Best Water for Cats

Scaredpersianowner

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Hello,
Just curious as to what is the best water for my cats’ fountains? We’ve been giving them mineral drinking water that we drink, but I read somewhere the mineral can be harmful and distilled is best. Any thoughts?
Thank you so much!
 

Caspers Human

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Distilled water is worst. It has been boiled to steam and condensed back into liquid, leaving everything else behind, including dissolved minerals. Without those dissolved minerals, distilled water will tend to leach minerals out of the body.

Just use tap water and pour it through a filter like Brita. Let it sit out for a day or so. That way the chlorine can evaporate, first, before filtering.
 

game misconduct

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distilled water i know is great for fish tanks etc. but you must dose the water then with minerals to provide the essential stuff thats missing. so i use bottled spring water for graycie since gf and i drink that also.
 

LTS3

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Tap water is just fine unless you live in an area with questionable water quality.

Check the instructions for the water fountain. It may say to avoid using certain types of water because it can harm the motor or cause scaling or something.
 

Alldara

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Mine drink tap too.

They have a fountain with a filter but often they drink out of their dishes.

If there's a water advisory for humans in your area, follow the same instructions for their drinking water as your own. (Ex. Boiling and allowing to cool if that's what's said)
 

Furballsmom

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I look at it that even if the tap water quality is ok, cats don't need the extra additives such as flouride that Water Treatment plants use, definitely not for my boy since his kidneys are working hard enough as it is :)
 

amethyst

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I think the best is probably reverse osmosis drinking water (reverse osmosis water that has been remineralized, like what you get from those water machines at stores or for bottled water like Aquafina for example), it filters out additives and contaminates so it's pure, but unlike distilled you still have minerals in it.
 

Caspers Human

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Chlorine and fluorine are both gases. Municipal water is chlorinated and/or fluoridated by bubbling one or both of those gases through the water.

If you don't like chlorine or fluorine in your water, simply put the water in an open container and let it sit out in open air for 24 to 48 hours. The chlorine or fluorine will just "evaporate" and disappear into the atmosphere.

If you are concerned about other things in your water you can use a filter pitcher like Brita. Use the kind that has an activated charcoal filter element. That will get out more than 90% of any undesirable substances in the water. If you have special concerns about a particular substance in your water, there are special purpose filters that can remove most things.

You can also use an in-sink filter that is installed under your kitchen cabinet. You can use a faucet style filter that attaches to your water faucet. If you really want, you can get a whole-house system that will filter all the water in your house. Of course, these kinds of filters are more expensive. For most people they aren't necessary.

Reverse osmosis filters that are installed either under your kitchen cabinet or as part of a whole-house system work well but they are very expensive to install and operate. The main problem is that they waste at least as much water as they output. Reverse osmosis uses a special, very fine, porous membrane that water is forced through under pressure. Clean water can diffuse through the membrane but other things can't. In the process, a lot of water gets flushed down the drain. At least as much as makes it through and, depending on circumstances, two or three times as much.

When I worked in the chemical plant, I was partly responsible for maintaining a reverse osmosis system that was big enough to fill an entire room. It worked well but it required a lot of maintenance, it was expensive to operate and maintain and it wasted a lot of water. Consequently, we only used reverse osmosis filtration for purposes that needed ultra pure water such as laboratory testing. The rest of the time we used standard activated charcoal filters. They were cylinders about three feet long and about twelve inches in diameter, filled with finely ground activated charcoal. Every month, we had to remove the charcoal canisters, clean out the old charcoal, send it for recycling then refill the canisters with fresh charcoal before reinstalling them.

Those charcoal canisters got the water so clean that all the people from the front offices would come back into the lab to get water to make coffee from. The would fill up gallon jugs with filtered water and keep them in the fridge.

That's why I suggest using a charcoal filter for your drinking water at home. If people who work in a chemical plant use charcoal filtered water to make their daily coffee, it's gotta' be good! Right? :)
 

zoes

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Oof, what a waste of single use plastic bottles.

Regardless, tap water is likely best.

Generic bottled water (e.g., spring water and mineral water,) has to meet less strict regulations than tap water in most places, which means if you're concerned about contaminants or bacteria, you're more likely to find those in higher amounts in plain ol' bottled water.
You want to avoid mineral water, as it can give your cat too much minerals (including sodium), and can also cause scale in your water fountain and reduce the life of the pump.
There is no real evidence that distilled water leaches minerals (in any harmful way,) out of the body, but there IS evidence that a low amount of minerals (<50TDS) is beneficial to health.

So, other than Reverse Osmosis water, there is no bottled water I would feel comfortable giving my cats.

I do acknowledge that I am fortunate to live in a municipality with safe tap water.

If you are concerned about your tap water, you can address just about everything fairly easily, but first you need to identify what you're concerned about. You can do this by having your tap water tested, or researching your municipal tap water processing.

Some common concerns might be:
Chlorine - you can resolve this by letting the water sit as chlorine will evaporate (easy peasy if you have a fountain.)
Chloramine - does not evaporate as easily, but 20 mins at a gentle boil will do it. You can prepare a big jug of this for daily use, or fill a fountain with pre-boiled water.
Fluoride - Cannot be removed by regular filtration or off-gassing, but can be removed by a ZeroWater filter, or by Reverse Osomosis
Minerals/hard water - If your tap water is around 50TDS, you don't need to worry. If it's over 150TDS or you know you have hard water, that's a rather high mineral content and if you use a fountain with a pump, it can cause scale. For this, a ZeroWater filter or a Reverse Osmosis filtration system.
General concerns about tap water - If you logically know there isn't anything particularly wrong with your tap water but still feel you want to do a "little better" for your cats, a regular Brita Filter will go a long way to remove assorted impurities and making you feel better about it; or just use a water fountain with a coconut charcoal filter in it - basically a Brita filter that doesn't take up fridge space.

If your tap water is not safe to drink or you have other concerns that can't be resolved, Reverse Osmosis is the gold standard, and you can get filtration systems that go under your sink for what may be a surprisingly low cost (there's one at Walmart for $200 CAD,) or you can rent those water coolers with the big jugs of re-mineralized reverse osmosis that get delivered to your home as needed. Those are both good options for a steadily supply of filtered water at a relatively low pricepoint longterm.

A word about fountains: most water pumps recommend that distilled water be used for longevity of the pump. This is true, but the effect is fairly insignificant if your water is around 50TDS or lower, though I do give mine a quick scrub with a vinegary toothbrush from time to time. It's really only a problem if your water is hard.
 

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To give you a ballpark idea of the cost of the whole house filter system.. I just had one installed, they called it a conditioner. It does hard water and removes chlorine, it is a salt system. It was just under $3500. My chlorine levels were between 3-4ppm and treated with chlorine gas. Apparently treatment pods are right outside my neighborhood so we are the first houses to get hit when it rolls out. Was a nice welcome to a new house… hope that info is helpful. As someone mentioned, get your water tested, many companies will do it for free. When I moved in the water utilities actually came out and tested the water to make sure it was safe levels because the bleach smell was so bad. They did not tell me the level numbers but did confirm everything was in limits. A water softener company will tell you your levels. I was also told by the water softener company that the cities are fined so much each year for overdosing the water with chemicals, in the next two years those fines will no longer be regulated. I don’t know how much truth there is to that but based on growth it makes sense. Scary!
 
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