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Can Cats Drink Mineral Water? What You Need To Know!

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

tabby cat sitting next to a bowl of water

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 tap water in most locations. In fact, usually, bottled water is made from the same source as tap water. It’s just put in a bottle. Therefore, your cat can drink mineral water just as much as tap water.

While many people believe that tap water contains chemicals or heavy metals, there is no evidence that the average tap water includes more of these things than bottled water. Therefore, there won’t be much

difference between tap and mineral water when it comes to your cat’s hydration.

Is 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. However, this is not actually the case. Most of the time, this mineral water is pumped far from the actual spring (though it is from the same water bed, hence why they can still call it “spring water”). Often, it is pumped very close to where tap water is pumped, so there isn’t actually any difference.

There are some misconceptions about the safety of tap water. However, the United States has some of the safest water in the world. Bottled water and tap water do not go through different purification guidelines. Therefore, they are likely to be the same in terms of safety.

In fact, bottled water is likely less safe than tap water because it contains microplastics. In fact, 93% of all bottled water contains these harmful plastics. Studies have found that these plastics can cause inflammation, which can result in many different health problems.

Some people also claim that cats will be able to tell the difference between mineral water and tap water. Many people claim that bottled water tastes better than tap water. However, in several blind taste tests, people could not tell the difference between the two. We doubt that your cat can, either.

Cat drinking from ceramic bowl
Image Credit: Pattysan, Shutterstock

Types of Mineral Water

Mineral water isn’t necessarily better than tap water. However, there are some types that are simply harmful.

For instance, 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 cats prefer this water to require water. However, some bottles of flavored water contain chemicals that can kill a cat very quickly.

For instance, some flavored waters contain xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener. However, this sweetener is not healthy for felines in the least, though it isn’t as toxic for cats as it is for dogs.

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.

If your cat does like it, then it may make them used to flavored water. They may refuse to drink other water, even in emergencies. You’ll be stuck making flavored water forever. 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.

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Encouraging a Cat to Drink

Typically, people consider using mineral water to encourage a cat to drink. However, this is not recommended for a few different reasons.

Firstly, as we’ve stated, there isn’t much difference between mineral water and tap water. Therefore, this attempt is likely to not work, anyway. Instead, you’ll just end up wasting money on bottled water, which is much more expensive than tap water.

Secondly, 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.

Thirdly, if your cat does need extra encouragement to drink, there are plenty of other more effective methods to handle this. For instance, you can switch them to wet food, which should increase their hydration substantially.

You can also purchase cat-safe water enhancers that may encourage them to drink. These are safer than mineral water and likely quite a bit more effective as well.

Two cats drinking milk from bowl
Image 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.


Cats can drink mineral water. It isn’t harmful in most situations, though it does include microplastics that have been associated with some health issues. Usually, it won’t harm cats in normal amounts.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should give your cat mineral water. It is much more expensive than tap water and not necessarily any better. Therefore, you’re spending extra money for almost no reason.

We recommend providing cats with tap water – not mineral water. There is little reason to purchase bottled water for your cat since it isn’t actually much different from tap water.

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Featured Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

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