As a cat owner, you’ve probably seen ads for them, or maybe you’ve seen them at a friend or family member’s house. Cat water fountains are a staple in numerous houses with cats as they keep water fresh and provide them with a little entertainment for the feline population.
These fountains come in all shapes and sizes, materials, and methods. Some are made from wood, plastic or steel. Some function like a water cooler, with a refillable reservoir, while others use an electric pump to cycle water from the basin back through the filter.
Let’s dig in and take a good look at cat water fountains, what is out there, and what to look for.
Considerations You Should Make
Size. When considering the size of fountain to purchase, think about you and your cat. You are the one who will need to clean the fountain and refill it. Try to find one that breaks down and allows for easy cleaning. These things will absolutely get dirty and should be cleaned at a minimum once per month. Also, look for something that won’t intimidate your cat and will fit into a place where they can comfortably drink from it.
Filters. If you are planning on using tap water for your cats, opt for a filtered model. Many use charcoal filters which are harmless to cats and provide better drinking water for them. Filters also help keep the water clean when it starts to get a bit older. Some water dishes can end up looking like they have a film on top of them. Fountains can prevent that from happening.
Water Delivery Method. How does the fountain you are looking at deliver water? Is it a slide, a chute, something that dribbles or creates a stream of water? Cat fountains can deliver water in any number of different ways and it’s up to you to decide what your cat will like best. On the plus, most cat fountains also have an open basin on the bottom in case your cat prefers to drink still water. If your cat prefers still water and drinks from the basin, that is still a win as the fountain is providing clean drinking water for them.
Material. The most frequent materials you will see cat fountains built from are: stainless steel, ceramic, plastic, wood, stone. The two best materials for cleaning would likely be stainless steel and ceramic. Plastic and wood are likely to be more cost-effective but can harbour more bacteria. Wood and stone are also known for retaining poor smells over time. It’s up to you to decide what you want in a cat fountain, but consider cost, how long you expect to use the fountain, and how often you are willing to clean it.
The Benefits Outweigh the Weaknesses
Most cats are chronically dehydrated for one reason or another. In many cases, it is because they aren’t eating enough wet food or drinking enough water. Having a 24/7 freshwater source available to them is a great way to tackle your cat’s hydration problems. Fountains are also fairly curious objects to cats when first introduced. It might be the right thing to inspire your cat to spend more time drinking water!
A water fountain, as mentioned earlier in this article, prevents sludgy buildup on water dishes. Moving water can’t grow bacteria as easily – another win for the cat fountain. Charcoal-filtering keeps water fresh but also removes additional toxins that may have come through the tap. Just make sure you are changing the filter often!
The most important part about owning a cat fountain is the maintenance. Some may see this as a detractor as all you need to do with a water bowl is keep it full and clean. A cat fountain requires extra cleaning and changing of filters. We suggest a monthly disassembly and scrubbing with dish soap and water. Also, try to keep a supply of filters nearby so you can place a fresh one in the fountain each time you clean it.
The cat fountain is a great way to get your cat more interested in drinking more water, to keep them hydrated and healthy, while providing an ever-fresh source of water. Don’t let your cat drink the gross, old, sludgy water in the bowl. Give them the fountain that actively cleans and cycles their water throughout the day.