Can Cats Drink from Water Bottles? (Yes, and Why They Do)

By Phil / June 29, 2019
Can Cats Drink from Water Bottles

It’s vitally important to your cat’s health that they drink enough fresh water every day. Adult cats should be drinking at least 3 to 4 ounces of water for every 5 lbs they weigh.

Cats can be a little fussy, and even stubborn about what they’re willing to drink from. Some cats will suddenly decide they no longer like drinking from their usual bowls. While others will start drinking from other places in the home that you might want them to.

One of my cats a few years ago decided he would no longer drink from his bowl. I tried a few different bowls, moved them to different locations in the house, then I noticed he would drink from running taps.

So I bought a small water fountain designed for cats and it’s solved the problem instantly. I’d never seen him so happy and so eager to drink. As to why a 12-year-old cat suddenly had a change like this, I’ve no idea.

Anyway, that’s an example of what I’m talking about, but back on topic. I this article I’m answering, can cats drink from water bottles? As providing a water bottle is a good solution for cats that won’t drink from bowls or cats in certain situations as I will explain in this article.

Can Cats Drink from Water Bottles?

Yes, cats can drink from water bottles. In fact, Sometimes it’s the best solution to certain drinking problems which I go into in more detail below.

If you want to introduce your cat to a water bottle it shouldn’t take more than showing them 1 or 2 times what they need to do. From there, it’s down to your cat whether or not they want to use it to be perfectly honest.

Cats are curious by nature too. You could try putting one on the wall next to their food station and see how long it takes for them to figure out how to use it. 

Here is a video with a cute Scottish Fold being introduced to a water bottle. He doesn’t have a problem figuring out how to use it once he realizes there is milk in it!

What Are the Best Water Bottles for Cats?

When I talk about water bottles for cats, I’m talking about the kind of water bottles small animals like rabbits, and rodents use. You know, the kind with the metal ball that rolls when an animal licks it, releasing more water.

There are water bottles that have been designed for larger animals like cats and dogs. They’re basically just larger versions of these bottles, like this one I’m showing you below which is available on Amazon:

Cat drinking water bottle on Amazon

Why and When Should You Use a Water Bottle for Your Cat?

There are a few reasons why you might want to start using a water bottle for your cat’s water. The two main reasons are:

Because Your Cat Is in a Cage

I don’t advocate keeping a cat in a cage within your home just to contain them. I know it’s more culturally accepted in some parts of the world, but obviously, cats don’t want to be locked up in a small space.

There are reasons why you might have to keep your cat in a cage for a while though. Such as nursing them through an injury, introducing a particularly aggressive cat into the home, and so on.

Water bottles are designed to hang off the side of a cage for small animals, so it makes sense to use one on your cat’s cage. It avoids the problem of your cat putting their foot in their bowl, making a mess, and give him a little bit of extra space.

Because Your Cat Is Being Fussy About Drinking 

As I mentioned earlier, cats need to drink plenty of water every day. If they don’t keep well hydrated they’re at risk of some pretty serious health issues in just a matter of days.

So when a cat starts getting fussy about where they’re drinking from, and how much they’re drinking, you have to resolve this issue quickly.

The typical steps to follow to find out why your cat has suddenly stopped drinking include:

  • Changing the location of their water bowls
  • Trying a different size or shape bowl
  • Trying different temperature water
  • Getting them checked for underlying health issues

If you’re not having any luck with the above, why not try introducing them to a water bottle. It might be the answer to your problem, plus it doesn’t hurt to have some fresh water available that’s in a different location to their water bowls.

In Summary

Cats can drink from water bottles, yes. Some cats really enjoy it, some cats prefer it over their water bowl, and of course, some cats will just simply ignore a water bottle.

If you have to keep your cat in a cage for any reason, it’s well worth considering hooking a water bottle to the side. Cats are terrible for putting their feet or tails in their water bowl when they are in a confined space like a cage.

Likewise, as I discussed above, it might just be the solution to a drinking problem too so I’d give it a try.

Water bottles aren’t just for rodents and other small animals, they provide a practical way to keep fresh water available. So, if your cat likes drinking from a water bottle, why not provide one?

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