When the days get warmer, it is important to think about our cat’s health. Can giving your cat cold water have any repercussions? Let’s find out together.
In summer, we know, the heat can have many repercussions on our health, and even our animals can suffer from high temperatures, so much so that they also have real problems if we do not pay attention to their needs. In spring and summer it is important that animals are hydrated and drink enough water. Just like humans, cats are made up of two thirds of water, and therefore this substance is essential for their body and for survival. But when it comes to water temperature, which one is best for our cat?
What cats prefer
Generally, cats prefer to drink cold or lukewarm water. Some cats also prefer warm water, and kittens should have slightly warmer water because they associate it with mother’s milk, but our kitten may also prefer cold water. Some cats also like to have ice cubes in the water, a bit like a real drink, while others prefer not to use the bowl and drink straight from the tap.
Obviously then, in addition to the character of the cat, a large part is made by the time of year. In spring, the best choice is probably lukewarm water. But in the summer, especially when it is very hot, the cat will certainly prefer colder water, and in the winter all the opposite. How can we understand the ideal temperature? With some proof. In summer and spring we try to use water from the refrigerator, or even ice cubes, and see if our cat likes it.
Is ice safe?
Many cat owners give unlimited access to the water bowl, and in the summer they even put a few ice cubes in the water to cool it down. Putting ice in our cat’s water can be safe, but we need to be very careful about its behavior. Some cats like to have ice in the water, especially during the hot summer months. On the contrary, it encourages them to drink more and can give them some fun playing with the cubes in the bowl. And as long as the cat doesn’t eat the ice, we can give it to him as a treat every now and then.
Since most cats have very thick coats and produce very little sweat, this feline may have a hard time cooling off naturally. Using ice to give your cat cold water can be a simple and inexpensive way to prevent hyperthermia or heat stroke. Just don’t make cubes too small, and don’t give it too often.
The cat will likely just lick the ice, but some cats also try to eat it, which could cause them to choke or lead to other problems to avoid. Let’s see what these risks are, and learn to understand based on the character of our cat whether or not it is appropriate to give him ice.
The risks to the cat’s health
One of the main risks is damage to the teeth. If the cat tries to chew ice, it could cause damage to the teeth, but also to digestive problems or pain in the mouth. If our cat is so adventurous, then, let’s avoid the ice and choose another way to cool the water.
We can therefore try with the water from the fridge, or if we want to avoid small cubes we could freeze a balloon with water inside. Once an ice ball has formed – as long as it is of the right size to fit into the bowl – we break the balloon and throw it away, thus leaving a large ball of ice that the cat will only be able to lick.
Other problems can arise in the stomach: cats have high-temperature digestive systems, and their metabolism works as well. Hence, giving your cat cold water too often can potentially cause stomach problems and slowed metabolism. Finally, as happens to us when we eat ice cream too quickly, cats who drink water that are too cold can also experience severe pain in the head. This is very annoying for them (as it is for us) and should be avoided.
The benefits of using ice in water
During the summer, using ice in your cat’s water can help cool him down. It will also help him to drink more, because if our cat doesn’t like room temperature water he may not be properly hydrated. Plus, it can also be a way to pass the time.
The ice cubes could in fact become a toy in the water bowl, with our cat pushing them with his paws and staying busy for some time. This can also help cool our cat’s paws in contact with the ice. And the paws are one of the ways of expelling heat from the body. Obviously, for us this means a wet floor when the cubes melt.
The tastes of cats regarding water
Some cats don’t like tap water. This means that they may not even taste it, perhaps because it is full of chemicals (such as chlorine) whose taste is not suitable for our cat. In these cases, it is best to use bottled or filtered water to make ice cubes, so that even the fussiest cat can drink.
Fountains, on the other hand, are a lot of fun for cats, because running water is easier for them to drink than water in a saucer. But obviously, here too, the character and personal tastes of each cat count a lot. Let’s not forget that the cat is an animal with a very strong personality, and it is not easy to generalize.
Another trick we can use to encourage our cat to drink is to flavor ice cubes. This can be done in a very simple way, by putting something in the water before freezing it to flavor it (for example, tuna juice). The important thing is also to give them a bowl of tasteless water, so that they have the possibility to choose and not become bored.
A cat should drink about 100-130ml of water in one day. A larger cat, on the other hand, should have about 200-250ml of water per day. So let’s make sure that the cat drinks enough water for his body and at the right temperature.