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Can Cats Drink Mineral Water? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

tabby cat sitting next to a bowl of water

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Dr. Luqman Javed

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Just like us, cats have to drink water to survive. However, not all water is made equal. Luckily, cats can drink mineral water.

There are not many differences between mineral water and filtered tap water in most locations. In fact, usually, bottled water is made from the same source as filtered tap water. It’s just put in a bottle. Therefore, your cat can drink mineral water just as much as filtered tap water.

hepper-cat-paw-dividerIs Mineral Water Better for Cats?

There are a lot of debates on the internet about whether or not your cat will prefer mineral water.

Many people claim that mineral water comes directly from a spring and is, therefore, better for your cat. Mineral water is usually derived from underground reservoirs and mineral springs, giving it a higher mineral content than tap water. According to the FDA, mineral water must contain at least 250 ppm (parts per million) dissolved solids.

Generally speaking, mineral water tends to be safer for consumption than tap water. Depending on where you stay, tap water may or may not have to undergo different purification guidelines. On the other hand, most sources of mineral water are bottled at the source and processed for shipping and safe consumption, adding a layer of safety to the product.

Cat drinking from ceramic bowl
Photo Credit: Pattysan, Shutterstock

Types of Mineral Water

Still mineral water is safe for feline consumption. Sparkling mineral water is often considered a bad option for cats. The bubbles may encourage some cats to drink, but most cats will find this water strange and refuse to drink it. It mostly depends on your cat and their specific preferences.

However, sparkling water can result in stomach bloating if your cat drinks too much due to the bubbles. While it would take quite a lot before your feline experiences any negative health effects, it is absolutely possible. It just depends on how much your cat drinks.

Flavored bottled water is not recommended, either, as some of the flavorings can be dangerous to cats. Some people may try to flavor their own water to encourage their cats to drink. However, many cats do not like flavored waters, especially if you’re using fruit and similar flavorings. Cats aren’t drawn to these tastes. In fact, they may not even be able to taste sweetness in some cases.

Furthermore, the sweetness from the water can be sticky, which can make a mess around the cat’s water bowl and on their chin. Obviously, messier drinkers will have more problems in this regard.

Encouraging a Cat to Drink

Typically, people consider using mineral water to encourage a cat to drink. However, this isn’t a guaranteed fix. If your cat isn’t drinking, then there is likely an underlying reason for it. Trying to get around this underlying cause by changing their water isn’t fixing anything. For cats that are seriously not drinking and becoming dehydrated, a trip to the vet is in order.

If your cat does need extra encouragement to drink, there are plenty of other more effective methods to handle this. For instance, water fountains are generally preferred for cats, as these products encourage cats to drink more (they are usually drawn by the flowing water).

Two cats drinking milk from bowl
Photo Credit: Dmitri Ma, Shutterstock

Why Is My Cat Refusing Tap Water?

Cats may refuse to drink any water for a variety of different reasons. Before you assume it’s because you’re using tap water, you should rule out these other potential causes as well.

Cats tend to be very picky about their water cleanliness. If you do not keep their bowl clean, they may refuse to drink. As you might imagine, some cats are pickier about this than others. Some cats don’t really care, while others won’t drink water left out for more than a few hours.

To encourage more drinking, your best bet is to invest in a fountain water bowl, which keeps the water moving and filtered. Luckily, these aren’t terribly expensive and widely accepted by many cats. Other felines may get whisker fatigue from using smaller bowls. In this case, you will want to purchase a larger bowl for your feline.

If your cat is only refusing tap water, though, it may be because of the smell. Some tap water is purified with chemicals that can leave a lingering smell. People generally don’t notice, but our cats have a much more sensitive sense of smell. Therefore, they may notice these smells when we do not.

A filter can often help counteract this problem, though. It can filter out the chemicals and therefore remove the smell.

Now that you know what you can safely feed your cat, it’s just as important to find a bowl that supports their health and well-being. With whisker-friendly bowls and a wide tray to catch any spills, our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite option.

Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
  • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
  • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...


Cats can drink mineral water as an alternative to filtered tap water. In most instances, cats don’t seem to discriminate between the two. If your cat refuses to drink or seems to reject one water source, a veterinary visit and a change of the water source or bowl might be necessary.

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Featured Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

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