A cat water fountain dispenses running fresh water for your cat to drink. The water in a cat water fountain has been filtered and aerated, as opposed to still water in a cat bowl, which is prone to becoming stagnant quickly.
There is a reason cats like to drinks from running faucets as seen in countless videos online because in nature, running water signifies that the water is fresh and safe to drink.
A water fountain mimics the fresh running water that is encountered in nature.
Cats have a very good sense of smell and water that is left sitting in a bowl will not smell fresh to kitty. It is highly likely that kitty will turn his nose up at that water.
Table Of Contents
Water in a bowl needs to be refreshed daily or at each mealtime. This is actually quite time consuming when put into practice.
Why Get A Cat Water Fountain?
- Cats prefer running, clear water as it signals that the water is fresh.
- Cats often drink from faucets or fish ponds and other water sources other than a water dish.
- Some tap water can have a strong smell of chlorine.
- Automatic cat water fountains have a pump which makes sure that the water is constantly circulating.
- Water fountains hold a fair amount to water, far more than the average pet bowl. This is a useful feature if you are going away for a couple of days.
- Cats, particularly older cats can be prone to dehydration, a symptom of many diseases found in older cats.
- Elderly cats or cats with arthritis would benefit from a water fountain that has a higher base. This will eliminate need to bend almost right to the ground to drink.
- Cats with poor eyesight or are blind will benefit from hearing the running water, making it easier for them to navigate to the water fountain.
Related: As amazing as it sounds, some cats like to drink dirty water. Is it really dirty water?
Plastic Cat Water Fountains
Benefits Of Cat Water Fountains Being Made From Plastic
One benefit of a cat water fountain being made from plastic is that it’s much more durable than one made from ceramic. If your cat is prone to knocking over their water bowl, a plastic fountain is much more likely to withstand the impact.
Plastic is also much easier to clean than ceramic, so you won’t have to worry about bacteria build-up as much. Another benefit of a cat water fountain made from plastic is that it’s usually lighter than one made from ceramic, so it’s easier to move around if you need to. Plastic cat fountains are also often less expensive than ceramic ones, so they’re a great option if you’re on a budget.
1. Veken Pet Fountain
The capacity is 2.5 liters or 84 ounces.
The fountain has three different flow designs – a flower waterfall (steady stream) or a flower bubble (a bubbling fountain) or a gentle fountain (gently dispersing water over a flat surface). There will be a movement level that will suit any cat.
The pump is very quiet, below 40 dB.
The filter is composed of activated carbon and an ion exchange resin and non woven fabric forming a triple filtration system.
Easy to clean.
Easy to assemble.
Hard to see when the water level is getting low.
Quite a few cat owners online have brought up the issue of finding worms in the water bowls, or water fountains of pets. It is not just pet water bowls but can also be toilet bowls or other water dishes. This article does explain basic facts about the horsehair worm which is a parasite that lives in water. It highlights the need to clean any water fountain thoroughly. However always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
Included is the water fountain, a silicon mat and 3 replacement filters. The colors you have to chose from are blue or gray. The unit needs power. Made of PP Resin. It is recommended that the fountain and pump is cleaned every week. There are written and diagrammatic instructions and it is a simple operation. Indoor use only. Change the water and clean the fountain once a week. Replacement filters are available.
2. Catit Flower Fountain – Easy to Assemble
This fountain has three different water flow settings – a gentle water flow, a bubbling top and calm streams. Calm streams are shown in the image. You may need to experiment to find the setting that your cat prefers.
The water reservoir is 100 oz or 3 litres which is a large capacity for a cat drinking fountain. The maximum water line is on the green edge on the back of the fountain. The fountain is not noisy, more of a peaceful hum of running water.
It comes with dual action water softening filters that are specific to the product. The filters last for approximately 3 – 4 weeks and then the filtration effects will start to decrease and the filters will need to be replaced. The filter removes magnesium and calcium from tap water and also removes chlorine odors. It does not remove fluoride.
Is suitable for multiple cats .
There is also a Mini Flower Fountain with a capacity of 1.5 liters or 50 ounces.
Made from BPA free materials.
Not dishwasher safe.
Some dogs may chew the flower. The unit will still work without the flower but the streams will be long faucet like streams of water.
No automatic shut off.
The dimensions are 9 x 9 x 8.3 inches. To see the size of this fountain and how it is assembled click here. Replacement filters are available. The filters are 6 inches in diameter. The fountain needs be plugged in so consider the the length of the power cord. The cord is 5 ft long. It has a small 1-3 watt energy-efficient pump and runs on 110 volts. Indoor use only. The manufacturer recommends that the product be washed before assembly.
3. Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain – Suit multiple pet Family
The capacity of the water fountain is 168 ounces or almost 5 liters. That is a lot of water. Not being at home during the the hot part of the day means that you know your pet has enough running water.
Cats drink approximately 4 ounces per day. Check that there is always enough water in the reservoir. The pump will burn out if the reservoir and the bowl run out of water. If water flow decreases noticeably without altering the water flow, give the unit a thorough clean and change the filter.
A big plus for this fountain is that it is easy to see at a glance how much water is in the reservoir.
This item can go in the top shelf of the dishwasher which is a big plus. Even if you don’t’ do this all the time, it is useful to know that it can go in the dishwasher is needed. It has a single falling stream of water and the rate of flow of the water is adjustable. The water trickling can be heard however the pump is not noisy.
Made from BPA free plastic. If we care enough about limiting our exposure as humans we should also be thinking what effect BPA may have on our pets.
Made in the USA.
Some units have leaked water onto the floor for no apparent reason.
Specifications The unit measures 10.5 x 15.75 x 10 inches. Large water capacity – 168 ounces. Uses replaceable carbon filters. The filters should be changed when the unit is cleaned thoroughly every 2- 4 weeks. Ensure that the black side of the filter faces the front of the fountain. One filter is included with the purchase. Not for outdoor use. The electrical cord is 5.5 feet long. The dial on the front is turned to the left or right to adjust water flow.
4. Cat Mate Pet Fountain
This unit has different height water levels so your cat can be drinking from the bottom level while you dog is drinking from the top level. The filter should be changed monthly. The pump should operate quietly. If it starts to become noisy the water level may be getting too low and it will need to be topped up. The water level should not go below the minimum water line.
The base is wide and stable to keep it from being knocked over by over enthusiastic pets.
One of the most important pieces of advice with this fountain is to read the manual before setting it up.
I know that can be trying for some of us but it is worthwhile spending those minutes relaxing with a coffee and reading the manual.
The unit needs to be near an electrical outlet but does have a long cord (10 ft). Three year guarantee
If you live in a hard water area the pump may need to be cleaned every few weeks. A vinegar soak is recommended by some users to help remove the mineral deposits. There are no special tools required to clean or disassemble the pump.
This is a good reliable product.
Dishwasher proof bowls – top rack only.
Tip resistant because of the wide base.
Can be used for multiple cats. The fountain will need more frequent filling and cleaning with multiple cats.
Suitable for small dogs.
No automatic shut off.
If your cat is acne prone, the plastic may cause a flare up. In this instance a ceramic or stainless stroll cat water fountain would be a better choice.
The pump can be noisy.
The fountain measures 10.1 x 8.5 x 7 inches. The water reservoir is 3″ high. This fountain has a three year guarantee. The pump has a one year guarantee. The capacity is 67.6 fl oz. The power cord is 10 ft. The filter is polymer-carbon, replacements are available. It is recommended that filters are replaced monthly. A metal brush is included to assist with cleaning the pump.
5. Drinkwell Multi-Tier Dog and Cat Water Fountain
This is a large water fountain, so if you are thinking of a fountain for the dog and the cat this could be a good choice.
It is 100 ounces or approximately 2.9 liters and as you can see from the photo it is multi tiered so suitable for animals of different sizes.
The different levels also mean easy access for elderly or arthritic cats. The fact that this fountain (removing the pump first) goes in the top shelf of the dishwasher is a big plus because it just makes life easier. It easily separates into two parts for easy cleaning.
The fountain is made from plastic and is BPA free. There is a replaceable carbon filter which helps to keep the water fresh.
On some hard floor surfaces the fountain may need a mat placed underneath to absorb any sound.
Customer care is US based, six days a week which is about as good as it gets.
The unit can still run without the filters. The filters do significantly improve the cleanliness and taster of the water.
Easy to take apart and clean.
The water gets a slimy film. Unfortunately this is going to happen with all types of water fountain.
As mentioned above this fountain has a 100 ounce water capacity. The filters are replaceable. There are two different filters. The premium filters spread the carbon more evenly than the regular carbon filters. The pump is submersible which helps to keep any noise to a minimum. Detailed instructions are given for pump cleaning. The measurements are 11.5 L X 8W X 5.6 H inches.
Ceramic Cat Water Fountains
Benefits Of Cat Water Fountains Being Made From Ceramic
One thing I have noticed is that my cats really enjoy drinking from a running water source, like a tap or a water fountain. So when I saw that there were cat water fountains made from ceramic, I knew I had to get one for my kitties. And I have not been disappointed!
The benefit of having a cat water fountain made from ceramic is that it does not retain bacteria like plastic does. This means that the water in the fountain is always clean and fresh-tasting, which my cats love. In addition, ceramic is a very durable material, so I know that the fountain will last for many years to come.
1. Drinkwell Pagoda Ceramic Cat Water Fountain
This fountain an upper and lower dish so more than one animal can use the fountain at the same time.
The fountain is able to go into the top rack of the dishwasher. It is quick to disassemble which makes it quick and convenient to clean the fountain thoroughly.
How does it work. The fountain has a pump to recirculate the water and the filter removes any cat hair from the water plus odors and bad tastes. The carbon filter will need to be changed from time to time. You can expect to change the filter approximately monthly however if more than one cat is using the fountains the filter may need to be changed more often.
The activated carbon absorbs some water contaminants, as well as chlorine from tap water. This improves the taste and remove odors from drinking water.
Choosing a color will depend on your decor. Four color choices for this cat water fountain, two neutrals and two brighter colors.
The carbon in our filters is derived from organic coconut shells. Activated carbon absorbs basic water contaminants, as well as chlorine from tap water. This helps improve the taste and remove odors from basic drinking water.
The carbon in our filters is derived from organic coconut shells. Activated carbon absorbs basic water contaminants, as well as chlorine from tap water. This helps improve the taste and remove odors from basic drinking water.
Ceramic water fountains are an attractive part of home décor and also fulfil a practical function, fresh and continuous drinking water for the cat.
Three easy steps to clean the pump. Shown diagrammatically and with text.
Open bowl design means water is accessible from all sides. If your home loses power, water is still accessible.
From owner comments, these fountains last well and in some cases for years.
When full of water, it is heavy. A point to consider when it comes time to cleaning. Conversely heavy is good if your cat likes to to some room decorating and move the water fountain.
Does not shut off automatically.
This product is ceramic and comes in four different colors, red, white, taupe and blue. To keep water fresh it has a replaceable carbon filter like other cat water fountains. It has a 70 ounce capacity. The product is not manufactured in the US however the customer care is US based and the call center is operational six days a week.
2. PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Avalon Water Fountain
There are two levels to drink from in this fountain. In addition, the top level has two water streams and a small reservoir as indicated in the photo. This is a useful feature if you have more than one cat
Like all water fountains, sludge can build up on the filter. This fountain is easy to disassemble for cleaning so that is a plus. It is easy to clean and as with all other fountains it is a matter of removing the pump and cleaning the pump.
The fountain can go in the dishwasher if desired. Depending on how hard the water is in your area will also have a bearing on how often the filter needs cleaning or if a filter is required at all.
The filter does need to be rinsed before use, otherwise charcoal like black deposits will show up in the fountain.
The pump is submersible for a quiet operation.
Easy to take apart.
Easy to clean. Replacement filters available.
OK for dogs too, smaller size dogs.
The top dish is good for senior cats or cats with arthritis.
Can be difficult for some cats to access the top tier of this fountain.
Check the dimensions to see if this could be a problem for your cat. The dimensions are 10.6 x 12.2 x 8.4 inches.
Some cats that drank from the bottom part of the fountain got their head wet.
This is another PetSafe product and is mechanically the same as the Pagoda Cat Water Fountain, it is just a different shape. The filters are replaceable and are available online. Low voltage 12v system. You have these colors to choose from, in addition to white – Blue, Red and Taupe.
3. YOUTHINK Pet Water Fountain for Dogs and Cats
This is another quiet water fountain, an important consideration if your cat is easily startled. It is suitable for cats and dogs but realistically, small dogs to mid size dogs. The capacity is 71 ounces or 2.1L.
This fountain is ceramic and any plastic components such as the pump are BPA free plastic.
There are three different ways in which the water is dispensed. The water gently bubbles in the reservoir at the top, the water also cascades from three different areas into the larger reservoir at the bottom of the fountain.
4. PetSafe Drinkwell Seascape Ceramic Cat Water Fountain
This gray ceramic fountain provides 70 ounces of fresh, aerated, circulating water. The flow of water is quiet, so it won’t scare your kitty cat or be annoyingly noisy. This noise the fountain makes does need to be a consideration if the water fountain is in a confined space or in a general living area.
The great thing about ceramic is that it can go in the top shelf of the dishwasher (apart from any plastic components such as the pump) so already a plus plus for looking after it on a long term basis. Another plus with ceramic is the weight. Your cat or dog won’t knock this fountain over if they are inclined to knock over things as some cats are.
As with other water fountains don’t be alarmed if you see any black residue in the fountain. It will be from the charcoal filter. There are instructions about rinsing the filter before use. Bear in mind that filters do need to be changed and replaced. The filter remove odors and bad taste and also small particle debris however they do not remove chemicals.
Price wise this is comparable with other ceramic fountains. As this is a PetSafe product, customer service, call or email is 6 days a week and is based in the US.
Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountains
Over the years I have used plastic, ceramic and stainless steel feeding bowls and the one thing I like about stainless steel is that I always feel as though it is thoroughly clean. It is probably one of the reasons that stainless steel fittings are used extensively in commercial kitchens.
Pioneer Pet Raindrops Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain
This fountain is made from stainless steel and holds 60 oz or 1.77L of water.
It has a charcoal filter which needs to be replaced once a month if you have one or two cats and more often if a number of cats use the fountain. One filter is included with purchase of the fountain and replacement filters are available online.
The water comes out a slow and steady pace , it does not gush or splash and there is an adjustable slider so you can adjust the flow to suit.
The fountain is easy to take part and with the exception of the pump it is safe use in the top shelf of the dishwasher. Some people have mentioned that if there is a problem with the pump such as the motor becoming noisier it is a good idea to take it all apart and do a clean of the motor as instructed.
Here is a video that shows exactly where to place the filter and how to clean the pump. Even though this video is a few years old it still a very good demonstration with step by step instructions.
Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain
This is a larger capacity fountain holding 128 oz or 3.78L so is suitable for cats and dogs of all sizes.
The 360 degree design means that the fountain can be accessed easily from all sides, once again handy if you are more than a one pet household. If this product looks familiar that is because PetSafe have the same design using ceramic.
It has a replaceable carbon filter as is the case with other fountains and includes one filter. The filters can be purchased online in a pack of ten.
The fountain has five different interchangeable spouts to create up to five individual streams and also has an adjustable flow cap to increase or decrease the water flow rate.
This fountain is safe for the dishwasher (excluding the pump).
If this fountain is your choice make sure to place it so that your cat can get around all sides of the fountain. This particularly makes sense if you have more than one cat.
The video below is a good one to show the size of the fountain and how three cats use the fountain at the same time. The cats would have easier access to all of the fountain if it was moved away from the wall.
Catit Fresh and Clear Stainless Steel Top Drinking Fountain
The fountain has a stainless steel top as indicated by the name. It is not strictly stainless steel, it is only the top reservoir where the cat drinks from that is stainless steel. The white base of the unit, that you can see in the photo, is plastic.
Make sure not to overfill this fountain otherwise it may leak. Most fountains have clear marking regarding the water fill line. Overfilling will lead to potential leaking and thinking there is something wrong with the product when it may be simply a case of too much water. The fill line isn’t immediately obvious so the best way to describe the maximum water fill line is, fill with water to the base of the stainless steel top or where there is a bump in the plastic at the same point.
One really good point about this fountain is that it is a good height for elderly cats or cats with arthritis, they just don’t need to bend right over to get to the water.
It has a 64 fl oz capacity.
PetSafe Drinkwell Stainless Steel Zen Water Fountain
This fountains has a 128 fl oz capacity. It has a wide, water falling stream, that falls down a ramp. This provides greater access to the water and also reduces the splash and associated noise. The water flow is not adjustable in this fountain.
Being stainless steel it is perfect for the top shelf of the dishwasher (excluding plastic components such as the pump and the filter).
Customer care is US based by chat, call or email, six days a week. This is somewhat reassuring as often these days customer care can be difficult to connect with and ends up adding to any issue. The fountain is made in China as are most fountains. They are designed and tested in the US.
The activated carbon filter which removes odors and bad tastes is replaceable online.
A Cat Water Fountain In Action
If you have space, don’t place the fountain right up against a wall. Ensure that there is 360 degrees access to allow your cat or cats to approach the fountain from any side.
The video below shows the unboxing and setup of one of the super popular cat water fountains, the Catit Flower Fountain. It is easy to get up and running and it is so darn cute.
It is a comprehensive video so you are not left with that feeling of, ‘it’s not explained clearly’ or ‘I can’t see what she is doing properly’. It is very easy to assemble and literally ready to use in minutes.
Note: Decide beforehand where you are going to put the water fountain, as it needs to be near a power source.
How To Train Your Cat To Use A Water Fountain
You may not have to do anything at all to get kitty to use the fountain. Kitty may just start using the fountain and this mostly seems to be the case.
The thing with cats is that they are unpredictable, so we have to get smart and make some kitty anticipations.
Bearing this in mind there are some ideas here if kitty needs a bit of a helping hand to use his brand spanking new water fountain.
Locate the fountain away from litter boxes or food bowls. If food gets in to the water fountain it is not going to be good. If water gets in the cat food, it will be equally non desirable, so keep the food and the water apart.
While still thinking about location, make sure that kitty has enough room to navigate around the fountain easily. Be wary of placing it somewhere where it could easily be knocked over.
The ceramic fountains are heavier than the plastic fountains so there is less chance of them being overturned. Mind you most kitties do not overturn fountains but there’s always an exception to the rule and that includes an inquisitive toddler.
Begin by letting the fountain sit there doing its own thing but turned off. This gives the cat a chance to get used to the fountain being around – you know, doing the politely ignoring thing that cats are so good at.
Next, turn it on from time to time on a low setting so that it is a gradual introduction, as all fountains will make some noise, even if is just a running water noise.
Increase the setting over time but don’t rush. You will be able to judge how quickly your kitty gets used to the fountain and then, hey presto, starts using the fountain.
Although we have suggested locating the fountain away from food, in these early days try placing some kitty treats near the fountain. It might just be enough of a temptation for kitty to try the fountain as he now in the vicinity.
At this time you may want to remove the normal drinking source but play this by ear, kitty may not be ready for the fountain just yet.
Cat Water Fountain FAQ
Are cat water fountains noisy?
Sometimes a fountain will become noisy over time. This is usually because the pump needs cleaning or the water level has become too low.
Make sure that the water level is always topped up above the minimum line.
With normal use, the noise of the fountain does not appear to be a problem. Generally speaking ceramic fountains tend to be less noisy than plastic fountains.
My cat doesn’t seem to be drinking much water
Does your kitty eat wet food? If so, your kitty may not drink as much as you would expect because of the added water in the food.
Maybe your cat has found another water source that you are unaware of. Otherwise it may be a medical issue and a trip to the vet would be advised.
My cat plays with the water
Some kitties like to swipe at the water so make sure no precious artefacts are near the fountain.
What are cat fountains made from?
Cat water fountains are either plastic, ceramic or stainless steel. Some parts may be plastic, for example the pump. BPA free plastic is usually the norm these days however check those details in the fountain specifications.
What about cleaning cat water fountains?
Ceramic and stainless steel fountains can be put into the dishwasher. Always check the manufacturer recommendations as some will say to use the top shelf of the dishwasher.
Any plastic components such as the pump need to be cleaned by hand. Some products have a cleaning kit that is designed specifically for the product.
You may have something at home already, that is effective for cleaning. We bought some brushes for cleaning baby bottles and found they were quite useful for cleaning all sorts of things and can really get into nooks and crannies.
All products give instructions for cleaning plus cleaning and maintenance for the pump to ensure that it continues to work for a long time.
Cleaning the fountain, maintaining the pump and changing the filters may seem like a nuisance but it is something that needs to be done regularly to ensure that your product has a long life.
What is the scum on top of the water?
Often cat (and dog) owners report that scum or froth appears in the water reservoir in the water fountain.
The problem is caused by saliva when your pet or pets are drinking. It stands to reason that some animals including dogs will produce more saliva hence the froth in the bowl. This applies to all fountains, plastic, ceramic and stainless steel.
Bio-film forms on the surface of water and looks like a scummy film on top of the water. You may have seen this on the surface of a pond. This is also evident in bowls of water not just water fountains.
Ensure that all cleaning procedures suggested by the manufacturer are followed to keep the fountain in tip top shape.
Recommendations – Cat Water Fountains
For an elderly cat or cat with arthritis or other health issues we recommend a fountain that requires very little bending to reach the water. All of the Catit fountains are good in this regard.
The Popular Catit Flower Cat Water Fountain has a capacity of 100fl oz, 3L. This gives peace of mind if you are leaving the house for some time or if it is a hot day. The Catit fountains have a two year limited warranty. You can register your product online for additional customer care.
For more than one cat or a cat and doggy family it would definitely be a good idea to go for one of the larger capacity fountains.
There are several large capacity fountains on the market however if you have more than one animal they need to be able to all able to use the fountain at the same time (even if they don’t always do this).
Have You chosen the best cat water fountain?
Consider these questions:
- Is your cat likely to push the bowl around?
If yes, a ceramic fountain is a good option.
- What capacity do you need?
This will depend on how many animals are using the fountain. Think about the placement of the fountain and depending on the design make sure there is access to all sides of the fountain.
- Is there a power outlet near your chosen location? The length of the cord provided with the fountains can vary.
Giving some thought to these questions will enable you to make a choice based on the criteria that will suit your needs rather than just the appearance of a fountain. This will help to ensure you have the best cat water fountain for your situation.