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Can Cats Drink Smart Water or Flavored Water? What You Need to Know!

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By Dr. Lindsay Bisset

Glaceau Smartwater 20oz bottle

Vet approved

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Written by

Dr. Lindsay Bisset

BVSc (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Like all animals, cats need water to survive. Water is essential for overall health and bodily functions. We, humans, have seemingly limitless water choices found in stores today. Cats can be finicky drinkers and we want to ensure our beloved pets are properly hydrated.

It may leave you wondering whether your cat can get in on some of the choices. So, we are here to help answer the question; can cats drink Smart Water or flavored water? Smart Water, yes, but flavored water, no. We will break these beverages down below. Let’s take a closer look!

Can Cats Drink Smart Water?

Smart Water is a brand of bottled water that is considered one of the top five brands of bottled water on the market today. Smart Water is vapor distilled water with added electrolytes for taste and hydration.

Cats can drink Smart Water, as it has no artificial or unnecessary flavors or colors included—but it shouldn’t be offered as an everyday staple. Smart Water does have added electrolytes, which means there is added sodium and excessive amounts of sodium in the blood can be harmful to cats.

It is best to check directly with your veterinarian before offering any new products to your cat to ensure you are doing what is best for their health.

Can Cats Drink Flavored Water?

The answer to this question is a straight no if you are talking about the flavored water marketed to humans. Cats should never be offered that kind of flavored water. The flavoring in water that is meant to entice humans is not appealing, necessary, or healthy for cats.

There are a wide variety of flavored waters available today and they are not all made the same. Even flavored water that is free from artificial flavors and/or colors and is completely natural, is still unnecessary for cats.

You can flavor your cat’s water with things like low sodium, natural chicken, or beef broth occasionally to help encourage drinking. This should be done under veterinary supervision though due to the sodium levels in broth.

Why Is Proper Hydration So Important for Cats?

Hydration is defined as the physiological state of balanced electrolytes, specific minerals, and fluids within the body. Water is necessary for organ function, circulation, digestion, nutrient transportation, and all aspects of body function. Having a proper balance is essential to overall health.

Maintaining proper hydration also helps the body flush out toxins. It helps decrease the chances of bladder and kidney stones, which can plague cats as well.

Cats can be finicky eaters and finicky drinkers, sometimes you must do some trial and error to find out what works best in terms of keeping your kitty properly hydrated.

cat drinking water
Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

Dehydration in Cats

Cats can have low thirst drives and can become dehydrated easily. Their low thirst drive is partly due to genetics. In the wild, cats get most of their water content directly from their prey animals. Being a domesticated house cat that eats kibble does now allow for the food to provide the proper hydration as their wild diet would.

If your cat neglects the water bowl, it may become dehydrated.

Signs to look out for that are telltale of dehydration in cats include:
  • Dry gums
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased skin elasticity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Elevated heart rate

If you happen to notice any of the above signs, call your veterinarian so that they can rule out any underlying illness and provide proper hydration and further guidance.

How to Get My Cat to Drink Water

Getting your cat to drink more water can prove to be a challenging feat.  You may have to experiment with trial and error until you find something that works. Below are some ideas you can implement for the more finicky drinkers.

Finding the Right Bowl

Cat’s can suffer from whisker fatigue; these specialized hairs are especially sensitive and may become uncomfortable when touching the sides of a deep or narrow bowl. Finding a wide, shallow bowl can help prevent this. There are even whisker relief bowls on the market that are made specifically to prevent whisker fatigue.

tabby cat eating hepper nom nom white floor

If you’re looking for food and water dishes for your favorite furry friend, we highly recommend the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl. This is our product, but the whisker-friendly dishes and wide catch tray are some of our favorite features, so we just had to share!

The bowls are made from stainless steel and are completely dishwasher friendly, making life as a pet parent as easy as possible. Click here to try it out!

Try a Different Location

Cats can be finicky over some of the littlest things that may not even cross our minds. Try moving their water bowl to a location that allows them to see their surroundings. This is a natural habit that is meant as a means for self-preservation. You may have to move the bowl to a more comfortable location to encourage drinking.

Cat drinking from ceramic bowl
Image Credit: Pattysan, Shutterstock

Offer Fresh Water

Dust, dirt, hair, and many other particles can make their way into the water bowl if it has been sitting for some time. Keeping your cat’s water fresh will help encourage them to drink, as water that has collected too much from the air may decrease their desire to drink.

Try Using a Water Fountain

Cats enjoy running water and you may even notice that your cat is more inclined to jump up onto the sink for a drink when the water is running as opposed to the bowl of fresh stagnant water on the floor. It is theorized that it may appeal to their senses due to the movement and sound. Regardless, this may just do the trick by making drinking time more stimulating.

cat-water-fountains
Image Credit: Daria Kulkova, Shutterstock

Implement Wet Food

As mentioned, wild cats get most of their water content through their prey. Dry kibble does not offer the amount of water as a tasty mouse. If you do not feel your cat is getting adequate amounts of water, try hydrating with wet cat food or low-sodium broths. Keep in mind that wet food cannot take the place of water altogether but additional supplementation with wet food can certainly help with dehydration.

Conclusion

Water is vital for your cat’s survival and keeping your cat properly hydrated will help ensure their overall health and wellbeing. Cats can drink Smart Water in small amounts but should not be offered flavored water that is made for humans, as it is unnecessary and unhealthy. Be sure to contact your veterinarian before offering anything new to your cat or if you have any questions about what is healthy to add to their diet.


Featured Image Credit: Glaceau Smartwater 20oz bottle, Benjamin Ikuta, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International

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