Evian anyone? Cats snub filtered water in favor of the tap.

Cat Drinking from Sink - Canon T2i

Cat Drinking from Sink by Dave Dugdale

Some time ago, we noticed that when we filled our recirculatling kitty water fountain with filtered water the cats would seek out the dog’s water dish full of tap water.  When we switched over to tap water in their fountain, they stopped drinking from the dog’s bowl.  A recent study proved exactly what we had discovered by accident—that cats would rather drink tap water (Drinking Water Preferences in the Cat. Wooding B, Mills DS. Proceedings of the 6th International Veterinary Behavior Meeting, June 2007).  The double blinded study compared a group of cats’ preference between tap water and filtered water.  The cats overwhelmingly chose the tap water over the filtered water. So just like some people with their beer, your cat most likely prefers it “from the tap”.

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  1. Dr. G says:

    Dr. Burns and I were talking the other day, and the potential medical impact of these findings came up. For years, it’s been common to hear vets recommend that clients offer purified water to cats with a variety of medical problems, particularly lower urinary tract disease and kidney failure.

    The thinking here is that purified water decreases the intake of certain minerals that may contribute to the disease process. However, if cats drink LESS water, the minerals in their urine may be MORE likely to precipitate (form crystals) because their urine will be more concentrated.

    Think of it this way: if you leave a glass of sugar water on the counter, eventually, the water will evaporate and sugar crystals will form. Now, imagine adding a cup of water with a tiny bit of sugar dissolved in it already (like the tiny amounts of minerals in tap water). It would take considerably longer to evaporate that much more water, despite adding a little sugar. On the other hand, if you added just a tablespoon of purified water to the glass, it would dilute the sugar a little and mean that more water would have to evaporate before crystals form, but it wouldn’t take much longer to evaporate just another tablespoon of water.

    Our feeling is that it’s probably more beneficial for most cats to drink more water than it is to try to avoid the tiny amounts of minerals that comes from most taps.

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