Is Water Making Your Cat Sick?

Is water making your cat sick? Is it making YOU sick? It’s fairly common knowledge for American’s not to drink the water in undeveloped countries because of the risk of diarrhea. Yet we take for granted the water coming out of our faucets (“tap” in the UK) at home.

I’m not sure about the water supply in countries outside of the U.S.. Here we have a choice of two kinds of water coming out of our tap. The first is “city” water, meaning pipes have been run from the home and tied into a system where a company provides water for a charge. The second is well water, meaning the source of home water comes from a well dug on the property. Both of these have their dangers.

Cat Drinking Water From Bathroom Tap
Cat Drinking Water From Bathroom Tap (faucet). Photo by tinali778.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I’d like to start with well water first. I had well water back in the mid 1980’s. The taste was pure and there was no smell to it. The main concern with well water is to have the well dug as far from the septic system as possible so it doesn’t contaminate the water. One contaminate in well water that can cause diarrhea is sulphur. When sulphur gets into ground water it can cause hydrogen sulfide gas. Sulphur contaminated water can be treated with chlorine, but you’re putting yourself in a Catch 22 situation if you have to add one chemical to offset another. It’s easier to just install a filter. I can tell the readers here from experience that migraines may be caused by sulfites and nitrates. So if you have well water and it smells bad and you’re suddenly having headaches, keep that in mind.

I noticed a change in my cats when I moved back to the city in November of 1993. My gray tabby cats lost their beautiful silver sheen. Within six months, their fur had a brownish tint. I invested in a water filter once that happened and their fur once again grew out gray/silver. It was easy to determine the problem as this was the only change in the diet.

Most “city” water companies release a yearly report with specifics of the quality of the water. If you’re not satisfied with the report, there are companies out there who will test your water for a small fee. Even if you have the purest well water, it’s good to do an occasional analysis, especially if it develops an odor or you begin having digestive trouble.

The water where I live has become quite nasty over the past few weeks. The chlorine smell is stronger. In the U.S., chlorine is added to make the water safer and fluoride is added to help teeth. For those of you who think fluoride is a good thing, Google “skeletal fluorosis.” Sealy has developed a bit of diarrhea since we noticed the change. His tests didn’t pick up anything out of the ordinary. No parasites or other illnesses. One of my friends has a cat who had diarrhea. I told her it could be in the water and suggested a water filter for her faucet. Since installing one, her cats bowel disorder has gone away.

There’s a protozoa called Giardia that thrives in contaminated drinking water. Parasites may cause diarrhea in cats over a period of time. Giardia can come on suddenly as well as violently in cats.

Today I took my own advice and purchased a PUR water filter for the faucet. It’s exactly like the one I had years ago and cost $20. There are also pitchers with a built in filter. Those last for about 40 gallons while the faucet kind is good for 100 gallons or more before it’s changed. My cats go through a LOT of water.

There’s more to worry about that bad taste and chlorine and fluoride side effects. Until recently, people were told to flush old drugs down the toilet if they had reached their expiration date. This has really taken a toll on our water systems. According to a report released by USA Today back in 2008, antibiotics, mood stabilizers, anti-convulsants and sex hormones have been found in the drinking water of at least 41 million Americans. Between people flushing unused drugs and the body eliminating a small portion of ingested medications, this is a major concern that’s affecting drinking water everywhere.

Here are some of the problems unfiltered tap water may cause.

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headaches (sulfites)
  • Cancer (chromium, radon)
  • Bone cancer (fluoride)
  • Acne
  • Joint pain

I also read a few articles concerning weight loss and not to expect it to happen if you’re not filtering all of the water you drink. Something about good bacteria in the body being offset by chemicals in the water. It makes sense.

Water filter systems are a good investment. It’s cheaper than buying distilled water (although that’s an option. There are also online instructions to make distilled water at home). The rule of thumb is the costlier the system, the more contaminates it will filter out. Also, think of the thousands of plastic bottles that can be kept out of landfills by using a good water bottle and filtered tap water!

I didn’t intend for this article to turn into how unfiltered water can affect OUR health. It just turned out that way. I’m not going to list a bunch of references of articles I read up on while doing this article. If you’re interested in learning more about how tap water may cause a medical condition, just Google “does tap water cause __________.” Several topic will pop up.

This is very scary. Unfortunately, it’s legal. Water is allowed to have a certain percentage of contaminants and still be determined safe for drinking. Every now and then an area will have a “boil water” order on the evening news when contaminants are found. Other than that, we usually trust the government and our water companies to keep our drinking water safe.

Readers, we have to take matters into our own hands when it comes to the health of our cats as well as ourselves.

Have any of you had any health problems you believe were caused by the water in your home? Did they go away when you purchased a water filter? I’m just curious.


Original photo on Flickr.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

45 thoughts on “Is Water Making Your Cat Sick?”

  1. Elisa Black-Taylor

    I’m still wondering whether filtered water is better than distilled water. I’ve heard distilled water will prevent UTI’s

  2. Seems ;like the water was the problem – her fur is coming back, though not as thick as it was. I tried to upload a couple photos, but got an error.

  3. My cat had been chewing the fur off her belly and hind legs for about 6 months – not to the point of causing injury, just like she was itching. Other than that she was fine, so I decided to try home remedies before taking her to the vet.
    I first tried changing the kitty litter (dust free, chemical free) and there was no change, then I tried a different cat food (grain free, high protein) and there was no change, then I decided to try giving her only bottled water (our tap is city water) – within days her fur is coming back. Finally after so many trials we have found the cause!

    1. Wow is my response. That is extremely interesting and well done. It seems the water was causing an irritation in her skin. Perhaps an allergic reaction. I’ll do some work on that and try and do an article because it is, for me, the first time I have heard tap water causing this sort of reaction in a cat. Thanks Laura.

      If you have time please comment again in around a month to confirm that the benefit is permanent.

    2. This is why I am at this thread today as well. My cat recently does what I call “angry licking” at his sides and has no fleas or other indications of why. Despite using a Brita filter I suspected our water is bothering him and possibly myself as well.. I’ve discovered (as stated above in the thread) that cheap home filters only reduce certain contaminants – not completely remove – and some they don’t touch at all such as fluoride.. Good news is after just a couple days with high quality bottled water ( note some have been shown to still contain fluoride etc) he hasnt stopped completely yet but it has been greatly reduced already. Now I’m trying to decipher which potential contaminant is in my water…

      1. Many thanks for your comment which I found very interesting. I wonder if it caused an allergic reaction causing itching.

  4. my cat breaks out in scabs all over her body when The toilet seat is left open and she drinks city water. Mostly I try to keep her on distilled water. How do I get rid of this allergy?

    1. Hello Gladys. Thank you for visiting and commenting. The first question I have is whether you are absolutely certain that drinking toilet water causes the scabs. The second question I have is whether this is an allergy. If it is an allergy then removing the cause, namely the allergen, should remove the allergic response. Therefore, if you stop your cat drinking the water the allergy should subside and gradually disappear. If you do block off the toilet to your cat and subsequently she stops drinking the water and the scabs don’t go away then you would have to conclude that there is some other cause.

      There is a page on this website which lists out the causes of scabs on cats.

      This may help you. Please keep in touch to update us if you can. And good luck to both you and your cat.

  5. Hi and thank you for the informative article. I haven’t posted on a board in many years but something compels me to do so tonight.

    My little cat has been having some serious health issues and I am concerned that water may play a part. Your article was helpful so I continued reading and came upon… Sylvan.

    Yes, his words can be read as hostile, arrogant, condescending or all of the above. However, not to defend him, but considering the fact that if, indeed, he is an analytical chemist his words were to correct misinformation only. Sometimes when addressing subjects directly, words may sound abrasive, cold, etc.

    What he said about facts is true! Maybe he’s a stickler for evidence, moreso than most, considering his profession. Regardless, he had important information and I was hoping to read further and learn more, as another person had asked him for more info.

    But…one individual who could not let go of Sylvan’s attitude, based on his writing only, decided to harp on it and now the guy is gone…with knowledge about water filters everyone seemed interested in.

    I’ve seen it happen in years past when I was a member of a community group. Subject started, discussed, unpopular comment that someone takes personally appears, all Hell breaks loose, the topic is tossed aside, the thread becomes an unprofessional show of interpersonal dysfunction.

    Yes, putting a name in quotation marks can be seen as highly sarcastic OR extremely grammatically correct. And yes, I would have been leaning towards the former had it been my name or nom de plume. But…before assuming and behaving as if one’s assumptions are facts by leaving behind a relevant topic to attack some random possible jackass…find out the correct answer. Ironically, facts are what Sylvan initially addressed.

    Either way, be he a sterile speaking, science-minded, grammatical perfectionist or a condescending know-it-all troublemaker, YOU (as in lady that just REFUSED to stop digging and put gas on the fire because she couldn’t control her emotions over words on her monitor), ruined it for people like me – the ones looking for information for important reasons and enjoying an article hoping to learn more in the comments.

    Irony No. 2 – Me – So Sylvan was run off before divulging the rest of his info and one person singlehandedly made a cat water thread about her anger which makes the site look bad to people like me. Here I am, ranting worse than probably anybody ever has at the entire community/site, like a person that’s batshit crazy. Why? Because it is just infuriating to see this type of thing still happening, to be worried about my cat but perusing the Internet as happily as possible, then…****POOF!**** As it seems that the answer lies around the curve Sylvan and his info is gone. Thank you, lady.

    Please pardon the lack of editing and remaining typos.

    With all due respect to the author of the article, I sincerely enjoyed and found it helpful.

    1. Hi Dee, Thanks for visiting and commenting. I am sorry to hear that your cat has some health issues. I am not sure anyone put Sylvan off from writing anymore. I don’t think Sylvan wanted to add more. The responses to the comment were nice.

      Back to your cat. I guess you have tried purified water instead of tap water or even bottled water. In the UK tap water is considered purer than expensive bottled water.

      I would try purifying tap water using a relatively cheap purification system.

      What about this sort of thing:

  6. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

    If a person is concerned about the fluoride they can purchase a more expensive filter (which may end up removing beneficial minerals as well) or buy bottled water. There have been problems reported with bottled water too. I buy Dasani, which is a Coke product. I trust the Coca-Cola bottling company, maybe because my dad used to work for them, so there it is. Others might say I’m wrong to use all those bottles. No one can please all people. But I know that whatever is added to my tap water was making my cat sick. Once it got so bad between diarrhea and puking that he had to go to the vet. Hairballs played a role there, but with his underlying chronic diarrhea it was worse than it needed to be. More recently I took him to the vet because he was dragging his butt on the carpet all the time. The vet said chronic diarrhea can lead to infected anal glands. Poor Monty is semi-feral and has a horrible time with the vet. It’s probably terrifying for him. So Elisa’s advice is very valuable to us in this case. It worked! Monty has been diarrhea free for over a month! He’d have stretches of a few days without, or even a whole week, but then again with the runny poops. Changing his water has had the single greatest effect for curing him. Obviously, Elisa was right! My husband can’t drink our water either, due to a chlorine allergy. Perhaps Monty has the same problem, or perhaps Elisa is right and cats’ systems are sensitive to chlorine. Is flouride a problem? I can’t say because bottled water doesn’t have flouride, so I don’t know if it was the chlorine or the flouride. Obviously, for Sealy, it was the chlorine. Can flouride be harmful? Maybe. It’s not pop science to ask that question. I think it’s a very good question, but answering it is probably beyond the scope of this article. Elisa suggests we research that and come to our own conclusion. But I think we should question whether things added to our water are really good for us and for our cats. It’ll take more than one article to answer those questions, obviously, so I can’t really see the harm of Elisa raising those issues. I also think it is very rude for Sylvan to keep putting Elisa’s name in quotes. Elisa is her pen name, which is a very common thing to have, and the choice of the name she writes under, a very personal decision for her, should be respected. Add information, sure, but personal attacks demean this site. There are far too many trolls on the Internet. At PoC, even when we disagree, we treat each other with respect. Michael sets a good tone of civility for PoC, which we do well to imitate.

    1. Thank you Ruth. I use my middle name, my maiden name and my mothers maiden name as my pen name. I went by Elisa Black for awhile but there are several with that name. Adding the Taylor made me unique.

      As for now I’m through being demeaned by an outboard motor.

  7. “Elisa”, you made claims for removal of flouride conducing to feline health benefits from activated carbon filters. Your claim is invalid inasmuch as activated carbon filters for home use DO NOT remove fluoride, nor do they remove all those other things you claim. Your PUR model is a TWO STAGE filter and probably contains antibacterial materials, the this is not the common PUR or Brita filter in general home use.

    Please note that were her filter actuallly to remove what she claims they filter out–cysts, bacteria, etc. claimed by her, it would need to be a so-called milli-pore ceramic filter impregnated with silver, and such filters require significant hydrostatic pressures to get the water through them. None of the unspecialised filters remove virii at all!

    Please note that the photo you have posted of your PUR box makes no claims for flourine removal. In the US it is not permitted for common home-type filters to remove flourine which is added by law (as flouride, a toxic industrial by product)for claimed dental health benefits, to which Michael has correctly alluded.

    Now if one wants to install comprehensive ion-exchange resin based filtration systems. then one can achieve most of what Elisa claims insofar as the *chemistry* is concerned, but a huge problem remains: ALL of “Elisa’s” “evidence” is ANECDOTAL and scientifically worthless in establishing what “Elisa” wants to establish; but she has not presented such filters to us. They are extremely expensive and require recharging with acids and bases; and they require analytical controls.

    Michael: you beg the question and the form of your query to me assumes that which is to be proven. This is a well-known logical fallacy. Not least because all of “Elisa’s” “evidence” as she has presented it is anecdotal, she has proven nothing about water and cat well-being; she gives us only the rather trivially obvious opinion that bad water (whatever that is) is not desirable for animals. You both have not brought forth scientifically valid papers and studies of this in cats and seem to agree that such have not been accomplished, but then go on to assert conclusions *as if* there were valid, scientific proofs.

    Time and again, “Elisa” presents us with pop science at its worst. It is so very disappointing. Lately she does not even attempt a good review of the literature about which she writes, assuring us that she has done her homework and that, in lieu of citations, we will have to trust her and can do Google searches. Mind, there are much better literature searches fo these sorts of things tnan Google (although Google has an alternative search, Google Scholar, which is better tha nothing.

    I care a very great deal about cat companion animals, and “Elisa” says that she does, too. But as an analytical chemist, I must protest. A colleague called to my attention “Elisa’s” piece, and I was moved to respond.

    1. Sylvan please tell us what chemicals we need to worry about. I’m seriously interested.

      I never meant to misguide anyone. That’s why I said the costlier the filter the more it would remove. I’m sure our readers are smart enough to read the box.

      Please recommend a filter for home use.

    2. And my PUR filter is the basic $20 filter from WalMart. I don’t go as in depth on articles as I used to because people complained they were too long.

      Thanks for the Google Scholar tip.

    3. Thanks Sylvan for the great comment. I know you are criticising Elisa because you know a lot more than she does but I love the fact that you have added good information. The important point though is that Elisa brought the subject (how water could affect cats) to the attention of people and then people like you have made the page more complete. For me that is how a good page often works. It is a community effort. I don’t think we can criticise Elisa for writing “pop science”. I don’t think Elisa is trying to write science at all. She is writing as a concerned cat lover and raising a flag about water quality and the possible use of filters. Also I think we should be careful in criticising people who have the courage to write and be published. They are sticking their heads over the parapet and are prepared to be shot down. A lot of people are too fearful to do that. I would rather praise Elisa for flagging the subject and then add information to make the science better.

      1. My cat always drank tap water until we relocated. He ate the same food, but the water was different, smelled and tasted different. He developed crystals, therefore began urinating outside of his box. I suppose he associated pain with his litter box. Took him to the vet, and sure enough crystals. I switched him to bottled water. No more problems. I’m still trying to figure out if I should get a water filter system or not.

        1. There is a really interesting comment, Gail. Thank you very much for your observation. It certainly adds to the page. I am not sure that a filtering system would be economically viable. Caps don’t drink a lot of water anyway and if you buy bottled water for yourself then you could share it with your cat and that may work out cheaper in the long run. I’m just guessing though.

    4. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

      Anecdotal evidence can also be valid. There are few studies backing up the use of mechanical traction tables in physical therapy, but mountains of anecdotal evidence. Not only is traction used routinely in clinics, insurance companies reimburse for it, despite the lack of studies. Studies should be done, but in the meantime it will continue to be used in clinics, and patients will continue to find temporary relief from its use.
      Elisa has two anecdotal instances where intractable and chronic diarrhea was cured through giving cats water without chorine. Sounds like a good start to me. The absence of scientific studies and peer reviewed papers does not mean the topic can’t be written about. How do we get to the point of studies being done without people first calling attention to the subject?
      By the way, according to Ron Gaskin, DVM declawing surgeries were never peer reviewed nor studies done on the effects of this surgery on cats. This doesn’t mean we can’t talk in anecdotal terms of the harm of this procedure. That is where the push starts for the studies to he done.
      Not every article is a scientific paper ready for peer review. To hold Elisa to that standard is silly. Some articles are just anecdotal pieces, written primarily for entertainment or to get people thinking about a topic in a new way. Elisa’s article was aimed at readers on a cat website who might be concerned about chlorinated water affecting their cats. I think she adequately covered the topic for this forum. She wasn’t submitting a scholarly paper or writing for a scientific journal.

  8. It is so sad that someone, anyone is not supporting the POSITIVE from this site. I understand each of us having differences but please people… try to keep a site that is dedicated to helping animals and humans alike a good spot.

    1. Thanks Amber – well said! I tend to approve almost all comments because I like to show the world what all people think, good and bad. You are right. The whole site is about respecting and admiring the cat.

  9. I support Elisa. My cat had chronic diarrhea for three years. The only thing that stopped it consistently and totally was getting him off Milwaukee city water. Elisa was the only one who thought of the water as the culprit.

  10. My personal view is that Elisa makes a very good point. Commercially produced water does contain chemicals that have been deliberately introduced to help human health but no one has done any work on how it affects cats and cats have particular digestive systems. This is a valid post and it is the only post of its kind on the internet as far as I know.

    1. Michael a lot of people don’t believe a thing I write. I was looking at a page last night about another Waggin’ Train dog treat death. I wrote an article about that for you months ago to warn people because these treats are still being sold. I was concerned for cat lovers because my cats like to play with the dog toys and I can picture a cat betting sick. Others are still just trying to make me look bad. I personally don’t care anymore. I write about things I’d want to know about myself. If I help others that’s great.

      1. It goes with the territory of being a well known cat and dog internet presence. People like to shoot people down. I agree – don’t even think about it. In fact treat it as a compliment LOL.

  11. These filters are not rocket science. They are basically carbon/charcoal and a few other filtration compounds. It’s been well known for, I dunno, centuries that charcoal is an excellent filter, and for many decades that it removes chlorine and other metals from water. You can smell the difference in many places between tap water and water put through these simple filters. I sure can from my tap. I don’t want to cede too much more power to corporations, but they are not all bad or out to fleece us entirely.

    1. I worked with a 70 year old gentleman who drank nothing but filtered water from his $400 filter system. He said his filter removed 70 contaminants. He ran around like the “energizer bunny.”

      Our water has only recently developed the chlorine smell. The filter fixed that so we’re happy. I just can’t figure out why the water where I work is great unless its well water since I work near a dam.

  12. According to information I found online the carbon filters are approved by the EPA to remove chlorine. Some chlorine can sneak by the filter, so I suppose companies selling filtration systems cannot claim to remove all contaminants. But according to what I found PUR and BRITA should be able to remove most chlorine. We use a similar filter on our shower head, because my husband is allergic to chlorine. I works well enough to allow him to shower comfortably. We switched to bottled water because the filtration system we bought had very, very expensive replacement filters, to the point that bottled water is actually cheaper. I do make sure to recycle all water bottles I use. If I’m at work and can’t find the recycle bin I just bring the bottle home to recycle it.

    From what I read, some water filtration systems will even remove parasites, however, once you start removing everything (such as through distillation) you will also end up removing things your body needs such as calcium and magnesium. Most experts don’t recommend drinking distilled water.

    I highly doubt Elisa’s water is contaminated with cryptosporidium. That usually happens when a town or city gets its water from a lake or river and there is farm runoff. Or in Milwaukee’s case, sewage dumping into the lake from their non-separated sewer system. I was inaccurate in my earlier comment. It wasn’t a few people who died in Milwaukee’s 1993 crypto crisis (the worst ever in US history) it was about 100. Milwaukee is a city with its collective head up its collective rear end, sitting on a combined sewer system that’s like the elephant in the room no one will talk about. I think my friend Paul is right to avoid drinking from bubblers.

    To say Elisa’s article is dangerous is just silly. Most US cities do not screw up as bad as Milwaukee when it comes to their water. Filtering water, using bottled water or choosing to trust your tap water are personal decisions with pros and cons for each. Besides, if her article went into too much detail on individual water filters, it could easily have become overly technical. And since she never did tell us what brand she chose, we certainly can’t judge whether Elisa’s filter will be effective for her and her cats.

    Elisa’s cat Sealy is completely healed now, so whether she was overzealous in debriding his wound or not is a moot point. That cat saw a vet weekly, so I can’t see how he would not have stopped her if she was disturbing healthy tissue. Necrotic tissue or infection does need to be removed from a wound, and unless I actually saw the wound I am not prepared to say that she was not debriding the wound properly. Since it is healed now, I hardly see the point in bringing it up. Also, all antibiotics will take out some beneficial bacteria. If a home remedy has antiseptic properties and it worked, I don’t see the problem with it. It’s not like home remedies were used in the absence of veterinary care. Again, the vet was informed of everything that was done. Also, Sealy is now healed, so again I don’t see the point of bringing that up now.

  13. PUR, BRITA, and similar activated carbon type filters DO NOT REMOVE FLUORIDE, NOR DO THEY REMOVE PATHOGENS. Their literature says as much.

    Elisa’s post is dangerously ill-informed! Again! Just as when she advocated the use of nano-silver for her cat’s serious fan blade injury, or picking the scab continuously off. The MAYO clinic definitvely debunks such use of nano-silver. Anyway, if, as is claimed, nano-silver is a “universal antibiotic and a universal anti-viral” , then it would also destroy the beneficial intenstinal flora.

    1. Thanks for your comment Sylvan. As you are expert on water filters and other things, could you please tell us in another comment what things water filters do remove and whether you think that in removing these things the water is less likely to cause health problems. In other words do you believe that mainstream water quality could have a detrimental effect on a cat’s health. If so I’d say that Elisa’s article has some value, don’t you?

    2. Since Sylvia is the expert, I guess I should ignore the box which says it removes pharmaceuticals, mibrobial cysts, lead, mercury, benzene, asbestos, pesticides, herbicides and chlorine. The more expensive filters are “lying” claiming they remove more.

      As for Sealy, who is perfectly healed, please feel free to call Greenwood Veterinary Hospital, Kinard Animal Hospital as 5 vets told us to keep the scab picked off.

      I pity people like Sylvia. I’m doing my best to help cats and dogs thru my writing and Sylvia has nothing better to do than find fault with me.

      Michael I’m sending a photo of the back of the PUR box to show their “lies.”

      Update: Here is the picture..

        1. This is an old thread but I’d like to point out that box doesn’t say “remove” it says “reduces” which is a very important distinction particularly as it doesn’t specify by how much for anything listed. Also filters like this don’t remove flouride.. (Which can be an allergen to cats). Im no expert but in my recent research of this topic that seems to be to be the case with most simple and most affordable filtering systems. However its certainly much better than nothing and glad it worked for op’s cat.

  14. I think Rudolph is correct that if your body is accustomed to it, there can be things in the water which newcomers would not be able to tolerate. It’s sort of how my friend Paul became violently sick for nearly a week, whereas my late husband and I just had a stomach ache. We had been exposed from the very beginning of the problem and as the contamination grew worse we also were building immunity. The big problem is when someone has a compromised immune system, for whatever reason. People died during Milwaukee’s crypto crisis. What was an inconvenience for most was fatal for a few. I think it would be the same if you had elderly cats who were otherwise not very well contaminated water would be more dangerous for them. I don’t think cats, at least some anyway, ever can adjust to the chlorine and flouride added to city water. Monty had a diarrhea problem since he was a kitten, and the only thing that’s given him lasting relief is changing his water to bottled instead of tap. If I overfeed him, or he eats too much grass outside I’m sure he still will have problems, but before changing the water he’d suddenly get the runny poops even when he hadn’t been outside to eat a bunch of junk that could get lodged in his intestines or when I had been very careful about quality and amount of food he was getting. It was just such a mystery. So I am grateful to Elisa for helping us solve the mystery. Monty thanks you too!

  15. Have toured and visited 26% of the globe, having lived for over 7 years in Kenya and 5 months in England with my permanant home being Mumbai.I personally feel that its basically your digestive system that plays an important role in water borne diseases and hence people or cats having unfiltered water as in most Asian Countries, including Mumbai develop a better immune system to water borne diseases than people and cats brought up from birth on drinking purified water.My cats are perfectle normal drinking normal tap water of Mumbai as are the human habitants.Agreed, sometimes the well water has excess salinity and hence not drinkable, the same used for washing puroses only.

    1. I think you make a very good point, Rudolph. When I was in India in 1971, a steam train driver offered me some of his lunch, a rice meal. Being naive and not wanting to hurt his feelings I accepted. His food nearly killed me. I was food poisoned for 2 weeks and lost about a stone in weight. I was already thin at the time. For him, his food kept him alive. For me, it nearly killed me.

  16. I know at the beach the water is horrible. We either would take jugs from home or buy spring water at the grocery. There was a week long period back in the early 1990s where the water in Greenwood was so bad you couldn’t even drink coffee or tea made with it. They had put too much of a chemical in it. You should have seen Laura and me putting the filter on. We had to watch a YouTube video because unscrewing the tip of the faucet was opposite to what I was used to. I got totally confused. Now the water taste great and I’m sure the cats appreciate it.

  17. Monty hasn’t had diarrhea since I’ve been giving him bottled water. He gets one bottle a day. I take it to work with me, so it’s easy just to share with him and it’s not that expensive. Most places I work I take one bottle of water and then just keep refilling it at the bubbler (Milwaukee speak for drinking fountain) but some places have terrible water. Since I work for a staffing company I go all different places. Waukesha water is terrible. People say it has a sulphur smell. I can’t smell it, but it tastes nasty. Now that I know sulphur in there can cause migraines, I really will avoid it.

    In the early 1990’s I got cryptosporidium from Milwaukee water. I was living on the east side so we got some of our water from the Lynwood Ave plant, one of the the affected water filtration plants. The one on the south side, the Howard Ave plant, was worse, but we definitely had it in our water. It caused really bad stomach pains. My husband and I thought we were both getting ulcers. On Easter day 1993 he says, “They have that boil advisory, but I’m sure it’s fine, they are just covering their butts. They probably already fixed the problem.” So I drank the water and had to play the organ on Easter with my stomach hurting so bad I thought I was going to die. My friend Paul, from Cedarburg, who had had no exposure to the water got diarrhea really bad after he came to help me pack for our upcoming move and I had nothing to offer him in the house but water to drink. “Have another glass of water, Paul. Would you like some more water?” He must have thought later, as he languished for days with stomach cramps, that I had been trying to kill him. To this day he will not drink out of any bubbler in Milwaukee.

  18. I have never really considered tap water a potential problem but it definitely is. British water is very good but I think they add something to it but I can’t find out quickly on the internet what it is – typical. Probably chlorine and fluoride, the same as the States. It seems possible that some cats might be allergic to these chemicals. It makes me think. And thanks for the post Elisa.

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