Should I provide bottled water to my cat?

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Here’s the bottom-line on this question: It really comes down to your personal preference.

Many insist bottled water is purer and safer. Others say it’s nothing but a gimmick, a waste of money. The truth is, though, that tap water may actually be safer and taste better in certain areas (like here, in New York City) so, unless you live in a third-world country, you’re probably protected by strict requirements.

Here’s a list of pros and cons. You decide!

Pro:

Purity: Tap water sometimes has chemicals or rust that can hurt a pet, and if you live in an area that has hard water that’s always full of a lot of rust, bottled may be the way to go.
• Taste: Some pets and people are very sensitive to taste. You might live in an area where the tap water has a less than appealing taste. Or, you might live in an area where the taste changes only at certain times, say, when the reservoir is switched so you might want to use bottled water only at those times.
• Standardization: A pet’s digestive system is so delicate that even the slightest change in diet, including water, can cause tummy upset. If you are traveling, bottled water will provide that safety net.
• Convenience. Bottled water has portability and it can be easily resealed. If you have a lot to carry, it could be a good choice. Also remember that while tap water is readily available in urban areas, sometimes it can be more difficult to come by in the more rural ones.
• Storage. You can keep it on hand for storms or other emergencies where water systems are damage, or if you just can’t get out.

Cons:

• There are pretty strict regulations in developed countries about what can be drunk, so the contaminants could be equal or even less than that of tap. Therefore, unless you live in an area that has hard water, bottled water could just be a waste of money.
• Water bottle is not great for the environment. You can recycle or reuse them, but it still uses energy and increases the carbon footprint.
• Cost: You’ll certainly do pay for those bottles. Tap water is far less expensive, or even free.

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