As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to take extra precautions to keep your cat safe and comfortable. While most cat owners keep their feline friends cool by providing them round-the-clock access to water, some owners take it a notch higher by putting ice cubes in their drink. But, is it safe for cats to have ice in their water?
It’s safe to put ice in your cat’s water, but it’s very important to monitor them closely to prevent any mishaps. Some cats like having ice in their drinking water, especially during the scorching summer months. It even encourages them to drink more and keeps them entertained at the same time. As long as your cats don’t eat the ice, you can give it to them as a treat from time to time
Given that the majority of cats have thick coats and produce very little sweat, they may find it difficult to cool themselves off naturally. Putting ice in your cat’s drink is a simple, yet inexpensive way to cool them and prevent from overheating.
However, it’s crucial to keep an eye on them while they are enjoying their icy treat as it does come with risks.
Risks of Putting Ice in Your Cat’s Water
Despite being generally safe for cats, there are still risks that come with giving them iced water. Some cats will actually try to bite and eat them, which can pose a threat to their health.
1. It can damage your cat’s teeth.
As mentioned earlier, some cats will try to bite and eat ice cubes with their teeny tiny mouths. This can cause serious dental issues such as broken or chipped teeth, which can eventually result in digestion problems, choking, and mouth pain.
Majority of cats are actually more inclined to lick ice, but if you happen to have an inquisitive and adventurous pet, then you need to closely monitor the—especially when there’s ice in their water.
2. It can affect their digestive system.
Putting ice in your cat’s drinking water can obviously make the water very cold. Drinking icy cold water too much at a time can cause stomach discomfort, as well as a slowed-down metabolism if given to them on a regular basis.
3. It can create a mess.
If you put ice cubes on your cat’s drinking water, chances are, your cat will try to bob the floating cubes of ice with their mouth or paws. This can result in a big puddle of mess, which can be a nuisance if you have an indoor cat.
4. It can cause brain freeze.
Just like us humans, cats also experience an unpleasant sensation when given a frozen treat.
Whether it’s licking too much ice or biting something frozen, cats of all breeds seem to have the same dorky, open-jawed, wide-eyed reaction to eating too much frozen treat quickly. Although it’s not harmful to their health per se, it can cause discomfort and possibly, pain.
Benefits of Giving Your Cat Iced Water
1. It can help your cat drink more water.
Cats are finicky little creatures. They are very particular about everything, including the water they drink. Some won’t drink from their water bowl if it’s near their food bowl.
Others prefer drinking from cat fountains, while some won’t drink at all if the water temperature is not to their liking.
Most cats prefer drinking cool water; some actually even like it icy cold. By putting ice cubes on your cat’s drinking water, you can encourage them to drink more.
By the way, you can also encourage your cat to drink more by using water fountains.
We had a close look at water fountains to make sure that they are really safe for cats. If you have a cat who does not drink much, we highly recommend reading our article on cat water fountains here: Are water fountains safe for cats?
2. It can keep them entertained.
Apart from making drinking more appealing, putting ice cubes on their water can also help keep your cats entertained even for a short period of time. Your cat will surely enjoy batting, bobbing, and licking the floating cubes of ice in their water.
3. It makes them cool off naturally.
While cats are known at keeping themselves cool if necessary—because they’re independent little brats at that— a little help from their humans to cool their bodies can go a long way. Giving your cat iced water can surely help them feel more comfortable.
Also, do not forget to change your cat’s water frequently. If you want to know how often you should change your cat’s water and why you need to do that, read this article on changing cat water!
Alternatives to Giving Your Cat Iced Water
Apart from putting ice on your cat’s drinking water, there are other ways you can do to keep your feline friend cool during scorching hot days. Here are some of them.
1. Ice balls
Making ice balls is another simple yet inexpensive way to keep your cats chilling amidst the hot weather. All you need to do is to fill an uninflated balloon with water and place it in the freezer until it hardens.
Once it’s frozen solid, remove the ice from the balloon and place it in a deep container to catch the water as it melts. Your cat will surely enjoy hours of ice bobbing and licking.
You can also get this Froz Ice Ball Maker instead! They are cheap, and it is very easy to make ice balls quickly for your cats!
2. The Cooling Water Bowl
As we said, if your cat tends to bite the ice cubes/ ice balls, her teeth could be damaged over time. However, teeth damage can be avoided by using the K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Water Bowl.
This bowl has inner cool crystals that will keep your cat’s water cool for around 9 hours and there is no risk of teeth damage.
We highly recommend this water bowl as it is relatively cheap, and might be the easiest and safest solution here. Get the K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Water Bowl here!
What’s better than ice? Flavored ice! Make some popsicles for your cat aka catsicles by freezing the juice of either their favorite meat or fish for a delightful icy treat. You can also blend your cat’s wet food with additional water, then freeze it in ice cube trays or cups.
Frozen pureed bananas work wonders too. Apart from keeping them cool, catsicles also make a perfect mid-day snack.
4. Cooling cloth
Majority of cats hate bath time, but there are cats that don’t mind being rubbed with a cold, damp cloth especially when the weather is too hot. Rubbing your cat with a damp cloth mimics the cooling mechanism of their own grooming.
The damp cloth absorbs body heat and reduces their temperature as it evaporates. Cats have varying tolerance levels with this, so don’t force it if you see any negative reaction.
To wrap up, it is safe to put ice in your cat’s drinking water. Although cats tolerate heat better than dogs, putting ice in their drinking water can help them feel more cool and comfortable much faster.
As long as the water you use for the ice is clean, there is no reason to not give it to your cat. If you’re worried about your cat biting and eating whole ice cubes, then add crushed ice to their water instead.
Is it safe for cats to lick ice? Yes, it’s safe for cats to lick ice. Many cats are fascinated with ice cubes that’s why adding it to their water can encourage them to drink more. However, it’s important to monitor them closely when giving ice to make sure they don’t bite or eat them.
Can cats eat ice cream? Although the idea of your cat licking some ice cream sounds cute, it’s best to save the icy dairy treat for yourself. Ice cream is a dairy product and cats are not capable of digesting milk and milk-based products. Your cat may suffer from gastrointestinal upset or diarrhea if given some ice cream.
Do cats get brain freeze? Yes, cats can also get brain freeze just like us humans. Although the cause for the reaction is still up for debate—some say it’s due to tooth sensitivity, while some say it’s because of the sudden dilation of blood vessels— it’s safe to say that they experience an unpleasant sensation when given some frozen treats.