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I recently watched this video. I couldn't find the original video. The contents are:

some glass bowl/cup contains water with these fake swimming fish > cat gets curious > cat dips a paw into water trying to get at the fish > cats takes paw out and licks off the water > repeats.

I thought that it was a great way to get my cat to drink more water and have some fun. These fish are probably made of plastic and I'm not sure if the motor which powers them emits anything dangerous into the water.

Is it safe for my cat to drink such water?

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  • Is your cat having a specific problem with not drinking enough? – General Nuisance Jun 16 '16 at 22:16
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    Does it really matter? I'm just interested in whether it's safe or not. (I realise that this comment may come across as a bit blunt/harsh, which is not the intention at all!) – Irregular User Jun 16 '16 at 22:25
  • Well, I'm just wondering because it doesn't strike me as the best idea... If there is an actual problem, it might work, but in my opinion (and I don't own a cat) I would be concerned about the cat getting at the plastic fish, that is assuming that they aren't poisoning the water. If it is solving a problem, than I can see either justifying the risk or trying to find a better option as viable paths, but also consider that your cat may be drinking enough already. Make sure you tell us what you end up doing! – General Nuisance Jun 16 '16 at 22:54
  • Thanks for the good intentions! My cat doesn't actually have drinking water problems, but there are a number of videos upon searching of cats drinking water which contained these kind of fake swimming fish. I too am concerned about the hygiene of the water (which is why I had asked the question in the first place). It's just that I found it easier to ask my question from a first person point of view :) – Irregular User Jun 16 '16 at 22:58
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    @JamesJenkins This isn't the case here, but I appreciate the concern! And yes, that is probably the issue which I wanted to avoid - unfortunately people don't always link back to the source so I couldn't actually find a youtube link. The contents are: some glass bowl/cup contains water with these fake swimming fish > cat gets curious > cat dips a paw into water trying to get at the fish > cats takes paw out and licks off the water > repeats. – Irregular User Jun 17 '16 at 11:33
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I have not seen the video, but I read the description in the comments.

My concern with this scenario is that cat fountains get slimy pretty fast (definitely within a week). If not intended as a drinking fountain, the parts are likely not easy to clean (ridges and pores for bacteria to grow in).

Additionally, since it's unlikely that food-safe plastics were used, they may leach heavy metals (commonly found in bright colored paint) into the water.

I can't think of any concerns with the motor. A motor used in a water toy should be adequately sealed from the water to prevent shocks. If it leaked oil or other fluids into the water tank, it wouldn't last very long (unless there was a method/instructions on how to replenish these fluids, which seems unlikely).

We cannot say definitively whether this is safe or not (the videographer may have made this tank specially to be a water fountain and used the proper materials!), but it seems in general to be a bad idea.

If your cat is not drinking enough, the best method to increase their hydration is to encourage them to eat wet food. After that, consider adding a cat water fountain that is easy to clean (cats don't like gross water).

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