Are you looking for a water fountain for your furry feline? Well, you’re in luck. Our reviews and buying guide for the best cat water fountain will help you find exactly what you’re after. Spoiler alert: our top pick is the Catit Flower Fountain.
But before we get into that, let’s talk about whether or not a drinking fountain for cats is essential. Some cats are happy drinking from their water bowl, but there are those purr-nickety ones (see what we did there?) that can tell the difference between fresh, running water and water that’s been sitting for too long.
It turns out, according to experts, that a cat’s quirky drinking habits have a lot to do with his DNA. It’s these primordial instincts that would keep him alive if he was living in the wild or participating in an episode of Naked and Afraid (as if a cat would ever stoop to that level).
Unfortunately, it’s these same survival instincts that could be stopping him drinking water from a bowl, leaving him dehydrated and unwell.
The Benefits of a Water Fountain for Cats
While some might think a drinking fountain for cats is more of a marketing gadget than a necessity, whether your furry feline is on a raw food diet or prefers dry food,
we’ve listed a few benefits that you might want to consider.
It feels more natural
As we’ve already mentioned, a cat is programmed to not drink water that he can’t see or hear running. A kitty fountain provides your pet with fresh water that feels more natural, which means he’ll drink more and reduce the risk of dehydration along with all the associated issues.
There are fewer germs in the water
You wouldn’t let your cat drink from a muddy puddle, would you? Of course not. There’s an entire ecosystem of germs and bacteria living in there that makes it unpalatable and unsafe, and it’s the same for stagnant water in a bowl. A water fountain has a filter system which effectively removes all the disease-causing lurgies.
The water is colder, and it tastes better
There’s just no arguing that oxygenated water tastes better and is cooler than water that’s been sitting in a bowl. Your favorite feline is going to enjoy drinking more water when it tastes better.
Serves up fresh water when you can’t
With a fountain, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your cat’s getting enough fresh water when you’re not home.
It’s one less thing for you to worry about
Ever left the house in a hurry, only to remember that you forgot to fill the cat’s water bowl, or that you filled it, but you forgot to put it back on the floor? A drinking fountain for cats in the home gives you one less thing to worry about.
Six Reasons Why a Cat Drinking Fountain is a Good Idea
Cats aren’t known for their easy-come easy-go attitudes; in fact, it’s their aloof cattitude that makes them so endearing. Nothing is ever straightforward with a feline, even when it comes to drinking water.
Here are six good reasons why you should get a kitty fountain.
Generally, cats don’t drink enough water
Instinctively cats don’t drink a lot of water. This is because, in the wild, they get their moisture from the prey they catch. But this isn’t the case when it comes to domesticated cats. Unless you’re feeding yours raw or wet food, you need to ensure he’s getting the water he needs.
Water is essential for a cat’s overall health
Cats that don’t drink enough water are susceptible to serious health issues, including urinary tract and kidney diseases. While they might avoid water in a bowl, chances are they’ll drink from a water fountain. A water fountain is a great way to keep your cat hydrated, and healthy.
A water fountain is especially good for cats with health problems
Certain illnesses, such as diabetes and kidney failure, make cats more thirsty. If your cat has been diagnosed with a serious health condition, a water fountain will keep him hydrated with fresh, clean water.
It’s difficult for a cat to see water in a bowl
This might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but cats battle to see the water level in their bowls. Running water is easier for them to spot, and the sound of it attracts them. A water fountain works better because it feels more natural for your cat.
If your cat has sensitive whiskers, he won’t want to drink from a bowl
Some cats suffer from whisker fatigue, and as a result, drinking from a dish that’s too deep or not wide enough causes them a lot of stress. Water fountains are designed in a way so that your cat’s whiskers don’t touch the sides. They also have different flow settings that cats seem to like.
Cats are conditioned to stay away from still water
To survive in the wild, a cat’s instincts tell him to stay away from stagnant water, which could be infected with all sorts of germs and bacteria. Instead, he knows to drink water that is moving, like a stream or a small fountain.
How You Know Your Cat Will Love a Water Fountain
Before you poo-poo the idea of a water fountain, watch him around water. There are a few tell-tale signs that will let you know whether your cat will prefer one.
The Best Water Fountain for Cats Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Finding a cat water fountain isn’t hard, not with the wide range that’s available, but what can be tricky is knowing which is the right one for your cat.
Our buying guide highlights the most essential features to keep in mind so that you’re able to make an informed buying decision.
Plastic, Stainless Steel or Ceramic
Cat water fountains are made from ceramic, plastic or stainless steel. These are all high-quality, non-toxic materials that are safe, so the type you choose comes down to your personal preference and your cat’s needs.
Because BPA free plastic is more readily available, it’s more affordable, making it a popular choice. But for cats that are allergic to plastic, a ceramic or stainless steel water fountain will be a better choice.
Stainless steel water fountains are also popular, but if they’re not made using a high-quality steel, they are prone to rust. Ceramic fountains are probably the most hygienic but can break easily.
To make sure your cat is getting the cleanest and best tasting water, water fountains have three types of filtration systems.
This system uses UV light to kill bacteria and germs in the water.
A carbon filter system removes impurities, including pesticides, parasites, and even heavy metals. It also improves the taste of the water.
This filter system works when charged ions are removed by adding solid materials. Although this sounds far more technical, the result is the same.
Variable speeds. You may find that your cat is hesitant to approach a water fountain that is pouring too quickly, or she may be attracted even more to that. Having the option to change the speed with which your water is filtered and pushed through the fountain will allow you to accommodate your cat even further. (Because if you’re going to spoil her, why not go all out?)
No matter which cat water fountain you choose, it’ll need to be cleaned. Most are easy to put together and disassemble, but some have quick release parts and removable pumps. If time is of the essence, look for a water fountain that is dishwasher safe.
Something that you want to consider is the fountain’s water source. Some don’t connect to a tap, which means you will have to fill the tank manually.
You can choose either a plug-in water fountain or one that works on a battery. Both work well, and it really comes down to what you prefer. With a battery-powered one, you need to ensure you always have batteries on hand, but they are portable and can be taken on holiday.
Plug-in units are great because you don’t have to worry about batteries, but you do need to make sure there’s a power source, and that the cord is a good length.
Part of the reason for getting an automatic cat water fountain is its convenience. This means getting one that holds a fair amount of water so that you don’t have to keep topping it up. Look for a unit that can hold 2 liters or more, especially if your cat drinks a lot or if you have multiple cats in the home.
Design and shape
The design of the kitty fountain won’t necessarily affect its efficacy, but because it’s going to be in the house, you do want one that looks nice. Also, you should take your cat’s needs into account. Older cats might prefer a low fountain, while a more energetic kitten will love the idea of a fountain.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the more expensive cat drinking fountains are the best. Our reviews include affordable options that work as well, if not better, than some of their costlier counterparts. It’s a good idea to consider the filters. Reusable ones are easier on the budget, as are the ones that don’t have to be replaced every week.
The Best Cat Water Fountain Reviews
Now that we understand a cat’s physiology and know the benefits of owning a kitty water fountain, it’s time to take a look at our top picks.
Our selection is a result of us scouring the web, reading hundreds of reviews, and even having Joey and Oscar try a few out. Regardless of your budget and your needs, we know you’re going to find one that suits you.
Catit Flower Fountain
The Best Cat Drinking Fountain Overall
The Catit Flower Fountain ticked every single box, from its good looks and clever design to the price and ease of use. It’s also straightforward to assemble and clean, and it runs nice and quiet, even if the water level is low.
Everything about this water fountain is made with a cat in mind. We’d go so far as to say that it has been designed for cats, by cats! We love that it has three different settings, including water that bubbles from the top, a very gentle flow and a slow stream of water. We reckon that no matter how picky your cat is, one of these settings will suit him perfectly.
Something else that’s good about this automatic cat water fountain is that it has a triple action filter system, which doesn’t only get rid of bacteria and germs from the water, it also removes calcium and magnesium, two minerals that are particularly harmful to cats. The filter also keeps other bits of dirt and debris from getting into the drinking water.
The compact design doesn’t take up much floor space in the house, but it holds up to 3L. This means your furry family members have access to fresh, clean water without you having to worry about topping up water bowls.
Veken Pet Fountain
The Best Cat Water Fountain for Smaller Cats
Another drinking fountain for cats that comes highly recommended is the Veken Pet Fountain. Available in blue or grey, it’s made from a high-quality non-toxic resin which is also BPA free, and is easy to put together and clean. If your cat likes playing with water, you’ll appreciate the silicone pad that’s included in your purchase.
There are three different settings for the water flow, and the motor is super quiet. The fountain doesn’t connect to a water source, so you’ll need to fill the tank manually. While this isn’t a dealbreaker, it’s worth keeping this in mind if you’re not home during the day, travel a fair amount or have multiple cats.
If you’re looking for an energy-efficient kitty water fountain for your home, it’s worth checking out the Veken Pet Fountain.
Beacon Pet Cat Water Fountain
Best Smart Design Cat Water Fountains
The Beacon Pet Cat Water Fountain is a smart fountain with an LED indicator that lets you know when you need to add water when it’s full, and it shuts off automatically when the tank is empty. Like the other models reviewed here, this stainless steel cat water fountain has three different settings for water flow and as well as a quality filtration system.
We liked that the fountain is really quiet and holds up to 2.4L of water. The drinking area is big and works well for cats with sensitive whiskers.
If you like smart technology, the Beacon Pet Cat Water Fountain is a smart choice to ensure your cat’s getting all the water he needs to stay healthy.
Enjoy Cat Water Fountain with Filter
The Best Cat Fountain on a Budget
With four different water flow settings, it’s easy to see why cats enjoy drinking from this fountain. The Enjoy Cat Water Fountain with Filter has an upgraded design and comes complete an auto power-off as well as power protection. This means it will switch off automatically when the water level is too low.
It has a water capacity of 2L, an energy-efficient motor and the pump runs quietly. It’s made from non-toxic materials, and a real bonus is the quick-release parts, including a detachable pump.
This is a great water fountain that’s easy to assemble, operate, and maintain. And one that we highly recommend.
IPETTIE Tritone Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain
The Best Water Fountain for Cats Allergic to Plastic
If you don’t like the idea of a stainless steel or plastic kitty water fountain, then you need to take a look at the IPETTIE Tritone Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain. Made from a natural ceramic, it’s non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
The drinking fountain has three different settings for the water flow and features a dual (two) filtration system. The motor is super quiet, and the large capacity tank holds up to 2.1L of water. The pump does need to be cleaned every two weeks or so, but the removable parts make disassembly quick and easy.
This ceramic cat water fountain is perfect for cats that are allergic to plastic, and unlike some stainless models, it won’t rust. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a stylish way to get your beloved feline drinking more water.
Looking After Cat Water Fountains
To keep your cat water fountain working and ensure its longevity, we suggest you look after it. This includes cleaning it regularly, rinsing the filter and replacing any parts when necessary.
Cleaning your fountain
It is a good idea to clean out the water fountain every two to four weeks. This will include disassembling it, removing all the parts and rinsing the filter with soapy water.
Changing the filter
How you look after the filter depends on the type you have. But for general maintenance, you should remove the filter, give it a rinse and if necessary, replace it.
Cleaning the parts
Most water fountains have removable parts that are dishwasher safe but check your user’s manual to make sure. Any components that can’t go in the dishwasher should be hand washed. Look closely for any hard water deposits and remove these with a mixture of baking soda and distilled white vinegar.
Cleaning small spaces
Water fountains are made using stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic, all of which are easy to clean. Some styles, however, have areas that you might not be able to reach with just a cloth. We suggest using a toothbrush for those hard to reach spots.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Water Fountains
Since getting a kitty water fountain, we’ve found ourselves answering a couple of questions. We thought it a good idea to put some of the more frequently asked ones here.
How much water does a cat need to drink?
Cats don’t need a lot of water, but they should drink between two and four ounces every day. Wild cats get their liquid from their food sources, such as birds, mice, and other small animals. Domesticated cats that eat wet or raw food also don’t need to drink as much water as those that are fed a dry diet.
What is a drinking fountain for cats, and do we really need one?
If you’re battling to keep your cat hydrated, then you should consider getting a water fountain. These units use a filter system that removes impurities and other debris from your cat’s water, making it safer for him to drink. These are good to have if your cat doesn’t like drinking from a bowl, and especially if he only eats dry food.
Why is this better than a bowl?
There’s nothing wrong with your cat drinking from a bowl, but for some, it goes against their instincts. In the wild, cats won’t drink still or stagnant water because it might not be safe. But, they will drink from running water sources that they can see or hear. Water fountains feel more natural for cats, which is why they tend to prefer them.
Do I need to change the water in a cat fountain?
Yep, ‘fraid so. Whether your cat has a fountain or he drinks from a bowl, all cats hate stale water. So, even if he hasn’t consumed all the water, it’s still a good idea to change it every few days.
Is it easy to clean a cat water fountain?
Water fountains are easy to clean, and they come with a user manual that explains how you should care for it. Most come with quick-release parts to make cleaning easy, while others are dishwasher safe.
Is it okay to place the water fountain next to the cat’s food bowl?
We suggest you don’t place them next to each other. In their natural habitat, cats don’t eat and drink in the same spot. Also, don’t place it anywhere near their litter box.
Reasons Why Your Cat Might Not Like a Water Fountain
It’s easy to feel despondent after spending time and energy looking for a water fountain for your cat, only to discover he doesn’t like it. Here are a few reasons why he might not be as enthusiastic about it as you had hoped.
The motor or pump is too loud
Cats are sensitive to a lot of things, including loud noises. And for some, the running pump or motor on a fountain could be the problem. If your cat is skittish, choose a unit that doesn’t emit a lot of noise.
It splashes too much
Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t hate water as much as we think they do; they just hate it when it’s not on their terms. A water fountain that splashes too much might be putting your cat off from using it. Make sure the one you have has different water settings or if you’re looking to buy a unit, make sure it has got this option.
It needs to be cleaned
Cats can be put off their food or water if it’s dirty, and they’ll also stay away from a drinking fountain if they can smell or taste dirt. Make sure you keep yours clean and if it’s brand new, wash it to remove that ‘boxed’ smell.
It’s in the wrong place
Something as simple as where it’s placed could be stopping your cat using his water fountain. If it’s too close to his food bowl or his litter box, try moving it and see if that works. It’s also a good idea to put it in a place where he has access to it and doesn’t feel closed in.
Other Ways to Make Sure Your Cat Stays Hydrated
A water fountain is an effective way to keep your cat hydrated, but if it’s not working, there are other ways you can do this.
Leave multiple water sources around the house
We’ve found leaving bowls of water around the house is an excellent way to get our boys to drink. They have their water fountain, but we’ve placed a few bowls in their favorite spots too. This way we know they’re getting their recommended daily intake of water.
Add wet food to their diet
Another easy way to ensure your cat is getting the water he needs is to add wet food to his diet. This has a high water content, and your cat will be getting hydrated without even realizing it.
Serve him some broth
When Joey or Oscar aren’t well, we usually give them some tasty broth. Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but they also get the liquids they need.
Forget leading a horse to water but not being able to get it to drink, cats are even worse.
Because they don’t get thirsty like other animals, cats don’t always know when they need water. A water fountain is a fun and convenient way to ensure your furry feline is getting his daily H2O intake without causing him unnecessary stress.
Why not send us some pics or videos of your cat using a water fountain? We always love meeting your pawsome pets, and to get you motivated, here’s a little clip we found that we know you’re going to love. Try not to laugh… we dare you.