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Home > Cats > Can Cats Drink Ice Water? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Drink Ice Water? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There’s nothing more refreshing than a big glass of ice water on a hot day. Since we humans enjoy ice water so much, many people also wonder if they can provide their cats with ice water. After all, cats can get hot in hot temperatures, just like people. Is it safe to give your cat ice water, though? Yes, cats can safely drink ice water.


Can Cats Drink Ice Water?

It’s a good way to help keep your cat cool when the weather is hot. Many cats are more likely to drink water that is cool or at room temperature, so adding ice to the water may help make the water more palatable to your cat. Since cats tend to consistently drink too little water, providing your cat with ice water can help increase their water intake. This is especially important in hot temperatures when your cat is more likely to become dehydrated.

Keep in mind, though, that cats have a higher base body temperature than humans do, which means they have to “work” harder to maintain their body temperature. This is why cats enjoy laying in hot sunbeams and near heaters. Because of this, temperatures that may seem uncomfortable to you may be comfortable for your cat. Aim to provide your cat with cool water, but your cat likely won’t need ice added to their water until temperatures get pretty hot.

Cat drinks water from the icy stone fountain
Image By: Alexander Varbenov, Shutterstock

Can Ice Water Help a Cat Experiencing Heat Stroke?

Providing your cat with ice water should be done as a treat or to help keep a healthy cat cool in warm weather, but it should not be used in the care of heat stroke in your cat. It’s extremely important that you do not attempt to use ice to cool your cat if they are experiencing heat stroke. Putting ice-cold water on your cat or attempting to get them to drink it while experiencing heat stroke can cause your cat to go into shock, which will make the already dangerous situation even more dangerous for your cat.

If you suspect heat stroke, contact your vet immediately for the best guidance, which may include bringing your cat to the vet. In the meantime, room temperature or slightly cool water can be used on your cat’s body or the area around them to help cool them, and the use of a fan can help safely cool your cat.


In Conclusion

Ice water is safe for your cat, and many cats prefer cool water. This preference for cool water makes ice water a smart addition to your cat’s water since it will encourage them to increase their water intake. This can be important in hot weather, especially if your cat goes outdoors. Some cats may like to play with the ice cubes in their water, while others may avoid drinking ice water, instead preferring refrigerated water without ice cubes.

While ice water is safe for healthy cats, it should not be used in the treatment of heat stroke. Rapid changes in body temperature due to the use of ice water can lead to shock, which can be deadly.

Featured Image Credit: Bru-nO, Pixabay

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