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What is the quietest cat water fountain?
There are a lot of benefits to choosing a water fountain over a water bowl. But those benefits aren’t important if you choose one that’s too loud. A water fountain is designed to encourage your cat to drink more, and to make sure their water is healthy. But if the fountain is too loud, you’re only going to scare your cat, and put them off using it, which could mean they don’t get all the water they need.
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So, the volume of the drinking fountain really matters. But which is the best? There are a lot of cat fountains that advertise themselves as being “quiet” or “ultra-quiet” but many don’t actually clarify their decibel level. Of those that do, some classify under 40 decibels as being super quiet.
And, to be fair, 40 decibels is usually graded as being pretty quiet. Most scientific documents that give real-world examples rate 40dB as being equivalent to the ambient noise in a library, the lowest levels of urban ambient sound, or bird calls.
The Laika Aqua Pet Water Fountain operates at an even lower level – 29dB when the pump is in operation. That’s usually graded as the same as a quiet rural area. This ultra-quiet pump won’t scare your kitty, and it also means that you can keep it in your bedroom if you want to, and it won’t disturb your sleep either.
How to Choose a Suitable Quiet Cat Water Fountain
There are a lot of different things you need to consider when shopping for your cats’ water fountain. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most important features to look out for.
The most important thing is that it’s easy for your cat to use. A water fountain that prioritizes attractive design or fancy features over simply being really accessible for cats of different sizes and mobility levels is worthless. You need your cat to be able to comfortably sit or stand next to the fountain and reach the water, so a large drinking area and low sides are key.
Ease of use
It also helps to be easy to use for the cat owner. You don’t want something that is fiddly to re-fill or set up in the first place. Cat water fountains that are too complicated will only result in you accidentally setting something up incorrectly so that your kitty doesn’t get all the benefits.
Material is another important consideration when it comes to pet fountains, or even just water bowls. You need something that is sturdy and safe, but also that keeps the fountain or bowl easy to use. Some have non-slip feet or suction cups to help.
Ceramic water bowls might seem really solid, but they can be knocked around and are breakable. Stainless steel water fountains or bowls are good for keeping bacteria to a minimum but are often more expensive. Plastic works fine if it’s part of a solid unit, but it needs to be BPA-free to make sure it’s non-toxic. Otherwise, the calm streams of water could become contaminated and be harmful to your cat.
The main benefit of a water fountain for cats is that the running water is often more appealing to your kitty, and cats with a low thirst drive can be encouraged to drink more due to the oxygenated effect on the water. However, a secondary benefit is that it keeps the water fresher for your cat by only pumping out water when needed.
A standard water bowl can quickly become a mess of food particles, hair, and other debris, and it needs emptying and refilling more often, usually well before the water level drops too low. Buy a water fountain and you only get the water pumped out when the water level has dropped, which makes clearing out any floating debris easier, and also means you don’t have to fill it as often.
Most large water fountains are rated at around 2.5 liters, equivalent to around 88 ounces of water. Even with more than one cat, you may only need to top up the tank once or twice a week.
UV germicidal light
Tap water contains a lot of organisms and nasties that, while not especially dangerous, can do more harm than good to your cat.
So, make sure you choose a quiet cat water fountain that has a way of helping to sterilize the water and keep it as clean and healthy as possible. A UV light that kills germs is ideal – it’s a low power solution that doesn’t need to be replaced regularly that can wipe out some of the germs that can cause illness and disease. UV light is exactly that – light – and so it doesn’t have any negative impact on the quality (or taste) of the actual water. It just helps to remove some of the impurities.
Easy to clean and separate
All of these fancy features to help provide pumped, clean water can sometimes lead to an intricate or complicated design. And no water fountain is completely self-cleaning – sometimes you need to remove the water tank and clear it out. Making sure that you choose a water fountain that’s easy to disassemble and clean is therefore really important. You don’t want something too tricky to separate, with corners that are hard to access and could build up bacteria.
Look for a water fountain that has a simple water tank design that is easy to separate, and you’ll just need to give it a good rinse to keep it working at its best without any difficult scrubbing. Some may have dishwasher-safe parts, but always check before you assume.
Smart indicator light
A water fountain for your feline can make your life easier since you don’t need to clean and refresh a water bowl on a daily basis. But if you swap that hassle for having to keep checking the water level inside a fountain, or for having to track how long since you changed a filter, then you’re just replacing one chore with another.
Water fountains with indicator lights are therefore the best option. They will have a light that lets you know when the water level is running low, so you don’t need to disassemble it to keep checking. And some have a light to let you know when the filter is due for a replacement too. Handy.
One of the biggest complaints about cat water fountains is how loud they can be when the pump is working, especially when the water level is low. Many fountains will make a grinding noise when the pump tries to work without enough water, which can be unpleasant and can also give your cat a fright, potentially putting them off using the fountain.
What you want is a water fountain with an auto power-off function. These will detect when the water level is too low, and will automatically switch off the pump to prevent any unwanted sounds and to save you energy as well.
While a UV light can help to kill bacteria, it can’t remove non-living materials in your water that are also not ideal for your cat’s health. That’s where you want a good quality filtration system. Replaceable filters are important because they help to capture some of those heavy metals like magnesium, as well as chlorine and unwanted calcium from tap water that can cause constipation and discomfort in your cat. They also get rid of any bad tastes too, which can make the water more appealing to your cat.
Many water filters will talk of a dual filtration system, which is usually a combination of a carbon filter and a UV light. By the time you’re looking at a triple filtration system or better, then it’s more to do with the layers of the filter, which will include carbon, resin, and cotton to block fur and food along with tiny particles. Avoid water dispensers with simple sponge filters, these only capture the larger debris.
A good noise level is below 40 dB but the lower the better. And if a pump doesn’t have auto power-off then it could be much louder than advertised when the water level gets too low, which can spook your kitty (or just wake you up, if the fountain is in your bedroom).
Of course, any quiet cat water fountain is no good if it does create too much noise. There are two things to watch out for – general operating noise level, and also whether it shuts off when the water level is too low.
Choosing a fountain with a low noise level is therefore really important, otherwise, your cat just won’t want to use it.
While the large capacity of a water fountain is useful, it’s also important that the fountain itself is the right size, and that usually means you don’t want something too big. It needs to be easily accessible for your cat, and also for your home – it’s no good buying a product you can’t find the space for.
Check the measurements of the fountain before you buy it, so you know you won’t have any troubles fitting it into your home.
Laika Aqua Pet Water Fountain
The Laika Aqua Pet water fountain is therefore a good option if you want a quiet cat water fountain for your kitty. It ticks all of the boxes of the above list. It’s really easy to set up and get started, and it’s made from BPA-free plastic. The water tank is a simple box shape too with no awkward corners for cleaning.
It’s got a very low noise level of just 29 dB, making it one of the quietest you can buy, plus it’s got a very large capacity of 2.7 liters or 91 ounces, so it doesn’t need to be topped up too often.
It has a quadruple-stage filter as well as a UV light with a 4-year lifespan, so it’ll keep killing bacteria for a long time. And the smart indicator lights will let you know when the filter needs to be changed or when the water level has dropped too low.
The filters are designed to last for a month and are available to buy in multipacks to make it easy for you to stock up. Replacing them is easy too, just remove the filter unit, take out the old filter, and then soak the new one in water for two minutes before placing it into the filter unit.
The LED indicator for the water level is particularly useful as it illuminates the water gauge on the side of the fountain, so even at night you can see exactly how much water is left in the tank, and you know how long you can wait before refilling it.
It also has the auto power-off feature, so it won’t damage the pump and create a lot of noise when the water levels drop too low. The low voltage pump is already a minimal power drain, but if you prefer to save even more energy you can change between standard and eco flow modes. Instead of constantly pumping the water, the eco mode will just pump it through the filter intermittently every five minutes, providing fresh water without the constant gentle fountain.
It’s a solid unit, weighing 16.8kg/37lb, and it has non-slip feet. This means that even if your cat is drinking a lot of water and leaning against the unit, they won’t be able to knock it over and cause any spillages, and it won’t move around on the floor which could frustrate them as they try to lap up the water.
How often should you change the water in a pet fountain?
If your cat isn’t drinking all of the water in their fountain and you’re topping it up before it’s empty, you should completely empty it and change it every 1-2 weeks at least. It will need to be more frequent if you have multiple cats.
This helps to ensure that the water is kept completely clean and free of dirt. A good way to tell is if you see the water start to bubble or show foam. White bubbles and foam are usually a sign that the water has been contaminated with dissolved cat food or saliva, and while not especially harmful it does mean the water isn’t as clean as you would want it to be.
Are water fountains safe?
Generally, water fountains are very safe, provided you buy from a reputable manufacturer and can see a lot of genuine positive reviews. As a concept, water fountains just provide a gentle fresh stream of water that helps to make it more appealing to cats, and they’re often actually safer than a water bowl since they can sterilize and filter the water for your cat.
Just avoid buying a cheap water fountain online that you can’t see useful manufacturer information for, as they are electrical products and you don’t want to take a risk buying something that may not have been manufactured with the safety of your kitty in mind.
Are cat fountains worth it?
Whether a cat fountain is worth it depends on your kitty’s preferences and your own lifestyle. If your cat already happily uses a water bowl, and you have plenty of time on your hands to regularly change the water bowl and top up the water, then you might not want to make a change to something that is already working.
However, if your cat is susceptible to disease and has a poor immune system, or if your cat prefers natural running water to drink and needs something to help them drink more, a quiet cat water fountain can remove impurities and make their drinking water much more appealing to them.
Why buy a cat water fountain?
A cat fountain has a number of benefits over a standard water bowl.
Firstly, they don’t need topping up as often – they have a large capacity that can usually hold enough water for a few days or more, depending on how much your kitty drinks and how many cats you own. And once your cat has drunk from the fountain, it refills the drinking area automatically. You don’t have to manually pour anything and it won’t cause a splash around your home.
Secondly, the water pump helps to oxygenate the water and create a more natural water flow. If your cat prefers to drink from a running tap, then a water fountain can encourage them to drink more than a stagnant bowl would.
Finally, most water fountains use some form of filtration or sterilization, which helps to keep the water as clean and safe as possible. This means your kitty is getting the best, cleanest water without some of the harmful organisms that tap water can sometimes hold.