Quirks & Quarks

Quirks & Questions: Can cats really drink saltwater?

Could a castaway cat survive?
Cats, unlike humans, can drink saltwater if necessary, though it is not recommended. (Caspian Blue/Wikimedia Commons)

This week's question comes to us from Scott Ross in Kelowna, B.C.

"I heard that cats can drink saltwater, is that true? Can they actually sustain themselves just on saltwater for days or weeks, or are they just like us and have a limit of how long they can drink saltwater before they, too, suffer dehydration?"

This was a tough question to answer because very little research has been done on this topic. But Dr. Alexa Bersenas, an associate professor in emergency and critical care at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, did some digging and came up with an answer.