If you want your pet to stay hydrated and healthy at all times, you need to get a cat water fountain.
However, why do we need to give our furry pals a fountain? Can't we just let them drink from a typical bowl?
There are several reasons why you need to have a cat water fountain for your pet.
However, first, let us try to look at their drinking habits.
Way back before cats were domesticated; their ancestors mainly lived in the deserts.
In the wild, most of their water intake came from their food. The meat of their prey has a high-moisture content which provides them sufficient liquid.
Mainly, this explains why felines living in the wild usually don't drink water from streams, rivers, and lakes. They only rely on the liquid content in their food to stay hydrated.
On the other hand, domesticated cats don’t have the freedom to hunt their prey just like in the wild.
Instead, they solely rely on the food that we're giving them. Moreover, of course, the food they get from us is entirely different from the meat they get from the wild.
Commercial cat food and processed meat don’t have the same amount of liquid content compared to fresh meat.
It is therefore essential to give them additional ounces of water every day.
They may be domesticated, but they still acquired some inherent traits from their wild ancestors.
Since their ancestors typically don’t search for H2O to drink, domesticated cats also are not the most diligent drinkers.
Some cat owners often experience some trouble in persuading their pets to drink anything.
Our pets need to drink liquids to survive. If we neglect to provide them with sufficient water, they might end up getting sick due to dehydration.
Insufficient liquid intake can result in a myriad of feline health problems such as diseases in kidney and urinary tract.
You've probably tried using water in a bowl and saw them walking away from it. However, what is precisely the reason why they're not enticed to drink from a jar?
Cats typically don't like to drink out of still, stagnant sources. Thus, this is why some kitties will tap the water in the bowl with their paw before they drink it.
When they do this, expect to see some liquid splashing on the floor, and it could get a bit messy.
In most cases, pet owners usually place the water into their food bowl. After the food bowl is emptied.
Naturally, our feline friends would refuse to drink it because they like their water clean and fresh.
Hence, a bowl can’t provide a satisfactory liquid source for your kitty. So how can we entice our pet to ingest water without any hassle and mess?
There is only one solution to this problem: a cat water fountain.
Reasons Why You Need To Have a water Fountain For Cats
Fortunately, water fountains for cats are widely available on the market. They come in different designs, and they offer distinctive features of their own.
Generally, a pet water fountain is specifically designed to make the water appear more appealing to your pets.
Manufacturers considered a feline’s instinctive habits and preferences when it comes to drinking water.
It's no secret that felines are one of the cleanest animals in the world. Also, it's not because they are self-consumed or vain, as others portray them to be.
However, it's because they observe proper hygiene and cleanliness as integral parts of their well-being.
They won't drink liquids that looks dirty and contaminated.
A cat water fountain circulates the water to aerate it and keep it fresh. It makes use of filters to strain and remove any impurity from it.
Cats are enticed with the sound and the movement of running water. That is why a cat water fountain mimics the dynamics of a running faucet.
Moreover, a stale source will indeed turn them off. Keep in mind that your primary goal is to get them to drink more.
You can accomplish this by making the container look more attractive to them.
With a drinking fountain for cats, the waterfall dynamics will surely entice them to drink.
So you can ensure that they're drinking nothing but clean and pure water with the help of its built-in filters.
No matter how picky or stubborn your kitty is about drinking, the best cat water fountain will make liquids interesting again.
If that is not enough to convince you in buying one, let us give you more reasons why you should have a cat water fountain for your pet.
Cats need safe water to drink
We all know that every living creature needs to drink liquids to live.
H2O transports oxygen through the bloodstream and into the cells. It helps eliminate waste products through the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys.
Moreover, it also regulates body temperature and moisturizes the lungs.
However, not all liquids are safe to drink.
Contaminated water can pose harmful effects when ingested. Although cats will spontaneously reject contaminated H2O, some of them might be compelled to drink it when they’re too thirsty.
Even with cats, contamination is more likely to cause long chronic health effects.
So when does water becomes contaminated?
Stagnant water can harbor harmful bacteria by giving them an ideal and stationary environment to grow and develop.
Felines seem to possess an innate knowledge that if water isn’t moving, it’s not safe to drink.
That is why they prefer flowing or running water because they know that moving liquids are safe.
Accurate enough, disease-causing bacteria cannot develop under flowing liquids because the constant motion disrupts their growth.
Plus, a pet water fountain incorporates a water filtration system to ensure pure drinking liquid that’s free of any impurity.
Reviving a cat’s thirst drive
Unlike most living creatures, cats don’t demonstrate a strong thirst drive. They usually don’t show any signs that they are in need of liquids.
Hence, this makes it difficult for us to ascertain whether they're thirsty or not. Also, the worst thing might happen if we neglect to quench their thirst.
One of the main reasons why they have a diminished thirst drive is that they find their liquids source unappealing. So don’t be surprised if they turn their backs on bowls.
To reinvigorate their desire to drink, you need to consider their natural preferences. For them, flowing H2O that looks and smells fresh is irresistibly attractive.
A cat water fountain is designed based on this concept. The only way to persuade a cat to drink is to provide it with water that perfectly suits its taste.
Physical ailments caused by insufficient water intake
Since cats don’t typically manifest any signs of being thirsty, you have to be more vigilant instead.
A shiny coat and elastic skin are signs of sufficient intake and good health.
However, if your cat is losing its skin elasticity, has sunken eyes and a dry mouth, you need to consider these signs.
These signs could be symptoms of dehydration, and you seriously need to address this issue immediately.
Insufficient liquids intake can lead to more severe health implication called urethral obstruction. Moreover, this happens when there's a blockage in the urethra, the tube that connects the bladder to the urinary meatus.
Since the urine cannot pass through the urethra, this can lead to more serious implications that could result in death.
Urethral obstruction can be associated with insufficient liquid intake. The blockage can be in the form of very concentrated urine that gradually turns into a plug in the urethra.
Symptoms of urethral obstruction may include:
So this is where a cat water fountain can come in handy.
Cat drinking fountain will surely encourage your furry friend to drink more and stay hydrated. A well-hydrated body will improve their overall health.
If you notice some of the symptoms stated earlier, getting your pet to drink more water can significantly help.
However, if symptoms persist despite giving it sufficient water, bring your pet to the vet immediately.
How to Choose the Best Cat Water Fountain
Before we present our list of recommended brands of pet water fountain, let us give you some tips on how to choose the best cat water fountain.
You need to consider two things before you buy one: 1) The best place to put a water fountain, and 2) the characteristics you need to look for in a water fountain.
Where should I place the cat water fountain?
If you’re planning to buy a drinking fountain for cats, you probably have an idea where to put it inside the house.
It’s good to have a pet water fountain with a stylish design that will fit into any home décor.
However, keep in mind that placement plays a vital role in enticing your pet to drink from it.
You should always consider that cats are sensitive when it comes to eating and drinking. They don't want their water source anywhere near their food.
Place the fountain away from their food bowl. Furthermore, this is to prevent bacteria in decaying food from contaminating the water.
Furthermore, they want their water free of any smell. The aroma of nearby food, while they're drinking, can turn them off.
More importantly, do not place the fountain anywhere near the litter box.
If the aroma from food can gross them out, what more if you place their water source near their wastes?
Keep their food and water sources away from their litter box. You’ll need to put the food bowl, the drinking fountain and the litter box in 3 different rooms.
To further encourage your pet to drink, place the fountain in a quiet place where it can drink peacefully.
The sound of flowing water is another way to attract your kitty. That’s why you need to make sure that your pet hears nothing but that soothing sound.
Never put the fountain in a high traffic area where there are noises and so much juddering.
A drinking fountain for cats comes in a wide range of different designs to choose from. If you want to consider its aesthetic attribute, you can select the color, size, and shape that can suit your taste.
Like I said earlier, it's a nice look for a sophisticated or trendy design that can complement your interior. However, the functionality and useful features should be taken as the top priority in choosing the best cat water fountain.
Characteristics of a kind cat water fountain
Take time to study the quality and the features of an item before finally deciding to purchase it. However, what particular attributes should you look for in a cat water fountain?
The best cat water fountain should possess the following characteristics:
All pet water fountains are using a filtration system that purifies water by removing dirt and impurities.
The two types of filtration system used by cat drinking fountains are mechanical filtration and chemical filtration. A pet water fountain can use either one of these two types.
Mechanical filtration makes use of a sponge or foam filter surrounding the pump or through the area where the water flows.
The sponge or foam filter effectively strains cat hair or other debris from flowing into the drinking receptacle.
On the other hand, chemical filtration makes use of a particular type of carbon called activated charcoal.
This material can absorb even the tiniest impurities and toxins. It can also absorb unpleasant odors and disagreeable tastes.
With an activated charcoal filter, your kitty can enjoy drinking fresh-tasting and pure water.
Another fantastic thing about activated charcoal is that it can be safely ingested with no ill effects.
You can ensure the water’s freshness as long as it circulates and passes through the carbon filter.
Now here’s the big question: which filtration system works better?
While the mechanical filtration keeps the water clean by removing debris and hair, it may not be able to absorb toxins.
If we try to compare the performance of sponge and carbon when it comes to filtration, the winner is obvious.
Choose a fountain for cats that use chemical filtration to ensure that your pet’s getting the best quality of water.
Safeness of Material
Manufacturers are utilizing different types of material that provide different levels of quality and performance.
Most cat drinking fountains are made of plastic materials. Pet owners have different opinions with regards to their own experiences with the plastic-type.
Some owners claim that plastic fountains have caused chin acne on their cats. At the same time, some owners have been using plastic fountains for years without any issue.
Given these points, it's important to assess first if your kitty is allergic to plastic or not. The appearance of acne is an allergic reaction to plastic.
While it’s true that plastic fountains are the most affordable ones, you need to consider your pet’s condition first.
If your feline buddy is allergic to plastic, avoid using food bowls and drinking fountains that are made of plastic.
There are ceramic cat water fountains that you can buy instead of the plastic-type. Unlike plastic, there are no known allergic reactions to ceramics.
However, you should be extra cautious when buying a ceramic cat water fountain because it might contain lead or other toxic colorants.
You can also opt for a stainless steel cat water fountain. Plastic fountains are likely to develop scratches which can harbor bacteria. However, that won't be the case for stainless steel cat water fountain due to its high strength and corrosion resistance properties.
Although it's an uncommon case, there are a few instances where cats can develop allergic reactions to metal. So you have to be vigilant and immediately detect these reactions once they arise.
Ease of Cleaning
The water may be continually moving but leaving it for several days or weeks without changing isn’t a good idea.
Change and refill the fountain with water every 2 - 3 days. However, brands are offering superior filtration system that can purify the water to up to 5 days. It means you'll only have to change the water every five days.
Take note that filters are not forever. A decreased water flow in the fountain means that the screen has been obstructed with so much debris.
The activated charcoal filter should be changed every 2 – 4 weeks depending on the number of cats using it. However, if you notice a slimy feel or more debris on the water, you need to change the filter immediately.
Regardless of the material used, it is still important to clean the unit with hot soapy water once a week.
A cat drinking fountain’s length of life will depend mostly on the pumps’ durability.
The pumps are the ones that circulate the water throughout the unit. So without the shoes, a cat drinking fountain is nothing more than a standing water bowl.
Most pumps can last for several years. However, in the case that they suddenly stopped working, you can buy replacement pumps to keep the fountain working again.
Look for brands that offer a warranty for at least a year. They will replace the pumps or any faulty components free of charge within the warranted time.
Aesthetics may or may not matter to you. However, if you're planning to place the fountain in a visible area, then you might consider its appearance.
After considering the tips on proper placement, you might have an idea for the best possible spot inside your house.
If the best spot is somewhere where the guests can see, you might want to look for a fountain with a stylish design.
Manufacturers are coming up with their unique designs from classic to contemporary models.
Appearance should not be the top priority, but it would be refreshing to find an appealing fountain inside the house.
Before we give you the different pet water fountain reviews, let us tell you beforehand that these brands have varying rates.
You can get them from around $35 to $150 or more.
However, don't just rely on the price alone. A higher rate isn't a guarantee that a brand would last longer than the cheaper ones. Likewise, a lower rate doesn't automatically means that a brand is of inferior quality.
Now, this is when you must be talented in getting the best deal ever.
It's wise to compare the price, but you should focus more on the features that you'll be getting from each model.
Write down all the brands that meet all of your pet’s requirements and preferences, and then compare their prices.
Remember that you’ll be using this product for several years so think of it as a wise investment.
Top 5 Brands – Cat Water Fountain Reviews
Here are our top 5 picks for the best cat water fountain on the market. For the cat water fountain reviews, we’ve presented their key features, as well as their pros and cons for further comparison.
1. PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Cat Water Fountain
It attracts your pet to drink more water with its new free-falling circulating stream that adds oxygen to keep water fresh and crisp.
PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier fountain is made of BPA-free plastic that is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
The carbon filter effectively removes terrible odors and tastes, so your pets are enticed to drink no matter how picky they are.
Carbon is made from coconut shells that have undergone a carbonization process where all elements other than coal are thoroughly eliminated.
When oxygenated, this carbon becomes activated to absorb chlorine or other contaminants from the water.
PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier fountain has two levels of the trough where your pets can drink. It is ideal for multi-cat households because they can drink from the bottom in the form of free-falling water. Alternatively, they can drink from the upper dish where the water seems to emerge.
The unit can hold 100 Oz of fresh filtered water.
How it works
Although this plastic fountain comes with a carbon filter, you have the option to use it or not. Most of the humming noise can be eliminated if you remove the filter.
However, to ensure safer and cleaner water for your kitty, it is highly recommended to use it. Besides, the humming noise from the filter isn't too much of a distraction.
Before you install the carbon filter to the unit, rinse it first to make sure it is free from any impurity.
Remove the top dish of the unit and slide the filter down in the back of the bottom tray. The taller side of the screen has to face the end of the bottom tray, and the black part has to face the pump.
Be careful in removing the top dish. Since it is made of plastic, brute force might crack or break it.
Also, make sure that the filter is placed in the right position tightly.
Return the top dish to its position. Fill both the top and bottom toughs with water. After that, plug the unit in to make the fountain start working.
Keep the unit full of water because the motor usually gets noisy when the water level reaches below 24 Oz.
The carbon filter should be replaced every 2-4 weeks.
Clean the entire unit every two weeks. Excluding the pump, clean the group with the use of the dishwasher machine. The pump should be washed by hand.
As long as your pet is not allergic to plastic, then you might consider this brand.
Another issue is that when the water level gets low, the fountain tends to make noise that may scare the cats.
However, you can solve this by keeping the unit full with water and make sure the water level doesn't go below 24 Oz.
Overall, it's a good cat water fountain that you can get at an affordable price. Remember though that you need to clean the unit more often as plastic is known to harbor bacteria.
2. Catit flower Fountain
The Catit Flower Fountain is known for its trendy and fun design. However, there's more to it than its cutesy appearance.
This product offers three water flow settings to satisfy any picky drinkers.
The flower on top allows the water to pour between the petals, forming streams of water for cats to drink.
You can remove the yellow part (bud) of the flower to form a bubbler style fountain. Alternatively, you can remove the entire bulb to create a gentle water flow.
Catit Fountain is designed to entice cats to drink water as it flows. It doesn't have a basin to contain the water, so your pet has to drink straight from the running water.
This feature can be a good thing for some cats. However, there are also those that are not comfortable with this drinking method.
It employs Triple Action Filter that removes calcium and magnesium from tap water. These minerals can cause urinary tract diseases in your pet. Removing them from the water helps reduce the risk of potential health problems.
Plus, the filter also removes chlorine, bacteria, and debris from the water.
The unit can hold 100 Oz of water, and it has a small footprint that won't take up much of your space.
How it works
Catit Flower Fountain ensures that all the water is filtered before going up to the surface.
The package comes with different components such as the reservoir bucket, pump, circular filter, flower, bud, filter lid and bucket lid.
Fill the reservoir with water, the pump at the bottom of the bucket will circulate the water and drive it to the surface.
The water flows down to get filtered by the circular filter. So the water becomes purified when it returns to the reservoir.
When the pump recirculates the water, only filtered water is pumped back to the surface.
For the power cord, Catit Flower Fountain uses a USB plug. You may need an electrical outlet because the cable is rather short.
Just like any other pet water fountains that are made of plastic, Catit Fountain is also susceptible to bacteria.
You will need to wash this unit every 2 – 3 days to eliminate the possibility of bacterial development.
Moreover, as long as your pet isn't allergic to plastic, this product can be an excellent value for your money.
While some cats enjoy drinking straight from flowing water, your pet might find it bothersome. Again, you need to understand your pet’s requirements before you buy a drinking fountain.
3. PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Water Fountain
One of the best features of this product is that it is available in both plastic and stainless steel materials. So you can choose your preferred material with the same design and functionality.
It has an adjustable flow control tap that lets you choose from 5 different water flow settings.
The unit can hold a sufficient 128 Oz of water which makes it great for pets of all sizes.
Your pets can easily access the fountain due to its innovative 360-degrees design.
Another fantastic thing about this product is that it uses a two-stage filtration system that utilizes both foam and activated carbon filters.
The high-performance pump pushes the water through the foam filter where large particles and debris are removed.
Then the water passes through the activated carbon filter where toxins and other contaminants are thoroughly removed.
How It Works
The high-performance pump circulates water and pushes it through a foam filter and activated carbon filter for thorough filtration.
You can expect nothing but fresh, pure water free from impurities, bad odors, and unpleasant tastes.
It comes with five different spout designs to let you choose the number of holes to use.
For a single cat, using one hole is enough to create a single-flowing stream. For multiple pets, you can open up to 5 holes to accommodate more pets to drink at once.
You can also twist the Flow Control Cap to increase or decrease the flow strength.
Refer to the instructions included in the package manual that provides detailed directions on installation, disassembling, cleaning and maintenance.
If you’re using the plastic type, you need to clean it more often to prevent bacterial growth.
If your cat has no issues with plastic, then it's advisable to go for the less expensive plastic-type. However, if your cat is hypersensitive to plastic, the stainless steel cat water fountain should be the best option.
However, regardless of the material, you'll get the same functionality and features that made PetSafe Drinkwell become the most trusted brand.
Due to its additional customization features, assembly and disassembly can be a bit challenging. This is because it comes with more parts that you need to put together to keep it working.
However, you'll see that it's all worth it once you get to experience its benefits.
4. Cat Mate Pet Fountain
This plastic fountain for cats provides not just two but three levels of drinking stations. It is made of non-toxic plastic that is dishwasher free and easy to clean.
The replaceable polymer-carbon filter keeps the water fresh and free from odors and unpleasant tastes. So your pets can enjoy clear, oxygenated water just the way they like it.
It uses an isolated pump system (IPS) that makes the pump very silent when operating.
You can adjust the water flow strength by choosing the pump’s output (min or max).
The unit can contain up to 70 Oz of water, which is lower than other pet water fountains on the market.
This fountain also has a ramp that reduces water splashing.
How it works
Since the pump and the filter are installed inside the unit, you’ll have to set the pump’s output before placing it into position.
For detailed installation, refer to the instructions in the package manual.
After assembling the parts, fill the three stations with water. Plug the unit in and let your pets enjoy the fountain.
Maintenance is easy and straightforward as the unit (except the pump) is dishwasher safe. The carbon filter cartridge can be easily disassembled, and the replacement cartridge easily slides into position.
A drinking fountain with three levels of drinking stations sounds promising. Not to mention, this is one of the most affordable pet drinking fountains available.
One of its striking features is its super quiet operation that your pets can hear nothing else but the calming sound of flowing water.
Another advantage of the Cat Mate fountain is its ease of disassembly and maintenance. Well, they probably designed it that way because you'll need to clean the unit as often as necessary.
There are some issues regarding the durability of the pump, and you're likely to replace it more often compared to other brands.
Likewise, you will need to replace the polymer-carbon more often especially when you notice some little particles escaping into the surface.
However, hey, a 3-year warranty should be more than enough to cover these faults, right?
5. isYoung Cat Fountain
One look at isYoung Cat Fountain and you’ll probably mistake it for the Catit Flower Fountain.
So it wasn't just the appearance.
Just like the Catit Flower Fountain, isYoung Cat Fountain also offers three different water flow settings.
Putting the flower on top creates a faucet-like stream. Removing the bud form the flower produces a bubbling surface fountain. Also, removing the entire flower creates a gentle water flow without the waterfall effect.
Moreover, just like the Catit Fountain, the cat has to drink straight from the flowing water because it doesn't have a basin.
However, aside from those features, everything about isYoung Cat Fountain is distinctive on its own.
It comes with quick-release parts to allow easier disassembly for more natural cleaning. Disassembly has been a lingering issue in the maintenance of pet water fountains, and isYoung has finally resolved it.
The unit is made of PP resin that has antibacterial properties. While it’s true that plastic can harbor bacteria, it can be treated to inhibit bacterial and fungus formation.
This fountain works with a premium activated carbon filter that keeps the water tasting fresh by removing impurities and odor.
It has a water capacity of 56 Oz, and its circular design allows multiple cats to access the fountain quickly.
Additionally, it has a noise-canceling property to let your pet enjoy a peaceful time with the fountain.
How it works
The unit should be cleaned at least every two weeks. However, if you're living with hard water, you should clean it once a week.
You may notice some tiny black particles in the fountain. However, don't panic, these are some residual charcoal dust from the filter. These can be safely ingested without any side effects.
To prevent the carbon filter from shredding, rinse it thoroughly with water before you place it inside the unit.
Replace the charcoal filter every 1 – 2 weeks depending on the number of cats using the fountain.
The pump can last to up to 4 years. However, you might want to replace it when it suddenly produces too much noise or the flow strength suddenly decreases.
There’s a ‘min’ mark that indicates that the water level is too low. Refill the fountain with water when you see this indicator.
If you only have one kitty at home, then you can never go wrong with this brand. If you have a multi-cat household, then you should look for another fountain that has more water capacity.
The trendy, flowery design is a plus. So its unique quick-release feature is a real convenience.
Again, they designed this fountain to be easily disassembled because you’ll need to frequently clean it. But not as often as other plastic fountains because this unit has added some anti-bacterial properties.
If you're looking for an affordable fountain that will efficiently provide clean, safe water for your feline friend, then isYoung might be your answer.
Choosing the best cat water fountain should be a breeze now that you know the things to consider before buying one.
However, even considering all these things, you may still find your pet being suspicious of it.
If this is the case, fill the fountain with water and put it where your pet can easily see it. However, don't plug in the unit yet, leave it that way for a couple of days. Alternatively, until the kitty has learned to get comfortable with it.
Wait until your pet begins drinking from the fountain. Also, when that happens, plug the unit in and set it to the lowest setting as to not to startle the cat.
It would take some time for your kitty to fall in love with the drinking fountain. However, with a little bit of effort and strategy on your part, you'll gradually lure it towards the basin.
When the right time comes, you can now set the fountain to higher settings to let your pet indulge in a more refreshing water source.