When owning a cat, it’s only natural to ponder about what your cat can drink. Besides, we humans consume a number of different beverages beyond just plain cold water. Can cats do the same? I spent some time browsing the internet what is possible and preferable for the health, wellness, and wellbeing of our precious felines.
So, what can cats drink besides water? Cats can drink cat milk, bone broth, and a limited amount of apple juice. However, they should only be offered these liquids infrequently – if a cat is refusing to drink water and is showing signs of dehydration. Generally, cats only need to drink water and it should be available to them at all times.
While it may sound relatively boring to you and I; cats do just fine with water the majority of the time.
It is generally, all they need to stay healthy and hydrated.
The only real exception is in the early stages of life; as they consume the milk of their mothers to obtain the nutrients they need.
But once they wean, at around 3-4 weeks of age, it’s over to fresh water and solid food for the most part.
How much water a cat requires however does vary – it depends on their age, size, and how much water they naturally get through their food.
Let us now take a closer look at the other options before looking at those you will always want to avoid.
What Kind Of Drinks Should Cats Avoid?
While we’ve only got a shortlist of what cats can drink outside of standard water, there’s a much longer list of what cats can’t drink. But don’t take this for a comprehensive list since there are a lot of things that cats should avoid. We’re just going to list some of the bigger and more common items to look for.
While it might seem pretty unlikely that a cat would try to drink strongly smelling alcohol it happens more than you might think! While cats probably won’t try to drink your Jack and Coke if you’re enjoying a drink that includes milk or cream there’s a good chance your cat might decide to give it a try. Remember, cats are carnivores and the fatty flavors and smell of a creamy drink might be more than they can resist.
If your cat laps up a few drops of a mixed drink there isn’t much to worry about. But if your cat consumes a significant amount of alcohol they could suffer alcohol poisoning just like humans do.
We’ve already talked a good deal about milk but it bears repeating: cats, for the most part, are lactose intolerant which means they can’t easily digest milk. Because of that reason, cats shouldn’t be allowed to drink milk or any other kind of dairy for that matter.
Instead, go for safer options like the cat-friendly goat milk we’ve already discussed.
Sugary Drinks and Juices
Despite some online sources saying that your cat can drink things like apple juice, these types of sugary drinks are not good for cats. Cats don’t need carbohydrates and aren’t great at processing them which means they often turn to fat. That means that sugary drinks like popular juices can quickly lead to obesity at best and in more extreme cases may even contribute to diabetes.
Before you feel sad about your cat missing out on a fresh glass of juice, remember that cats can’t even taste sweet so they really aren’t missing out on anything!
It should be no surprise that caffeine just isn’t good for our little cats! VCA Hospitals explains that “Dogs and cats are more sensitive to caffeine than we are. While taking a sip of hot coffee or iced tea probably won’t adversely affect most pets, ingestion of one or two diet pills can be fatal for small dogs and cats.”
While it’s unlikely that cats will drink enough caffeine the equate to a diet pill it’s still something to avoid. While most cats are unlikely to be interested in sweet-tasting energy drinks, coffee with lots of cream could certainly interest the curious cat and should be kept out of reach.
What Liquids Can I Give My Cat?
For the most part, water is the only liquid you should be looking to give your cat. It is all they need to stay healthy. As most cats are lactose-intolerant, giving them milk could be detrimental for their health. If you want to feed them milk, give them goat-milk instead.
In fact, the consumption of water is vital to a cat’s health. It plays a key role in digestion and a range of other bodily functions.
If a cat is dehydrated for too long it can even result in urinary problems, including bladder stones.
Although, there may be instances where they stop drinking altogether, or they have a health condition which means remaining hydrated is even more important (such as in kidney disease).
For instance, cats consuming wet food will not need as much as those on dry food.
Nevertheless, there are certain contexts where keeping a cat hydrated becomes more important, and doing so through water alone is not feasible.