A water fountain for cats is a great way of providing your cat with clean, hygienic, and healthy water without having to always remember to top up their water bowl. Fountains can filter out some of the impurities in tap water, and provide a running stream of water that cats will enjoy more than a static pool. And because they will usually have a good-sized water reservoir, you don’t need to top it up daily.
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- What to look for in a cat fountain
- What is the best water fountain for cats?
- How to clean a water fountain for a cat
- What is the best water fountain for cats (multi-cat household)?
- Are water fountains good for cats?
- How good is the CatCare Ultra Clean Pet Water Fountain?
- Cat Fountain Alternatives
- Related Reading on Water Fountains
What to look for in a cat fountain
There are some really important factors to think about when you’re choosing a cat fountain whether they are ceramic, BPA-free plastic, etc. You might want one that is compact or one that goes with your décor or your cat's dishes. The topics below will help you make a good choice for your cat and you.
How easy is a pet fountain to use?
It’s no good buying a fountain that’s going to be tricky to operate, whether that’s just in getting it set up or in topping it up. A filter needs to be something that you can get working right away, and topping up the reservoir shouldn’t feel like an intricate set of puzzles.
At the same time, you want it to be easy for your cat to use as well. This means a good-sized drinking area that is easy for cats to reach without being uncomfortable.
If the fountain has running water, then it should be easily accessible – the flow of water is interesting to cats, and if the fountain is designed so that the running water isn’t reachable and the cat can only reach the static drinking area, they’re likely to get frustrated. Don’t get a fountain that teases them with splashing water they can’t reach!
What size cat fountain do you need?
The size of the fountain can refer to the capacity of the reservoir but also the overall size of the unit. The size that you need will depend on how many cats you have, how big they are, and how often you want to top it up.
A cat normally needs around 3.5-4.5 ounces of water for every 5lb of body weight per day, so a 20lb cat will likely need somewhere between 14 and 18 ounces. If you choose a fountain with an 70-ounce capacity then you’re looking at a water supply of around 5 days before you need to top it up, and for smaller cats it might be even less regular.
In terms of the size of the unit itself, you just need to make sure you choose one that fits in your home without getting in the way, with a drinking basin that’s at a suitable height for your cat to easily reach. Fountains often have the actual water bowls to drink from at a height that’s more suitable for cats that are standing, instead of making them crouch down, which can be more comfortable.
How quiet is the cat waterer?
Noise levels are important with a cat fountain. These fountains use pumps to make sure the water is drawn through the filter and that the drinking area always has a steady supply of fresh water for your cat to drink. If the pump is loud, it’ll disturb you and it can disturb your cat.
But more importantly, anything loud could also spook your kitty, which may stop them from wanting to use the fountain. Look for fountains with a noise level below 40 decibels, which is about the level of a refrigerator humming, if you want a really quiet one.
What is the best water fountain for cats?
Choosing the best option is really subjective here, but if you want the best cat water fountain then you need to pick one that’s good at filtering out impurities, has a large water capacity, is easy to use and clean, and isn’t too loud.
Cat fountains are a good investment since they can help to improve the quality of water your feline friend is consuming each day, so don’t settle for a fountain that lets you down in any of these areas. Instead, find one that ticks all the boxes so that you know you’re giving your kitty the best water without any potential downsides.
How to clean a water fountain for a cat
Different cat fountains are cleaned in different ways. Some are tricky since they might be hard to access all parts and they may not easily dismantle. Others can easily be broken down into the main parts that can then be just washed under a tap.
You need to make sure to clean any filters of debris on a regular basis, every few days at most. Naturally, when drinking, a fountain will collect a build-up of loose hair and other debris. Good fountains have extra filters to prevent these from clogging the fountain's pump, but they will need to be cleared every few days to stop any blockages.
If you’re filling the water fountain every 5-6 days then it’s a good idea to clean it with every re-fill. This just helps to keep it free from any dirt build-ups and will make sure that the charcoal filter or carbon filter lasts as long as it should do.
Some cat fountains may say they have dishwasher-safe parts but this is rarely necessary. It’s nice to have durable parts, but it’s rare that your cat will get the fountain so dirty that a full dishwasher cycle is required, especially since you’ll be using a running faucet to top the water levels back up again anyway. Usually, a quick rinse is sufficient.
What is the best water fountain for cats (multi-cat household)?
If you’re looking for a cat water fountain for multiple cats, you need to consider one with a large water capacity, otherwise it’ll need topping up really frequently. You’ll also wear out filters faster, so you need to factor in the cost of replacements and other small parts.
If you can get one with a larger drinking platform/basin that might stop cats fighting over space, but they won’t always want a drink at the same time anyway, so depending on your cats’ natures this might not be an issue.
Keep in mind that some cats prefer a fountain that bubbles rather than one that makes a fountain sound.
Are water fountains good for cats?
Water fountains can have a number of benefits for cats. Those with reliable and effective filters can remove the impurities in water, preventing some bacteria from infecting your cat which could otherwise have caused an illness. This can be much better than stagnant water that sits in a water bowl.
The flowing water of a fountain is also more appealing to most cats, which can help to encourage them to drink – ideal if your kitty doesn’t tend to drink as much as they should be. The bubbling effect is interesting to a cat, and it helps to add extra oxygen into the water which means it can taste better too. Improved hydration is a common benefit of buying a cat fountain.
This is important because, while cats don’t drink a huge amount, dehydration can cause a number of health issues. Urinary tract infections and some forms of kidney disease are caused by toxins in the body, but if a cat is drinking plenty of water then these toxins can be flushed out as part of the normal functions of your kitty’s body. A water source that’s more appealing can therefore encourage your cat to take on the water they need.
They won’t be right for every cat, since each feline is unique, but most cats will enjoy using a water fountain more and while health benefits aren’t guaranteed with every fountain, many do help your cat to enjoy healthier fluids.
How good is the CatCare Ultra Clean Pet Water Fountain?
The CatCare Ultra Clean Water Fountain is a really healthy option for your cat, giving them human-grade drinking water at all times.
It’s very simple to setup and use, and your cat will have no trouble drinking from the basin, so when you’re looking for a fountain that’s easy to set up and that your cat will enjoy, this is a great option.
It’s also got a large 84 oz (2.5 liter) volume, which can last for a week or more depending on the size of your kitty and how much they drink. You won’t need to keep topping it up every other day, unless you’re using it with a lot of cats!
The CatCare Ultra Clean is very quiet – with a noise level of less than 35 dB, it won’t disturb you if you leave it running overnight, nor will it cause your cat to miss any sleep either. They won’t be scared of the pump, since the gentle hum stays at a peaceful level at all times. There’s no reason for your cat to be afraid of using the fountain.
Cleaning is simple too. Just one twist and you can remove the drinking basin and filters, so that they’re ready to be rinsed under some running water to keep them spotless and free of any debris.
Speaking of debris, the fountain has three different layers of filtration to keep the water as fresh as possible. The stainless steel filter acts as a barrier for water that returns to the reservoir from the drinking platform. It’s the first line of defense to stop hair and debris from getting into the system from the cat’s water that it has been drinking.
If any fur does make it into the reservoir, it’ll be caught by the foam filter before it has a chance to clog the pump. The water is then pumped through the ultrafiltration filter, which removes 99.9999% of bacteria. A filter refill lasts for 90 days, compared to some in other fountains that only last 14-28 days, for a cost of just $0.17 per day – great value for super-healthy drinking water for your cat.
So based on everything above, with the key things to look for when buying a cat water fountain, it’s fair to say that the CatCare Ultra Clean fits the bill and is worthy of your consideration. It has other features that are worth highlighting too:
- Auto Water Shortage Protection – it uses sensors to detect the water level, and will stop the pump when the water level drops too low, so it won’t waste energy and the pump won’t be damaged trying to work when no water is available.
- Free-Falling Stream – the gentle stream of water from the spout will encourage cats to drink at a healthy rate, with the water flow creating a mild bubble effect that is more interesting than standing water.
- Date Wheel – each filter has a date wheel that you can mark to remind you when it needs to be swapped out.
- Fill Lines – it’s easy to see when there’s not enough water in the fountain, so you can top it up as necessary.
- Silicone Anti-Sleep Pads – the water fountain will stay in place and won’t slide around the floor as your cat drinks with these pads added to the base, even if they’re pushing at the fountain with their paws.
- Hidden Handle – easy to carry the fountain to top it up or clean it, without a large obtrusive handle spoiling the look of the product.
- Cable slot – keeps the cable pinned in place so it remains neat and organized.
Cat Fountain Alternatives
The PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda fountain is a fantastic choice if you care about the look of the fountain in your home. It’s very modern, and made from quality ceramic, so it really does look great.
But that’s not the important reason for choosing a fountain – and this one does still tick a lot of other boxes for your kitty too. It has a 70 oz capacity and it constantly cycles the water through its carbon filters, purifying it and making sure it tastes as good as it can for your cats.
It’s also a good choice for homes with two or more cats, since it has a drinking area at each side – they can share without having to get in each other’s way or wait their turn.
The Pioneer Pet Raindrop Fountain is another that constantly circulates the water to make it more appealing for your cat – and with a charcoal filter, it helps to make sure any nasties are removed and that the water tastes great for your kitty.
The Raindrop Fountain comes in three different materials, including stainless steel, ceramic (available in black or white), and plastic. The plastic one is good for anyone on a budget, although the stainless steel and ceramic will be better choices if you want to help keep them germ-free, plus they’re sturdier.
The fountain offers two different drinking areas – one at the bottom of the fountain, and a larger still area, so your cat can choose their preference. These fountains have a 60 oz capacity.
The Catit Flower Fountain is a fun water fountain with a cute flower design on top. This is more than just an aesthetic choice though, since it offers multiple water streams flowing down the petals to entice your cat to drink.
There’s no bowl here for the water to stagnate, which should help to keep debris from settling in it. Instead, the water just constantly streams down from the flower top, with a choice of three different settings to suit your kitty if they’re a reluctant drinker – a gentle steady flow, a bubbling top or a calm stream.
It’s made from plastic, so not as robust as some other fountains, but it is BPA-free to ensure it’s non-toxic, and it can be disassembled for cleaning when needed.
Cat Mate offers two different plastic water fountains for cats, plus an extra-large one for any dog owners that want a water fountain as well. The cat fountains include a 67 oz one with two different water streams, giving any fussy kitties a choice of where to drink from.
Meanwhile, the 100 oz fountain is obviously larger, with a large bowl and an elevated shell fountain that runs much more gently and quietly. The shell does help to oxygenate the water, which helps to make it more appealing to your cat.
Both fountains are easy to clean, with plastic removable bowls that are safe for the dishwasher. And they both have filters included, which purifies the water and gives it a fresh clean taste.
Related Reading on Water Fountains
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