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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Cat Spit

I don't know if this qualifies as the strangest question on TPT but I am sure it is up there. Anyway: is cat saliva dangerous for fish? I have a betta in a 2g bowl shaped like a giant brandy snifter. I change 100% of the water weekly so there is no filter in there and currently only silk plants (I hope to add live plants at some point). Anyway, one of my cats has decided it is his private water dish and had been drinking from it. Is this bad for the water quality and the betta?

The betta does not seem to be bothered. In fact, last night when I saw Mandu doing this, I also saw Yuki the betta swim right under his mouth, checking him out and looking like he has no cares in the world.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 09:00 PM
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Ironically this has been asked before, the consensus if I remember correctly, its not recommended to let them, but I don't believe there was anything dangerous about it

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 09:02 PM
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I asked this question before and most of my responses were that it's fine but possible flea medicines could cause problems. Others said they let their cats do it for a really long time with no problem. I personally didn't like it, not for the fish, but for the cat. I'm sure the water tastes better to them (and if you have a filter, the running water is probably irresistible) but I rather my cat have clean water. Because of that, I make sure I have a lid on my tank that the cat has access to (in my case, a mesh top on the kitchen counter)

Also I would watch out for the the cat reaching in and hurting the betta. I guess it depends on your cat's personality but mine is really docile but he's reached in there before when fish were near the top. He didn't get anything but that's more fur/crud in the tank water than I want.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 09:05 PM
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Cat saliva and claws have special bacteria on them that can kill small animals, it's pretty well known among bird-owners...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartonella_henselae is one of the many.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 09:26 PM
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my cherry shrimp are still alive. Kitty thinks their tank is a water bowl. Some double-stick tape fixed that real quick.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I guess it is not a good idea but not earth shattering.

It looks like I will need to utilize the Bad Kitty spray bottle whenever I catch him. I won't freak out too much if he manages to sneak a few laps in without me noticing, since I do change all of the water regularly.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:45 AM
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You should keep it covered anyhow as bettas are good jumpers and often jump out of uncovered bowls and die a horrible death on the floor.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 04:44 AM
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I've got a 2.5 gallon tank in the kitchen window. Planted with gravel, rocks, driftwood, a couple endler/guppy hybrids, a couple ghost shrimp and saganesque numbers of baby rams horn snails. No filter, no air pump, sunlight only, 30-40% wc every 10 days or so, top off with 60/40 tap-distilled mixture as needed. My cats use it as their primary water source (followed by the betta tank and my algae farm bowl and only then their freshly filled daily water bowl). Been that way for about a year now. No losses, no illness (fish, shrimp or cats), no problems. Well, other than having to clean cat hair off the surface now and then.
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