Can Cats Drink Ice Water? How Safe Is It To Put Ice In Cats’ Water?

It’s a hot, sunny day. You go for a fresh glass of refrigerated water and add some ice cubes to it. While quenching your own thirst, you think about your furry friend. Suddenly a wave of empathy runs through you. Besides, it is hot for them too. Maybe they will finally touch that water bowl if a few ice cubes are added to it.

So Can Cats Drink Ice Water? There’s nothing wrong with giving your fur-ball ice cold water. In fact, they prefer ice-cold water over room-temperature water, especially in the warmer months.

Why Does My Cat Like Ice Water

Why Does My Cat Like Ice Water?

Cats are picky creatures. They are particularly careful about what they ingest. Ice water is more primal for them as it resembles water in springs and waterfalls i.e., their natural habitat. Fresh, chilled water feels cleaner to them than stagnant, room-temperature water. 

Another reason is that it helps them regulate their body temperature. Cats are well insulated with a thick coat of fur and body fat, so they have no problem staying warm. However, in the summers, ice water helps them cool off.

A third reason is that ice is enticing. Cats love to play with chunks of ice floating around in their bowl. Watching your cat bop around that ice cube in its water bowl can be cute and fun.

Can Cats Eat Ice Cubes?

Cats can lick ice cubes; however, they cannot bite into them due to their thin enamel. Biting into ice can damage the enamel on their teeth, leading to gastrointestinal issues, loss of appetite, and a lot of pain in their little mouths.

Check Out: Can Cats Drink Bottled Water? 

Is Cold Water Bad for Cats?

Is Cold Water Bad for Cats

No, cold water is not bad for cats.
Cold water is absolutely safe for your furry friend. There is nothing to worry about if your cat’s water is chilly. Just like humans like their drinks chilled, cats prefer to hydrate themselves with cooler water. They simply find it refreshing.

However, there is an issue if the room is already cold. In that case, they might not hydrate at all.

Also, chilled water can cause brain freeze in your furball, just like eating too much ice cream causes brain freeze in adults, felines get that same uncomfortable sensation rushing to their heads. This might put them off from drinking water altogether, and we already know how bad cats are at hydrating themselves.

Is It Safe to Put Ice in Cat’s Water?

Add ice in a cat’s water in smaller pieces, chunks, or shreds.
Generally speaking, cats only lick and play with ice cubes. They won’t try to engulf it. However, if you have a particularly adventurous cat, it may try to bite the ice cube. As cats have smaller teeth than humans, biting into ice will damage their dental enamel, causing gastrointestinal issues, choking, pain, and a lot of money spent on dental surgeries.

If you do add ice cubes to your feline friend’s water, make sure to monitor them. If you cannot watch them or break the ice into little pieces, remove the ice cube from the situation. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Also, Check Out: Can Cats Drink Spring Water? (Spring Water vs. Tap Water)

Benefits of Putting Ice in Your Cat’s Water

Benefits of Putting Ice in Your Cat's Water
  • It helps your furry friend cool off: As cats are insulated by their furry skin and peripheral fat, cool water can help your pet cool off in the warm summer.
  • It increases their interest in water: Cats are notoriously known for being bad at keeping themselves hydrated. An ice cube bouncing around in the water with the fresh, cool properties it brings to it will interest them into drinking more. Additionally, cats avoid warm water as it gives them the impression that the water is stale or contaminated, and we all know how picky our felines can be. As springs and water bodies in nature are generally cooler, it is their primal instinct to prefer cooler water.
  • It is like a game for them: Cats enjoy playing with ice cubes, especially when they are in the water floating around. They love bopping and licking them. A simple, inexpensive thing such as adding ice to water can keep your feline occupied for a while

Interesting Read: Can Cats Drink Distilled Water?

Risks of putting ice in your cat’s water

  • It can damage their teeth: Cats have teeth with thinner enamel than humans. If your feline bites and chews into ice, it can cause enamel dysplasia. This will expose the delicate, yellow-coloured dentin underneath, rich with nerve fibres. Your cat will avoid foods altogether because chewing will render it a lot of pain. If you observe exposed dentin, take your pet to the vet immediately.
  • Brain freeze: Have you ever had too much ice cream too fast and had that electric shock-like feeling radiating to your brain? Your cat experiences the same when it laps onto chilled ice water. Since felines are already horrible at hydrating themselves, episodes of brain freeze will put them off of drinking water altogether
  • If it’s already cold: If your cat’s environment is chilly, it will not touch cold water. Just as we enjoy warm food and fluids during the winter, your feline prefers the same. Additionally, cold water will slow their metabolism down. All mammals need a faster metabolism during winter to keep themselves warm. If your cat’s water is cold during winter, it simply won’t hydrate itself.

You Also Like to Read About: Can Cats Drink Lemon Water?

Alternatives To Giving Your Cat Iced Water

If you cannot monitor your cat when you give it ice water, there are some safer options to keep your feline’s water refreshing all day long:

Alternatives To Giving Your Cat Iced Water
  • Freeze a water-bottle overnight and place it at the centre of your cat’s water bowl. This will keep your cat’s water chilly for several hours. You can also get ice packs commercially designed for pets, or you can add the ice cubes in a ziplock bag and place it at the base of your furry friend’s water bowl.
  • Ice cooling bowl: Investing in a pet ice bowl is another option. Simply place the insert into the freezer for a couple of hours and then put it back into the base of the bowl, then fill it with water.
    It will keep your cat’s water cold without the hazards ice can bring. 
  • Frozen treats, also known as a ‘catsicle,’ is a great way to treat your cat and give it some hydration. It is made of tuna or wet cat food. It is their best option as your cat is getting hydration and the nutrition it needs. 

Worth to Read: Can Cats Drink Cold or Warm Milk?

What Temperature of Water Should I Give My Cat?

Drinking water should be given to your cat at temperatures between 40- 72 degrees Fahrenheit, around 4-22 degrees Celsius. Giving water more or less than this range can be harmful to your pet’s overall health. The easiest way to do this is to add cold water from the faucet two times a day into your cat’s water bowl. It’s recommended to change your cat’s water during the day anyway

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the internet is filled with cats sliding ice cubes on the floor. As long as your pet does not bite into the ice, it is entirely safe for them to play with ice cubes.

Kittens should only be given their mother’s milk or kitten milk replacer. Nothing else is necessary for baby cats.

The Bottom Line on Can Cats Drink Ice Water

You can add ice to your cat’s water bowl without any worries, in fact, your furry friends will thank you for a cool bowl of water. Just make sure the ice is shredded or broken into small bits.

If you are worried they might bite into the ice and damage their little teeth, there are plenty of ways to keep your feline’s water fresh. You can buy a pet water cooler, place a frozen water bottle in their bowl or add ice cubes into a zip lock and place it into the bowl.

LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who Is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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