Cat Water Fountains

A cat water fountain is a simple idea to encourage Kitty to drink enough water to stay properly hydrated.

Many veterinarians and feline experts caution that cats often don’t drink adequate amounts of water unless encouraged, which is exactly what cat water fountains are designed to do. Most cat owners know that their cats prefer to drink moving water over still water just sitting in a dish. You probably know how it goes: Give kitty a chance to drink from a dripping or barely running faucet in the bathroom sink and they might never want to drink out of their water bowl again.

For a few good things to know before buying a cat or pet water fountain, please scroll down beneath the fountains for sale. You might also like:

A cat drinking from a slowly running water fountain
Cats love to drink running water.

From Amazon, eBay, and Etsy

Cats Need To Drink Water

While it seems like an obvious thing to point out, our cats need to drink an adequate amount of water or they run the risk of dehydration and other, often serious, health issues. The thing is, many veterinarians and cat health experts caution us that cats often don’t drink enough water unless they’re encouraged to do so, such as by offering them a moving water source with clean water.

Several pet product manufacturers understand that cats prefer drinking running water, so they make water fountains just for our cats and other pets. Giving Kitty his or her own fountain is often a good idea not only for them but for you, too: It keeps them from sitting at the edge of the bathroom sink waiting – or meowing – for you to come turn it on for them. And since our cats seldom turn the faucets off themselves, it also saves you from remembering to have to go back and turn it off again.

Why Don’t Some Cats Drink Enough Water?

So, why are cats prone to not drinking enough water? Most experts tell us it’s because, by nature, our pet cats are still hunters at heart. When hunting and consuming wild prey cats typically get a significant moisture boost in their diet simply from eating moisture-rich prey. This means our cats are hardwired, so to speak, to rely on their diet for a significant amount of the water they need. This has reduced their natural tendency to simply go and get a drink, which is sometimes referred to as a “diminished thirst drive.”

Our pet cats usually have diets dominated by manufactured foods which don’t contain the water levels of wild prey. Without some form of stimulation to drink they can become dehydrated for long periods of time which can lead to serious health issues including stress on the kidneys and urinary tract infections. Providing our cats with a source of water they are encouraged to drink, such as clean, moving water from a fountain, is often a significant boost to our cats’ health and wellbeing.

A long haired cat drinking water
Many cats need to be stimulated to drink adequate amounts of water. Moving water, from a sink our fountain, often does the trick.

Cat Water Fountains: Good Things To Know Before You Buy

Cat water fountains come with a variety of features. They usually have their own water reservoir so that you can fill it up and not have to hook the fountain to a water supply. They often offer different drinking heights to accommodate cats and kittens of various sizes. Many, if not most, also have internal filters to remove impurities and mineral deposits from the water: Cats are very sensitive to taste and smell, and filtered water can be a big encouragement for some cats to drink. Last but not least, most of them have small water pumps to keep the water moving. Not all cat or pet water fountains are the same, however, and below are a few good things to know before buying a cat water fountain on the Web or anywhere else.

  • Is it new or used? Most of the cat water fountains we’ve seen on Amazon and eBay have been new, but we’ve also seen a few used ones. That might be ok with you, just don’t assume that you’re going to receive a new one when it’s actually been used.
  • Is it a water fountain or a water dispenser? What’s the difference? Typically, water fountains have a water reservoir and a small pump to circulate the water so that the water they offer to drink is gently moving or running. Water dispensers, on the other hand, also have a reservoir but they use gravity, not a pump, to simply fill a dish or bowl without circulating or moving the water. Occasionally a water dispenser shows up in search results for water fountains, so make sure that if you’re shopping for a fountain you don’t get confused.
  • How tall is is the accessible drinking height? Many cat water fountains offer several drinking heights in one fountain. For example, the Catit Flower Fountain is taller on one side than the other, while the Cat Mate Pet Fountain offers three drinking heights in one compact design.
  • How much water does it hold? This, of course, when taken into account with how many cats or other pets will be drinking from it, will have a direct bearing on how often you have to refill the water supply.
  • How easy is it to clean? Many cat water fountains can be easily taken apart so the bowl and/or reservoir can be easily cleaned, and many of them are even dishwasher safe.
A cat drinking from a water fountain
This tabby, like many cats, likes to drink running water.

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