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Cat drinking out of fish tank.

June 12th, 2007, 06:46 PM
So, all of a sudden Smoke has taken to drinking out of my goldfish tank. It is a 30 gallon heated and filtered tank that sits in the bedroom. Because of the size of my filter the whole back behind the light is open and anything I have used to cover it has been pushed in or kicked off by Smoke so she can get to the water. I try to spray her to deter this but she does it when I am sleeping or not home.

My concern is: is there anything in the water that could make her sick?
Can she get worms or something if I am feeding the fish frozen blood worms?
What about the stuff used to filter the water or the bacteria added to the water that grows in the rocks?

Anyone know anything about fishwater and cats?

Thanks... :)

June 12th, 2007, 06:54 PM
I really don't know much, so take this with a grain of salt!

My dad had fish for years when I was a child. My siblings and I would often help out with the aquariums and we were always told to be VERY careful with fish water! My dad explained that the water had the potential to harbour very serious zoonotic diseases that we would not want to catch. Since then I've always been careful to wash my hands well and to keep my mouth closed when handling aquarium water.

I don't know how true this is, but I do know that aquariums are kept warm enough for bacteria to thrive and that because the average fish owner (and probably even pet store staff) aren't fish experts, that it's possible that fish would be carrying diseases that would go unnoticed.

With all of that said, I'm sure that it's not uncommon for cats to play in aquarium water and that with all of the things our pets play with outdoors, that some fish water probably isn't going to do too much damage. But I do suggest that you find a solution to the problem before kitty or the fish get hurt. But that's easier said than done!

June 13th, 2007, 02:20 AM
I think it more depends on how fresh the water is and what fish-food are you feeding your fishes with! Maybe there are some components your cat needs and that's the reason she's getting that water so desperately!?

June 13th, 2007, 03:12 AM
yummy! fish stock! how good is that to a cat!

you can buy covers that are cat proof in aquarium stores, I used to have one...

June 13th, 2007, 03:15 AM
Yeah, that's another alternative - cat proof cover, must be some thing out there! :)

June 13th, 2007, 05:57 AM
Dahmer,I worry about my cats drinking out of the bird-bath,but it's always changed before we take the cats out.
Also,Chico is always drinking from the most awful spots,puddles etc..I know coons and other creatures are around at night,I always have to watch him:frustrated:
Smoke is probably hoping a little fishy will accidentally slip in to her mouth,I hope it's not bad for her:fingerscr

June 13th, 2007, 06:10 AM
Yes, you need to be careful with that!

June 13th, 2007, 09:34 AM
LOL.... ya these little fishies are the size of her head... not a snack kinda fish. I have three huge goldfishies (was 5 but 2 passed on and got the flusheroo recently :sad: ) and a big 7 inch algae eater... I think they'd give her quite a fight! I'll have to look for that cover thing, anything I've fashioned so far she's been able to move. Caught her drinkin again today when I got out of the shower... she's so sneaky.:rolleyes:

June 13th, 2007, 11:20 AM
Perhaps your kitty would like a pet water fountain like this one from Petmate:

Some cats just prefer their water more oxygenated than the "still" water from their bowl, which could partly be why she's attracted to the fish tank.

June 13th, 2007, 11:55 AM
I had an acrylic cover made for my tank with the cutouts for the tubing for the spray bars and the filters. A window fabricator or even a glass or mirror supplier can probably do it for you.


June 13th, 2007, 03:33 PM
Do this - buy another fish tank .. with the same configuration .. and same content except - fishes... and see, which one your cat will chose! :)

At least this way you will know, whether fishes are involved or it is just oxygenation ! :)

June 13th, 2007, 09:57 PM
Depending on what type and size of tank the OP has, this could be a very expensive proposition!!

krdahmer, I suggest you look at aquarium supply stores, not general pet supply stores that sell fish stuff. A proper aquarium store will have a solution for you, it's not an uncommon proble you have there!

Be prepared though, your kitty will be unimpressed without his daily bouillabaise though!

June 14th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Perhaps your kitty would like a pet water fountain like this one from Petmate:

Some cats just prefer their water more oxygenated than the "still" water from their bowl, which could partly be why she's attracted to the fish tank.

Yes they loved their fountain, we had one for a year or so, but they all developed feline acne due to the plastic the fountains are all made of. :shrug:

We have a regular fish supply store and I will ask the owner if he has any ideas, he may sell something we can use. She is drinking right in front of the outflow pipe so I think it is the freshness factor she likes, so I have added an extra bowl in the house and I already change it daily.... maybe I'll have to go twice daily or more. The favorite spot by most here is the one I change in the bathroom sink every time I wash my hands. I think she also just likes to drink where the boys are not drinkin... less likely to get picked on that way, so maybe I'll put a bowl out near the fish tank just for her..... hm....that's somethin to try! :)

June 14th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Fish water can harbor some pretty nasty bacteria, but in general cats and dogs are pretty resistant to amounts of bacteria that would make us very sick. Afterall, cats will drink water out of puddles outside with no ill effects (assuming there aren't any chemicals mixed in), and will also drink water from goldfish ponds and such.

I HAVE heard of pets getting sick from drinking fish water out of buckets when the owner was siphoning the gravel in the tank, but in that case you are siphoning fish waste directly from the gravel which probably has much higher levels of bad bacterias.

Just to be safe I would still try to prevent her from drinking out of the tank, but I don't think there's an extremely high risk of her getting sick.

I rarely have a problem with my cats drinking from the tanks, but I have tight fitting glass hoods on most of the tanks and the plastic part on the back is cut to fit tightly around the filters. There are six tanks set up, not including the saltwater ones, so they have plenty of chance to try it. Your best bet is probably to get a hood that you can make fit tighter, or if you have glass hoods you can buy the plastic backs by themselves.
You could also try putting tape over the parts that are open if you don't mind how that looks.
Oh yeah, I also meant to mention that you could try building a wood canopy if your carpentry inclined, or if someone you know is. You can also buy canopies, but they can be pretty expensive, though sometimes you can find them used for a good price.

Yes they loved their fountain, we had one for a year or so, but they all developed feline acne due to the plastic the fountains are all made of.

I've seen several fountains that are made out of either metal or have metal bowls. I'd either try looking online or at a farm supply store. A lot of farm supply stores carry pet products, and tend to have heavier duty stuff, which often means metal instead of plastic. The one here has several pet fountains in different sizes, all metal.