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For all the cat lovers out there, pampering your furry pal probably goes beyond buying the best cat toys, cat trees, and cozy cat houses. But have you tapped into the world of cat tech yet? Think cat DNA tests, the self-cleaning Litter Robot, automatic cat feeders, and even cat water fountains. Cats, as we know, are fairly independent. Leave them with some dry food and a spotless litter box, and they're typically content whether you're at work or away for a night. Yet, if you've experienced the all-too-familiar scene of an overturned water bowl or a fussy feline avoiding stagnant water, you might wonder if they're truly getting enough hydration daily.
You may catch your cat pawing at their water bowl to create some form of movement, and you might’ve thought they were simply playing with it. The truth is, regardless of cat breed, they are naturally drawn to and generally prefer to drink moving water. According to Jacquelyn Kennedy, behavioral specialist and founder of pet advice site PetDT.com, "The main benefit of getting your pet cat a water fountain is that they will likely be more hydrated, as cats prefer to drink running water to still water. They instinctively understand that running water will be safer and it tastes better because it has a higher quantity of oxygen in it."
Dr. Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian working with ExcitedCats.com, reminds us that it can be a struggle to get your cat to drink enough water, which isn’t a positive when it comes to preventing health conditions like diabetes and kidney disease. "Cat water fountains can really increase a cat's water consumption because they filter the water to ensure your kitty always has fresh, clean water available," she explains. "Drinking enough water can go a long way in keeping a cat healthy."
Considering these advantages, you might be thinking of investing in one of the best cat water fountains for your pet. Dive into our recommendations, along with valuable insight from experts and answers to common questions, so you can select the perfect automatic fountain for your cat.
Wireless Automatic Cat Water Fountain
This cat water fountain from innovative brand Uah Pet comes with all of the bells and whistles. Not only is it stable, tip-proof, and safe (using various filtration elements and methods to keep the water clean), its technical features make it a true stand out. While many cat water fountains need to be plugged in to run, this one is fully wireless and runs on battery. Its long-lasting battery can run for up to 120 days and is rechargeable with a USB. Conserving battery life, you can set this water fountain to a motion-sensor mode, which means it'll turn on and run the water when there's motion within 2 meters of it. It's also ultra-quiet, so it won't bother you or scare skittish cats.
Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain
It's unanimous: All of the experts we interviewed said they preferred stainless steel out of all the other materials that cat water fountains can be made out of. It's one of the cleanest, meaning you won't have to wash it as often as other cat water fountain types (like plastic).
Capsule Cat Water Fountain
Quality water is what your cat will get with this Petlibro find. It features a 5-level filtration system that uses ion exchange resin and coconut shell activated carbon to keep water super clean. The stainless steel version, which comes in blue (pictured) or purple, has a higher price point than the plastic options (blue, green, orange, and purple), but pros largely prefer the material for cleanliness. Choose from two drinking modes — one that looks like a faucet and the other where the water comes up. Regardless of your cat's preference, buyers love how quiet it is.
Stainless Steel Fountain for Multiple Cats
Whether you have multiple cats or a cat and a dog, this pet hydration station is designed with both pet types in mind. Made of durable stainless steel, this one stays clean and offers continuous water supply in a four-liter tank that's lit by LED. Ultra-quiet, this drinking dispenser comes with two mode choices: flowing stream or gentle bubble.
Stainless Steel Flower Fountain With Triple Action Filter
Not only is this cat water fountain adorable, it also promises to keep water clean while enticing cats to drink more. While not all of it is made of stainless steel, the plastic pieces in the product are also BPA-free. Of all the water fountains we found, this one holds the most. An energy-efficient pump keeps the triple-action water filter going to remove impurities.
Creekside Ceramic Pet Fountain
According to our experts, ceramic is another great option for cat water fountains. Though it can be more fragile than stainless steel, vets say it's just as clean. This ceramic cat fountain allows water to softly bubble over the tower to entice cats to sip, while pumping water to help prevent bacteria from growing.
Pet Fountain With Replacement Filters and Silicone Mat
If 51,000+ people agree on something, that's a good sign — and that's how many 5-star ratings this cat water fountain has on Amazon. It boasts an ultra-quiet pump, large capacity, and a circulation system. The set also comes with three replacement filters made of activated carbon, ion exchange resin, and non-woven fabric, which all work together to keep the water clean.
Automatic Pet Drinking Fountain
Budget-friendly and oh-so sleek, we love the way that this cat water fountain features a fully transparent design. Being able to see the water inside the vessel and outside the fountain will surely entice cats. Many cats will also like the faucet mode. If they're scared, though, you can simply adjust it or remove it entirely to make the water flow more gently.
What to look for when shopping for cat water fountains
✔️ Size for your space: Cat water fountains are pricier than your ordinary water bowl, so it’s important to understand your options. Dr. Maureen K. Murithi, a veterinarian who works with Hepper.com, suggests considering the size of the fountain and where you plan to put it, because some may take up a lot of space.
✔️ Low noise: “Opt for fountains that don't make a lot of noise. Noisy ones may deter cats and can become a nuisance,” Dr. Murithi says. “You may want one with a quiet motor for more skittish cats as well,” Dr. Bonk agrees.
✔️ Filter options: “Opt for fountains that contain filters that help in trapping toxins and impurities, making the water safer to drink,” says Dr. Bonk. Some fountains come with one or more filters to get you started, while others are sold separately. Consider how often you'll need to replace them and how accessible or costly the replacement filters are before making your selection.
✔️ Easy to clean: "Look for a model that will be easy to disinfect, even if it gets a little scratched. So, look for ceramic and stainless steel models," says Kennedy.
Will all cats like a water fountain?
Cats are fickle. Some might love it, while others might be skeptical. “Either the noise or the movement might be scary, so if you have a more timid cat, a water fountain might not be the best option,” Dr. Bonk says. On the flip side, water fountains can improve the taste and smell of the water, which could make cats drink more. They also keep water cooler and more oxygenated than standard water bowls, which cats will appreciate during warm weather months.
What type of materials should you consider?
Kennedy says that cat water fountains might harbor a lot of bacteria, so she advises trying non-plastic options. Stainless steel and ceramic materials are best as they are easy to clean and are hygienic.
Are cat water fountains easy to clean?
Water fountains can be a pain to clean, so definitely consider this when picking one. If it's not easy to clean, you may not clean it enough, which can lead to the system harboring bacteria that could cause your cat to fall ill.
How do you clean cat water fountains?
Unlike plain cat water bowls, cat water fountains come with multiple parts that will have to be disassembled to clean. You should clean your cat water fountain as often as directed on its packaging, but typically, weekly is a safe bet. Not cleaning often enough might mean that bacteria could grow and make your cat sick when consumed. The material of a cat water fountain also makes a difference. Plastic water fountains will need to be cleaned more often than stainless steel because bacteria can grow on plastic quicker than stainless steel.
Will cats play with the water fountain?
The short answer is, maybe. It truly depends on the cat. Some will show more interest than others.
How much should cat water fountains cost?
Cat water fountains come in various prices. Most of them fall between $20 and $100. You'll be paying more for ones with special features, like motion sensors, quiet modes, and quality filtering systems. As with anything else, you do get what you pay for. Some of the more expensive choices provide better innovation than their less expensive counterparts.
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