We talk a lot about food dishes for cats and why finding the right one is so important – but what’s the best water dish for cats?
Proper hydration for cats is so important – so making sure their water is clean and accessible is essential. But it’s impossible to talk about proper hydration without addressing a proper diet.
People contact us all the time concerned that their cat isn’t drinking enough because they rarely catch them at the water bowl. The main reason for this is because cats are designed to get the majority of the hydration they need from their food. High protein, moisture rich diets are fundamental for a cat’s overall health – and a cat fed a species appropriate diet will rarely be seen lapping water. In fact, if we see one of our cats (all fed a balanced raw diet) sitting at the water bowl for more than a few sips, we’re concerned.
So the first step in proper hydration is diet – but clean, fresh water must also be provided daily. And we’re not talking about leaving the toilet open or filling up a bathroom sink with tap water for cats to access whenever they want. This is about providing safe, drinkable water for our favorite felines.
What’s the best water dish for cats?
That really depends on your cat. First, remember that a cat’s whiskers need a wide bowl do drink comfortably. Many cats are also big fans of running water. Cat’s also don’t like their water bowl near their food dish. This is instinctual because they know food can contaminate a fresh water source.
So start by finding out if your cat likes still water in a bowl or running water from a fountain. Next, stay away from plastic. Bacteria leaches to plastic. No amount of cleaning it will remove the contaminants plastic ‘grows’. An outbreak of cat acne is often seen when plastic bowls or fountains are used.
Stainless steal, glass or ceramic materials are much safer for our felines. But – a word of warning for cats that are fans of fountains. Even if you have a good quality fountain, the pump will usually contain plastic parts. These pieces and parts need to be cleaned well and regularly.
And finally – the water itself. Your tap water may meet federal standards of ‘safety’, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of dangerous contaminants. For you or your cat. The Environmental Working Group can let you know what contaminants are in your water – by zip code. Click here to see what’s in your tap water.
We installed reverse osmosis water for our cats (and use it for drinking water ourselves – though RO water does not contain beneficial trace minerals). We’ve also learned there’s a whole world of water(s) out there, so you may find yourself going down a rabbit hole of what kind of water is most safe and beneficial.
Filtered, fresh water can be hard to find – but just remember this: Once you’ve found the best water dish for your cats, just be sure to wash is daily and fill with fresh water.