Cats are generally not big fans of water. So as the weather gets warmer, it’s normal to wonder if it’s okay to put ice cubes in a cat’s water bowl? Read on to find out how to do it safely, and why you should keep your cat’s water cold to encourage them to stay hydrated.
Is It Okay to Put Ice Cubes In Cat Water?
Yes, you can put ice cubes in your cat’s water bowl, but it’s important to make sure the cubes are the right size, to prevent mishaps. Cats are enamored by ice cubes and will want to play with them. If you don’t feel safe giving your cat ice cubes, then consider using ice water, cat treats, etc.
Some cats don’t drink enough water, especially, if their water is warm. Putting ice cubes in your cat’s water bowl will help keep their drink cold and make it more appealing to them.
That said, it’s important to make sure you introduce ice cubes to your cat slowly. Especially, if they’ve never seen them before.
We’ll share everything you need to know about cats and ice, as well as other options to use to keep their water cool.
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Can Cats Eat Ice Cubes?
No, while they can eat small amounts of food, never give them large chunks of ice or allow them to eat too much. That said, most cats will just lick and play with it. Some cats may attempt to eat the ice with their tiny mouths, causing dental issues such as chipped or broken teeth, or bleeding gums.
It can also cause digestion issues, such as blockage, choking, or mouth pain. That said, most cats won’t attempt to eat the ice, instead, they will lick and play with the ice. Most cats are fascinated with it.
In fact, it’s not hard to find a cat playing with ice cubes in an owner’s glass or kicking it around on the kitchen floor. Here’s a video of a cat seeing ice cubes for the first time and its reaction.
Are Ice Cubes Safe for Cats?
Yes, as mentioned above, cats won’t choke on the ice, unless they try to eat it. When it’s in their water, the cat will lap small amounts of water around the ice, with their tongue.
Most cats won’t have any safety issues with ice, because, unlike dogs and humans, they don’t gulp it. Therefore, the ice will melt in their bowl making the water cooler and more tempting for them to drink.
The Downsides of Putting Ice In Your Cat’s Water Bowl
Despite being safe to put ice cubes in your cat’s bowl, there are some downsides as well. Some of the risks are:
A cat’s tooth enamel is thinner than that of humans. Giving your cat ice can cause enamel dysplasia, especially, if they try to bite or chew the ice. As mentioned above, most cats won’t eat the ice, however, some cats are known to eat anything they can get their paws on.
When a cat is exposed to trauma to the mouth, they are prone to enamel dysplasia which will expose the yellow-colored dentin beneath. The dentin protects the nerves fibers from hot and cold sensitivities.
If you notice any signs of enamel dysplasia, take them to the vet immediately. The vet will decide on the proper course of treatment such as a root canal, crown restoration, or composite restoration to help your feline friend.
It’s Too Cold
Putting too much ice in your cat’s water bowl will make it too cold for them. Never give your cat freezing cold water, because it will affect their digestion. Chilled water expands the blood vessels, which affects the rate of digestion and can affect the nutrients your cat will get from its food.
Cats, in general, have a high metabolism rate but giving them cold water can slow down their metabolism, affecting their overall health.
Shocks the Body
A cat’s body is not designed to drink freezing cold water, and too much will cause them to experience discomfort, similar to when we get freeze brain from eating something too cold.
While not dangerous for a cat, it will cause them to be scared or less likely to take a drink.
Benefits Of Adding Ice to Your Cat’s Water
Putting ice cubes in your cat’s water bowl has its benefits as well, some of them being.
Keeping Your Cat Hydrated
Like us, cats need to drink water to stay hydrated. By adding ice cubes to their water bowl, you are ensuring that they are constantly drinking as the ice melts.
Cats prefer drinking fresh, cool water because they consider it safe. If the water is stagnant and warm, you’ll have a hard time getting them to drink enough.
This is one of the main reasons many pet owners are switching from regular bowls to water fountains. It’s one of the easiest ways to keep your cat’s water fresh and cool. Of course, you’ll have to get your cat used to drinking from the fountain, especially if they’ve never had one.
It will be entertaining for both you and your cat. Your cat will get a few minutes (or until the ice melts) to play, lick, and bob the ice in the bowl. It’s funny to watch a cat play with ice and your cat will enjoy it.
Should You Give Ice Cubes To Your Cat?
As long as your cat is a healthy adult cat, it’s perfectly fine to give them an ice cube to see how they react. Never give ice to a kitten younger than a year old ice. They should only be fed age-specific food to ensure they get the essential nutrients their bodies need.
Monitor your cat while they play with it. Also, it’s best to chip the cubes into smaller pieces before putting them in the bowl.
This will help them melt faster, and prevent them from trying to eat it and damaging their teeth. If you can’t be bothered to chip the ice and monitor your kitty, then avoid giving it to them.
What Temperature of Water Should I Give My Cat?
It’s best to give your cat water that is 40° – 72°Farenheit. These are the temperature ranges that come from the faucets in most homes and are safe for consumption by humans.
Giving your cat water that is too hot or too cold can affect their overall health. Instead of adding ice to your cat’s bowl, consider replacing the water twice a day, which is something you should be doing anyway.
On hot days, it’s fine to place 1-2 ice cubes in the water, just make sure it doesn’t get too cold for kitty.
Alternatives to Ice for Your Cat’s Water Bowl
If you don’t feel safe giving your cat ice cubes, you don’t have to. There are other ways to keep their water cool.
One way is to freeze a bottle of water and place it in the bowl. This will keep the water cold for hours on end. You can also buy commercial ice packs designed specifically for pet bowls, or fill a ziplock bag with ice and place it in the bowl.
Ice Cooling Bowl
Another option is to invest in a GF Pet Ice Bowl - Keeps Water Cool for Hours. Just place the insert in the freezer for a couple of hours or until it gets cold. Then place the insert into the base of the bowl, and fill with water.
It’ll keep the water cold for several hours without you having to add ice to it.
Frozen cat treats aka catsicle are frozen treats made of tuna or wet cat food that is frozen and placed in the water. Your cat will love it and it’s a healthy way to give them some hydration.
This is the best option, especially, if your cat doesn’t drink enough water.
It’s perfectly fine to put an ice cube or two in your cat’s water bowl. In fact, it can be a great treat, especially on a hot summer day. That said, you should always monitor your cat when they’re playing with or drinking from an ice-filled water bowl.
Make sure the ice is in small enough pieces that they can’t choke on it and that the water isn’t too cold for them to drink comfortably.
If you’re not comfortable giving your cat ice cubes, there are plenty of other ways to keep their water bowl cool. You can freeze a bottle of water or use frozen food as an alternative.
- 7 Reasons Cats Prefer Water Fountains
- Are Water Fountains Safe and Sanitary?
- Why Does My Cat Keep Drinking My Water?