Fluffy Furry Meow Logo
Is pool water bad for cats?

Is pool water bad for cats?

August 13, 2023

FluffyFurryMeow is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page.


Cats are known for their curious and adventurous nature, often exploring every nook and cranny of their surroundings. As responsible cat owners, it’s important for us to ensure the safety and well-being of our feline companions. One common concern that arises during the summer months is whether pool water is bad for cats. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this topic, examining the potential risks and providing practical advice to keep your cat safe around pools. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding Pool Water Composition

Is pool water bad for cats?

Before we can determine whether pool water is harmful to cats, it’s crucial to understand its composition. The majority of swimming pools are treated with chemicals such as chlorine to maintain cleanliness and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. While these chemicals play a vital role in disinfection, they can pose certain risks to our furry friends.

The Impact of Chlorine on Cats

Chlorine is widely used in swimming pools due to its effectiveness in killing bacteria and other pathogens. However, exposure to high levels of chlorine can be detrimental to a cat’s health. Cats have more sensitive respiratory systems compared to humans, making them more susceptible to the effects of chlorine fumes.

When cats inhale or ingest chlorinated water, it can irritate their respiratory tract, leading to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Additionally, chlorine exposure can cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal problems if ingested.

Risks Associated with Pool Water

While the impact of chlorine on cats is a primary concern when it comes to pool water, there are other risks associated with swimming pools that cat owners should be aware of.

Drowning Hazards

Cats are generally agile and skilled swimmers. However, accidents can happen, especially if a cat falls into a pool unexpectedly or is unable to find an exit. Unlike dogs, cats may struggle to climb out of a pool due to their shorter legs and lack of buoyancy. It’s important to remember that even the most confident and water-loving cats can find themselves in dangerous situations.

To minimize the risk of drowning, it’s essential to supervise your cat whenever they are near a pool and provide them with a safe environment away from the water when you’re not around. Installing a pool cover or fence can also serve as an added layer of protection.

Chemical Ingestion

Another potential risk for cats is the ingestion of pool water containing chemicals such as chlorine or other disinfectants. Cats are meticulous groomers and may inadvertently ingest small amounts of water while cleaning their fur after coming into contact with pool water.

Ingesting chlorinated water can cause gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, some pools may use other chemicals such as algaecides or pH adjusters, which can be toxic to cats if ingested in large quantities.

Precautions for Keeping Your Cat Safe

While it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with pool water, there are several precautions you can take to ensure your cat’s safety around swimming pools.

Supervision and Restricted Access

One of the most effective ways to protect your cat is by supervising them closely whenever they are near a pool. By keeping an eye on your furry friend, you can quickly intervene if they accidentally fall into the water or exhibit any signs of distress.

If you have an outdoor pool, consider restricting access to the area using a fence or enclosure. This can prevent your cat from wandering near the pool unsupervised and minimize the risk of accidents.

Teaching Your Cat to Swim

While not all cats are natural swimmers, some may enjoy taking a dip in the pool. If you have a water-loving feline, it’s important to introduce them to the water gradually and under close supervision. Start with shallow areas where they can touch the ground and gradually increase the depth as they become more comfortable.

Remember, never force your cat into the water if they show signs of fear or resistance. Swimming should always be a positive experience for them.

Rinsing and Drying

If your cat does come into contact with pool water, it’s crucial to rinse them off with clean, fresh water as soon as possible. This will help remove any traces of chlorine or other chemicals from their fur, minimizing the risk of ingestion during grooming.

After rinsing, ensure that you dry your cat thoroughly using a towel or hairdryer set on low heat. This will prevent them from becoming chilled and reduce the likelihood of skin irritation.


While pool water can pose certain risks to cats, by taking appropriate precautions and being vigilant, we can ensure our feline friends stay safe around swimming pools. Remember to supervise your cat closely, restrict access to pool areas when unsupervised, and provide them with alternative sources of entertainment away from the water.

If you suspect that your cat has ingested a significant amount of pool water or is experiencing any concerning symptoms after exposure, it’s essential to seek veterinary advice promptly. By prioritizing safety and following these guidelines, you can enjoy a worry-free summer while keeping your beloved feline companion happy and healthy!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents
Products Reviews