Watching our cats drink fresh water is always a thing of joy. Like us, drinking is also an inevitable part of their lives. Kittens acquire their required hydration mainly from freshwater.
But, some kitties can be very picky about water, and they can choose saltwater over freshwater. Although saltwater offers adequate sodium, potassium, and hydration to our bodies, is it helpful for the cats? Also, the discussion inevitably raises a question: can cats drink saltwater? So, if your cat also prefers drinking salt water, the following discussion can help you make the right decision about its health.
Can cats drink saltwater?
Yes, cats can drink salt water, but too much consumption can result in serious health issues in kitties. Since a massive intake of saltwater elevates the salt content in the body, kitties cannot tolerate the high amount of salt in their bodies.
So, if cats drink too much saltwater, it can invite multiple health issues like dehydration, lack of appetite, and lethargy. So, cats can drink a tiny amount of saltwater.
Scientists have found that cats can solely depend on saltwater, but only for a shorter period.
So, how is it even possible? We all know that cats have more sturdy kidneys than human beings. So, such biological differences let them filter out adequate salt from the saltwater.
Plus, the activity allows them to rehydrate from that. Since cats were not domestic animals many years ago, they could live on whatever water and food they found outdoors. It was natural for them as they had to survive and thrive outdoors.
Plus, the situation demanded the kitties to adapt to any environment and condition.
That is why cats can live on saltwater for a short period. Also, some cats bear a high endurance against saltwater and can intake such water in larger quantities than other cats. It is because of their ancestors.
For instance, most domestic cats are descendants of African Wildcats.
Since the Wildcats live in an arid region, they often go through freshwater scarcity. That is why they need to depend on other sources for hydration, like saltwater.
Although the modern domestic cats are descendants of these Wildcats, they do not have such high tolerance against saltwater.
So, from this discussion, we can conclude that our modern domestic cats can drink saltwater in a safe amount. But, they cannot solely depend on such water to survive.
Should you let your Cat Drink Salt Water?
No, never allow your cat to drink salt water as such encouragement can let them consume more salt than needed. From the previous discussion, we have concluded domestic kitties can drink salt water for a while.
But, too much intake of salt or salt water can lead to several health issues in cats.
That is why vets never recommend using salt water as the primary source for the hydration of cats. You can allow your cat to drink saltwater only if necessary, or no other options are available.
But you may think if the Wildcats out there have the adaptability of drinking saltwater, then why should your pet kitten not consume saltwater! The Wildcats have the surviving adaptability in any environmental condition, and their wild lifestyle crafted them like this.
That is why they can depend on saltwater whenever they experience a lack of fresh drinking water in their habitats.
Due to their unpredictable lifestyle, the Wildcats can survive for a few days drinking saltwater. But, modern domestic kitties came into existence because of cross-breeding.
So, you cannot expect all the qualities of Wildcats to be present in them. Also, being domestic animals, they do not have a high salt intake tolerance. That is why domestic cats should not consume saltwater, as the high salt intake can lead to dehydration and other serious health issues.
But all cats can tolerate a small amount of saltwater consumption as their kidney can filter the saltwater to produce concentrated urine. Still, as a responsible pet parent, you should not allow or encourage your kitten to drink saltwater for an extended period.
What are the Effects of Salt Water on cats?
Since consuming too much saltwater elevates the sodium level in cats’ bodies, the phenomenon can lead to serious health problems, like dehydration, lack of appetite, and lethargy. Many of us know that cats can tolerate a tiny amount of saltwater.
But an excessive amount of salt can be dangerous for domestic cats. Although their kidneys have more ability to flush out the entire disposal than ours, it does not translate that they can consume extreme amounts of saltwater.
Since domestic kitties receive an adequate amount of salt through their daily diet, excessive saltwater can adversely impact their bodies. Cats of different ages can experience multiple health issues after consuming extra saltwater.
Some common health problems your kitten can show after drinking salt water for longer can include excessive thirst, lethargy, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Even sometimes, vets diagnose cats with a disease called hypernatremia. If any cat experiences this health issue, the poor animal has a massive amount of salt in its blood.
So, if you do not monitor your kitty’s diet chart and let it drink salt water for longer, your pet can also show up with this issue. Such a phenomenon can even lead to the death of your adorable pet cat. Excessive amounts of saltwater can elevate the toxicity in the blood of kittens.
What to do if your cat drinks saltwater?
If your cat drinks excessive saltwater, immediately seek medical help. As mentioned earlier, high salt consumption can lead to several serious health issues, like excessive thirst, concentrated urination, and sodium ion toxicity.
Even though kittens generally feature saltwater tolerance and low saltwater intake does not bother them, you should not risk your cat’s life. That is why if you catch it drinking saltwater, immediately offer the cat plenty of freshwater.
While the regular water quenches their thirst and rehydrates their system, it also helps them flush out unnecessary salt through urination. But, always remember, the home remedy works only if your feline intakes a small amount of saltwater.
In the case of excessive saltwater consumption, immediately call for medical help.
Also, try to monitor it closely to detect any abnormalities in its behavior or health. Long story short, a tiny amount of drinking saltwater does not hurt your cat. So, do not worry about such issues.
But, excessive consumption can even make your kitten obsessed with saltwater.
So, try to keep an eye on your pet to detect whether it is showing such behavior. Plus, provide plenty of fresh water to your cat so that it does not feel the requirement of drinking saltwater out of thirst.
Although cats can consume saltwater for a limited amount, excessive saltwater can make kitties fall ill. So, try not to let your cats drink any type of water other than regular freshwater.
Even if it accidentally drinks plenty of saltwater, offer the kitten clean water. Freshwater helps the body of domestic cats filter out unnecessary salts through urine.
The method can be helpful even if your cat consumes a massive amount of salt directly. But, if the situation gets out of control, immediately head out to the nearest vet. Any delay can result in the worst consequences.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.