Can Cats Drink Salt Water?

Cats are unique creatures within the animal world. We own them as pets, or is it the other way around? Regardless, humans have long had a fascination with felines. They’re known to help lower blood pressure and bring intense enjoyment for their pet parents. Those of us who have pet cats understand they’re special, but research is turning up yet more fascinating facts about these furry wonders. While it’s important to be mindful of your cat’s diet to keep him healthy, there are a few things that cats can consume that humans should not. It’s been rumored that cats can even survive on ocean water, but is this the truth or is it a myth? We did the research and here are the surprising facts that we discovered.

Can cats drink saltwater?

We found it hard to believe that it’s okay for cats to drink salt water. To learn more we consulted a few of the top expert sites to confirm or debunk this theory. According to Base Paws, cats can drink saltwater and feel refreshed by it. While it would send the average human into a vomiting frenzy, your cat has a different physical makeup. We learned that it’s not a common myth. Whoever started the rumor actually knew what they were talking about.

How can a cat tolerate saltwater?

It’s all in the kidneys. Cats are born with a unique filtering system in their kidneys that can filter the salt from ocean water. This means that your kitty can receive not only refreshment but rehydration from drinking saltwater. If you take your cat along on a trip to the beach, don’t freak out if he drinks from the tidal pools because it’s not going to cause him any harm. Felines are better equipped to handle saltwater than their canine counterparts, so it’s okay for the cat but not for the dog.

More fascinating facts about cats and saltwater

While confirming this notion as a fact, we made some other interesting discoveries about cats and their relationship with water. Cats have an interesting take on water. Most of them will drink it, but they have a fear of bathing or getting wet, but there are some cats who don’t mind going for a swim. It all depends on the individual cat. Cat Time reveals that cats can actually taste the flavor of the water. They have an extra set of taste receptors that humans don’t have.

These receptors allow both cats and dogs to taste the flavor of the water. While people may find water to be flavorless, this isn’t the case for cats and dogs. By instinct, cats also prefer moving water to that which is stagnant. This is an old survival instinct from the time before cats were domesticated. It’s common knowledge that sitting water has a tendency to become stagnant. Wild cats knew this and would prefer water that is moving because it is fresher, has a better taste, and less danger of bacteria formation.

Scientific research confirms the truth

Quirks and Quarks presents a discussion by Dr. Alexa Bersenas of the Ontario Veterinary College. She explains that cats are by origin desert animals. They have a higher level of a necessary compound in their blood that allows them to remain healthy and hydrated drinking saltwater. Their kidneys filter the salt from the water.

She advises that it is not recommended in large quantities though. Some cats thrive on saltwater while others if given too much do not do as well. It really all depends on the cat. Historically, they adapted to life in the desert where water was not always in good supply. Cats have the ability to highly concentrate their urine without detriment in most cases. It’s best to provide your cat with clean fresh water though. Your cat knows how much water he needs to take in for his own comfort and health.

Can too much saltwater cause health problems in cats?

We dug a little further to find out as much as we could about the question of cats drinking saltwater. FAQ Cats explains that while cats can drink most types of water, there are some that can lead to health issues. Water types that include distilled or alkaline waters can create issues with your cat’s pH balance which can lead to significant health problems. Another interesting fact about cats and their need for hydration caught us by surprise. Cats can also absorb moisture from wet cat foods. This helps to hydrate them as well. Their bodies were engineered or adapted to dry climates with moisture scarcity and they’re incredibly adaptable creatures.

Final thoughts

Cats can drink salt water and can even thrive on it. While salt isn’t the healthiest compound for most living creatures, it doesn’t seem to have a significant impact on felines. Their kidneys can filter the salt out of the water as well as out of foods. What initially sounded like a myth has its roots in science and facts. Cats have physical capabilities that humans and other animals do not. They not only have impressive means for achieving hydration, they can also taste the flavor of their water.

This gives us all the more reason for making sure that their water source is clean and fresh on a daily basis. The next time you take the family cat to the beach with the family, let him go and drink all the seawater he wants because he’s the only one in the family who can enjoy the tasty treat without getting sick. Now you can tell all your friends and family who are cat lovers about these fascinating facts we just learned about your amazing cat.

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