We all know that drinking water is essential not just for us but for our best fur friends as well. Pets should have clean water available to them at all times. When I first brought Tinkerbell home, I made sure she had a dish for food and a dish for water. As time went on and we added another kitty to the lineup, I thought maybe there was a better way. After reading that cats are attracted to moving water because in nature stagnant water could harbor parasites and bacteria. This is the reason water fountains encourage increased water intake and why I ventured down the rabbit hole of looking into water fountains for cats.
A Few Things…
Just a few things to keep in mind with all fountains. First, they all require regular cleaning that takes a little more time and effort than just a regular bowl. There are usually a couple pieces that come apart to be cleaned and then have to be put back together. The second thing is that all of the fountains I’ve seen have a filter or two. All of the below fountain have a charcoal filter that needs to be replaced regularly and some included a foam filter that can be cleaned are reused. With that said, let’s discuss actual fountains.
The first water fountain I bought was fairly inexpensive and made of plastic. I think I spent around $30 and ended up returning it at least twice before returning it for good. The pump was extremely loud and it generally didn’t do a great job. Additionally, I don’t like drinking out of plastic, so why should my cats?
The second fountain I bought was a much nicer fountain. I opted for the Petsafe Pagoda fountain which is made of ceramic, a larger size and a nice quiet pump. This includes a charcoal filter and foam filter around the pump. This setup is pretty straight forward and easy to clean. I have also found the water pump online, so if need be, the only wearable part would be easily replaceable, which is a bonus. Overall, the maintenance on this (filters, pump if needed) is fairly low cost so I expect this fountain to last a long time with minimal additional cost.
The third fountain was the American Valley Nature Spa fountain. I saw this advertised somewhere and thought it looked nifty. This one had a separate reservoir to keep the fountain full and claimed to have UV purification. It looked cool with the blue light and the sound of the water was very soothing. After using this for a while, I took it apart and found it extremely difficult, essentially impossible, to clean and the UV purification (which I think is just an LED light) didn’t seem to help keep the internal tubing clean, that is inaccessible. When we added Gherkin to our family, our third cat, the fountain just seemed to always be empty, despite opting for the larger reservoir. Also, Tidbit would knock the reservoir off or into the fountain and end up getting water everywhere. This fountain seemed like a great idea but for several reasons but just isn’t practical for us.
For All Water Fountains For Cats
With every fountain, I found the following:
- Cats generally enjoyed it, sometimes playing in the water stream a little
- The sound of the water running is relaxing
- All fountains required some upkeep with cleaning and changing of filters
- They volume of a water fountain was generally more water than an average water bowl
- The fountain does seem to encourage more water intake
The Final Decision
In the end, I went back to our Petsafe Pagoda contain for a few reasons. I like that it was made out of ceramic, versus plastic. The fountain itself held a good amount of water and was relatively easy to clean, which was ultimately the deciding factor. The fountain is just simple and straight forward to use and clean. Of course the kitties all like it and continue to drink lots of water and dip their paws in the stream now and then.
What To Look For
If you’re going to make the leap to get a water fountain for your cats, I would say to look for a few things:
- good quality materials, for me this is ceramic rather than plastic
- easy to take apart and clean
- low maintenance cost of filters and possible parts
- adding an absorbent mat under the fountain helps contain splashing from anyone playing in the water
The Pagoda cost a little more upfront but is worth it in convenience and knowing that I am able to give the whole fountain a good cleaning ensuring my kitties have fresh water, was ultimately the deciding factor.