Ensuring your cat has access to fresh water at all times is not always easy. And cats being cats they will always find a way to find what they want, whether its drinking from kitchen sink, or for some moggies, the bathroom!
A water fountain might be the ideal solution for your cat. This guide explores the different models on the market and what you should be looking for.
- What Is a Water Fountain?
- What To Look For
- Cat Water Fountain Reviews – Our Top Picks
- PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain for Pets
- Looking After Your Cat Fountain
- Why Your Cat Must Have Access to Water
- How Much Water Should Cats Drink?
- How Do I Know If My Cat Is Dehydrated?
- How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water?
- What Can Cats Drink Other Than Water?
- How To Get Your Cat To Drink Water
- Help: Why Is My Cat Drinking Toilet Water/Christmas Tree Water?
What Is a Water Fountain?
Water fountains for cats sound just like a faucet running, perfect to tempt cats over to have a drink. They work by a pump circulating the water round to always keep it fresh. Most fountains come with filters to ensure your cat is only receiving the freshest of water, with all impurities removed.
What To Look For
Stainless Steel, Ceramic or Plastic? What the bowl is made out of may influence your buying decision. Some cats can be a little skittish with stainless steel bowls as they can see their reflection in them! A ceramic bowl will be heavier and therefore harder to move for any determined cats. If your fountain of choice has a plastic bowl, make sure it is BPA free. If you don’t intend to hand wash the bowl you may want to check if it is dishwasher proof.
Battery Operated vs Mains Powered –
DIY Cat Water Fountain – If you want to try and make your own fountain you can find some useful tutorials over on Pinterest. If you are making your own as a way to save money remember to price up all the required parts before making.
Noise – you will likely prefer a quiet cat water fountain rather than one that makes loads of noise and disturbs the house. Plus, more timid cats are likely to feel nervous around a noisy fountain.
Cat Water Fountain Reviews – Our Top Picks
Catit Flower Fountain
The Catit Flower Fountain is a popular choice with cat owners. The height of the fountain is at the perfect level for cats to drink from, with a cute flower design where the water flows from.
The fountain has capacity for 3 litres of freshly filtered water to circulate via a small pump. Despite the ability to hold a lot of water, the fountain doesn’t take up too much floor space.
What We Like
- Long cord length (4ft +) means it can be plugged in and placed away from the plug socket.
- BPA free
- Easy to clean
- Water filter lasts a long time
What We Don’t Like
- Some owners have reported that their cats have been able to tip this water fountain over. However it has been when the water has been very low. If you buy this model remember to keep it full so it is too heavy for even the strongest (or determined!) of cats to shift.
Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain
For those cat owners preferring a stainless steel option over plastic or ceramic, the Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain is a definite contender.
Aside from the benefits of using stainless steel, the fountain also has an adjustable flow control cap enable you to manage the flow of water for your cat.
If you are a multi cat household the ability to create up to 5 individual streams of water will make drinking from this fountain more appealing. The fountain has a 1 gallon capacity – perfect for even the thirstiest of pets!
The carbon filter helps to keep the water clean and fresh, whilst the foam filter collects hair and any other items that might work their way in to the pump.
What We Like
- Dishwasher safe (apart from pump)
- 1 gallon water capacity
- Stainless steel
- Suitable for multi pet households
What We Don’t Like
- Larger footprint than other fountains
PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain for Pets
Our preferred choice when feeding our pets is ceramic. This particular fountain from PetSafe is very easy to set up and maintain, being dishwasher safe. There are two drinking areas for your cat, a lower dish and an upper dish, with a 70oz water capacity.
Ceramic is one of the most hygienic types of bowls your cat can drink out of. The carbon activated filter helps to filter out any bad tastes and smells and the foam filter prevents any hair getting into the pump.
Out of all the water fountains this model ticks all the boxes, especially as it is the most visually appealing, with 4 colors to choose from.
What We Like
- Easy to clean
- Modern stylish design with a choice of 4 colors
- Quiet pump
- Set up time in under 10 minutes
- Cats unable to knock over
What We Don’t Like
- Water splash is louder than others – but the pump is quiet, so quite a natural sound!
Looking After Your Cat Fountain
Cleaning: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it is maintained correctly. Most fountains require at least a weekly filter clean and removal of any cat hair that may have found it’s way in. If you can, take the fountain apart and give it a good clean with warm soapy water at least once a week.
Changing The Water: Even if your cat hasn’t drunk all the water make sure you completely empty and refill it at least twice a week to prevent any build up.
Getting Your Cat Used To A Water Fountain: Cats like routine and if you changing from a normal water bowl to a water fountain you might need to prepare for some resistance. Completely remove the old water bowl so they have no option to return to it. Place the water fountain in the exact same place the bowl was in. Introduce them to the water fountain, you might need to splash about in the water a little to let them know it is there for them to drink!
Do I Need To Use The Filters If I Am Using Filtered Water: Yes because sometimes your cats fur can get in the water. The filters tend to last a long time so shouldn’t need to be replaced too frequently.
Why Your Cat Must Have Access to Water
Like any other animal it is vital that your feline friend has 24 hour access to fresh water. If they don’t they could get dehydrated and potentially suffer with health problems such as poorly functioning kidneys. If a cats kidneys are not in optimum health this could lead to urinary diseases.
How Much Water Should Cats Drink?
When thinking about how much water should a cat drink a day we need to consider what their diet is. If a cat is mainly fed on a wet food diet they will likely have a lower need for as much water as a cat fed on a dry food diet. This is because wet food contains 80% water, whereas dry food has only 10%.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Dehydrated?
Dehydration in cats is usually a symptom of another problem rather than lack of drinking. One way to check for this is gently pinching the skin on the cats shoulders and pulling it up gently. When you let go, if the skin is slow to return, the cat could be dehydrated. If you are at all concerned always visit a vet for a professional examination.
How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water?
That will very much depend on what food they are eating. Cats on dry food (kibble) will need water more often than those on a wet diet. Cats eating wet food get a lot of moisture from the food and so don’t require as much hydration as those on dry food. Always make sure your cat has access to water and if you have any concerns about how little they are drinking, visit a vet.
What Can Cats Drink Other Than Water?
Contrary to popular belief, cats shouldn’t drink cows milk as they are lactose intolerant. Cows milk could potentially give them diarrhea. Stick to water, your cat will drink it when needed.
How To Get Your Cat To Drink Water
If you have a fussy feline who isn’t that keen to drink water you might need to do a little extra work with them. Try and place their water bowl/fountain in a place where they are unlikely to get disturbed. If the water is placed in a heavy footfall area it is possible for a more timid cat to shy away from taking regular water breaks.
This is even more important if you also have other pets in the house, such as a dog, who may think the water is left out on a first come first served basis! If this is the case you may need to consider leaving the water up high out of reach, but still where your cat can jump up to, or in a room that your dog doesn’t have access to.
Also, if you are using a regular cat water bowl that you are filling up from the tap, make sure you keep it fresh. Change it often and remember to clean the bowl out in between refills. If your cat is drinking straight after eating they may be contaminating the water with food residue around their mouth.
You may need to encourage your cat to drink water from time to time by taking them to their cat bowl to remind them it is there.
Help: Why Is My Cat Drinking Toilet Water/Christmas Tree Water?
As grim as this may sound to us owners, a cat doesn’t appreciate that the water in the toilet isn’t intended for consumption! The simplest solution to this is to keep the toilet lid closed. As for drinking the Christmas tree water – this isn’t ideal either, try and keep it covered up if you can. Every time your cat drinks from the water bowl/fountain you have put out for them give them positive praise so they know that’s where they should be getting it from!
If your cat is still being stubborn and hanging out/meowing by the toilet to grab a drink try placing the water fountain/bowl by the toilet. Again, every time they drink from it praise them. Slowly move it away from the toilet, just a short distance each day, until it is where it is meant to be.