You certainly can’t be expected to keep it “cold” all day long.
The real recommendation here is to keep the water fresh. Refilling your cat’s water bowl with cool, fresh water daily is going to keep them healthier. A water bowl left uncleaned and stagnant can get slimy, get dirty, and become much less appealing to your cat. Also, don’t leave the water bowl in the sun. Sun exposure can warm up the water, making it less tasty and encouraging mold spores that land in it to grow.
Cat health and nutrition are important. Find out which vitamins are critical to your cat’s health.
Set the Water Bowl Away From the Food Bowl
Believe it or not, cats don’t necessarily like drinking next to their food. Cats naturally lived in the wild, and when they do, they eat their prey away from water sources. This is to avoid contamination. Therefore, they have those same instincts indoors.
Try setting your cat’s water bowl on the opposite side of the room as its food bowl.
Provide Multiple Water Stations
Make water available to your cat wherever it goes. In other words, if you have an indoor-outdoor cat, ensure you have water inside and outside. Or if your cat is confined to one level of the house at night and another during the day, ensure there are full water bowls in each location.
In addition, if you have multiple cats in the house, they may each require their own water station.
Give Access to Flowing Water
Cats love to drink flowing water. They drink out of flowing streams when in the wild, so it’s ingrained in them. You could occasionally allow your cat to drink out of the outdoor water hose. Or get them an automatic water fountain for indoor use.
Pro Tip: You can also automatically feed your cat. Check out these microchip cat feeders!
Clean Your Cat’s Bowl Regularly
Just like you wouldn’t want to drink out of the same water glass all week long, your cat’s water bowl can get pretty gross. Be sure to thoroughly clean your cat’s water bowls every couple of days to help keep the water fresh and your feline hydrated.
Are There Special Bowls to Keep Your Cats Water Cold?
While it’s not practical to be hypervigilant of your cat’s water temperature all of the time, there are ways to keep it cold. For example, Frostybowlz® has produced a chilled pet bowl. The stainless steel bowl keeps water cold for up to 14 hours.
Keep Your Cat Hydrated With Cold Water
Keeping your cat hydrated with cold water will help regulate its body temperature and prevent health issues caused by dehydration. Just as you likely enjoy a cold drink, your cat will thank you for it.
How many cold water stations do you have set up for your cat? Let us know in the comments below!
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