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Cat next to bottle water

The essentials

  • Bottled water might have BPA — This chemical has been loosely linked to a host of health issues in humans, as well as hyperthyroidism in cats. Many households avoid BPA, but the FDA says it’s fine in moderation.
  • Cats can drink bottled water but bottled might not be best — Filtered tap water, spring water, or plain old tap water are still great options for your cat.
  • Bottled water is great in emergencies — Bottled water is a must-have in your emergency kit. It’s safe and portable, so be sure to pack enough for you and your pets.

Is it safe to give bottled water to a cat?

Giving cats bottled water isn’t inherently dangerous or bad, as long as the bottled water in question is high quality and fresh. In an emergency or while traveling, bottled water is a great option. At home, though, your cat should be just fine drinking tap water, especially if you run it through a simple filter first.

With bottled comes the risk of BPA

One of the main risks of bottled water comes in the form of BPA, a chemical used in thousands of different plastic products, including plastic water bottles. BPA, which stands for bisphenol A, is also often used to coat the inside of aluminum cans used for food storage. But studies have shown that BPA might be harmful to both cats and humans.

In humans, BPA has been linked to increased blood pressure and diabetes, though the FDA says it’s safe in small concentrations, like that found in plastic bottles. In cats, limited research suggests that there’s a connection between BPA, like those found in canned food, and hyperthyroidism, the single most common endocrine disorder in cats. The research isn’t conclusive, but if you’re concerned about your cat, there’s nothing wrong with avoiding BPA when and where you can.

Some BPA-free options

Are there bottled water brands out there that don’t use BPA? The short answer is yes, and that list is growing. As more research is done and public concern grows, more and more companies are shifting away from including BPA in their packaging. Here’s a brief list of some of the brands that no longer use the chemical in their manufacturing process:

  • Dasani
  • FIJI Water
  • JUST water
  • Evian
  • Essentia
  • Nestlé Pure Life
  • Poland Spring

What type of water is best for cats?

The good news is that no type of water, so long as it’s clean, is harmful to cats. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of water and the effects each could have on your cat’s health.

  • Tap water. Tap water is generally fine but might not be your best option depending on where you live.
  • Well water. Some well water can be very high in fluoride.
  • Filtered tap water. Filtered tap is generally considered to be the best type of water for cats because the purity is virtually guaranteed.
  • Distilled water. Most vets don’t recommend distilled water because it lacks the minerals pets need.
  • Spring water. Natural spring water is safe for cats, dogs, and their owners.
  • Natural water sources. If you live near a clean water source, such as a stream or pond, take caution. Since you can’t guarantee that this water is actually safe, it’s better to give your cat water from a source you know is clean.

When bottled might be best

Filtered tap water is generally the best type of water for your cat to drink, but it isn’t always easy to get. Here are some situations where bottled water might be more than OK — it might be your best option:

  • Emergencies. Extreme weather and natural disasters can affect your access to potable water. It’s best to be prepared by packing an emergency kit for you and your cat that includes some bottled water.
  • Sickness. If your cat is sick or injured, they may not be interested in or able to drink water. Using a bottle is one of the easiest ways to give them water directly.
  • Travel. Traveling with no access to a proper bowl or filtered tap water? Bottled water is your best bet.
  • Outdoor walks. When carrying a bowl doesn’t make sense, bottled water is the way to go.

Consider a cat-appropriate water fountain

Filtered tap water might be the best type of water to give your cat, but what’s the best way to get your cat to drink more water? In the eyes of many, including our vets, there’s no better solution than a cat-appropriate water fountain. Cats generally like to drink from sources of running water (which is why they love your bathroom sink), so a kitty fountain like this one from PETLIBRO is perfect for a picky cat.

Frequently asked questions

Can cats drink Evian water?

Evian water is safe for cats to drink because the manufacturers produce the bottles without using BPA. That said, your cat may or may not like the taste. And as you know, your feline can be pretty picky!

What type of water is best for cats?

The best type of water for cats is filtered tap water. It’s safe, easy to access with a simple pitcher filter or faucet attachment, and guaranteed to be pure. That said, most types of water are fine for cats to drink.

Is tap or filtered water better for cats?

Filtered water is preferable for cats, but there’s nothing wrong with tap water. The best way to think about water is like this: If you can drink it without concern, your cat can do the same.

Is tap water safe for cats?

Tap water is safe for cats, just like it is for humans. If your cat prefers the taste of tap water, you’re free to give it to them. Of course, that statement assumes that your municipal water is safe and clean. And most importantly, remember to provide your cat with fresh water on a regular basis.

Why does my cat prefer water bottles?

Cats are interesting creatures with a wide range of preferences. If your cat seems to prefer bottled water, it’s likely just because that water is fresh. Cats also tend to like drinking from a moving source, so any water that’s freshly poured will be attractive to them. Rather than using water bottles, we recommend investing in a cat water fountain to ensure your kitty has access to a fresh source of moving water at all times.

What type of bowl should my cat drink from?

Plastic bowls, just like plastic bottles, may have BPA in them, which could be unsafe for your cat. Some cats might also be allergic to metal or stainless steel bowls. Try out a few different types of water bowls or fountains to see what your cat prefers. And remember to place at least a couple of bowls around the house to ensure your cat has plenty of access to fresh water.