Last Updated: 2 months ago
Thinking about investing in some cat water fountains to really spoil your kitty?
Then you’ll want to check out our complete guide below.
We’ve talked a lot about the different types, do cat water fountains work, how to use them safely, and, moreover, the years.
Today, we’re pulling it all together for you in one bookmarkable guide! Let’s talk about cat water fountains and why you may need one!
Now, let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.
Top Picks at a Glance
- Winner: Pioneer Big Max
- Runner-Up: Honeyguardian Smart Fountain
- Editor’s Choice: Premier Pet Fountain
Best Cat Water Fountains
1. Best Stainless Steel: Pioneer Big Max Cat Water Fountain
- Circulating drinking water is naturally appealing to your pet
- Replaceable charcoal filter for clean and pure, healthy water
- Dishwasher Safe. Refer the user guide below for Pum Trouble shooting...
The Pioneer Fountain Big Max is stainless steel at its best. The circulating water starts at the top in a smaller elevated bowl, then flows down in a stream to pool in the larger capacity dish—perfect for multi-cat households, dogs, or picky drinkers that like to have options.
The fully enclosed and quiet pump oxygenates and purifies the water using replaceable charcoal filters and continuously cleans the water as it circulates.
The stainless steel reservoir comes in two sizes: 60 and 128 ounces.
- Stainless Steel makes it easy to clean and is dishwasher-safe
- Charcoal filters are easy to change
- Two-size capacity
- Two tiers for drinking give variety and offer comfort for the height of the animals
- Flowing water is perfect for lapping
- May be too large and bulky for some customers
- The pump needs to be completely taken apart and cleaned every few months
What We Like
It is ideal for multi-pet households. We like the two-tier idea, and the stainless steel is easy to keep clean.
2. Best Quiet: HoneyGuardian Cat Water Fountain
- Built-in 3 working modes : infrared induction mode, continues mode and...
- Compact and Patent Design: The Max height is 6.3 inches, the Min...
- Easy to dissemble and clean: the pet water fountain is easy to...
Flowing water will make a sound, but what if you had the option only to have the water flow when your pet approaches it? That’s just one of the features of the HoneyGuardian Smart Fountain.
This ingenious design works by using three built-in modes:
- Infrared induction mode will dispense water when the infrared sensor detects your pet within five feet of the fountain.
- Continue mode: dispenses water on a continual basis
- Intermittent mode: it circulates water for one hour, then shuts down for 30 minutes.
A simple push of a button changes your fountain from one mode to the next.
Another feature the HoneyGuardian offers is a low-level water reminder. If the water level becomes too low, it automatically shuts itself off, and an LED light will shine as a reminder to add more water.
This unit is also compact and made from food-grade and BPA-free materials.
- Three-modes to operate in
- Holds just over a ½ gallon of water
- Easy to clean
- Uses ultra-low power
- Suitable for cats and small to medium-size dogs
- Functional over fancy
- Water does not pour
What We Like
The three-mode system allows for more versatility in function.
It’s quiet because the water does not require a spout to pour from, but it still offers the purification and movement of the water that cats enjoy.
3. Best Ceramic: ThirstyCat Fountains Cat Water Fountain
From Upflow Fountains to one made specifically for long-haired cats, the ThirstyCat Fountain company is one “cool cat.”
Made in a studio (not an assembly line), these beautifully crafted ceramic cat fountains come in a variety of styles, colors, and water flows to suit any feline’s individual needs.
- The Upflow Fountain is perfect for cats that want moving water but not a direct stream (think school-type fountain).
- The Tall Upflow Fountain is the one you may consider if your feline has a longer coat; the neck of the fountain is taller to prevent your cat’s hair from dipping into the bowl.
- The Stream Fountain creates a steady flow of water from a beautifully crafted spout that adds a flair of decorative beauty to a serviceable unit.
- Quality crafted
- There are many designs to choose from
- Ceramic is sprayed on for added durability
- Cat Tap Add-ons turn an Upflow into a Stream Fountain
- Large-capacity bowls are available for multi-pet households
- Works of art with added function will fit into any decor
- Vet recommended
- More expensive than most fountains
What We Like
ThirstyCat Fountains are beautifully crafted and look more like a “work of art” than a pet dish. The Cat Tap Add-on is a great way to turn a “low flow” into a pouring stream.
4. Premier Pet Fountain
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With 50 ounces of free, filtered water at their disposal, your pets should never be thirsty.
The Premier Pet Fountain has a submersible pump that circulates the water through two filtration systems: a foam filter to remove dirt and hair and an activated carbon filter to remove bad taste and odor.
The continuously moving water prevents bacterial growth and keeps the water cleaner than a standing bowl ever could.
Plus, your pet will have the option to drink from the free-falling stream or the shallow bowl.
- Holds up to 50 oz. of fresh, filtered water
- A free-falling stream encourages pets to drink more
- Made with BPA-free plastic that is top-of-the-shelf dishwasher safe (excluding the pump),
- Fountain plugs into the wall and uses a low-voltage (12V) system for safety
- Design provides function over appearance
What We Like
The two-part filtration system works to pull out both chemicals in the water as well as floating debris. The low price point makes it affordable for everyone.
5. PetSafe Drinkwell Seascape Cat Water Fountain
- WATER CAPACITY: 70 oz. water capacity is great for cats and small to...
- ENCOURAGES DRINKING: Moving water entices your pet to drink more and...
- FRESH WATER: Includes replaceable carbon water filter that keeps water...
The PetSafe Drinkwell Seascape fountain isn’t just functional; its sleek design will fit into most decors.
It comes with a 70-ounce capacity and two ways to filter the water: a sponge to grab floating debris and a carbon filter to purify the water.
The submersible pump and ball design of the water flow make it super quiet. The entire unit is made from ceramic, making it easier to keep clean, and it is top-of-the-line dishwasher-safe.
- Functional and aesthetically appealing design
- Effectively cleans the water
- Ceramic is easy to clean
- Reasonably priced
- Two filters to replace
- Water pools not pour
- The pump needs to entirely be taken apart once every month to keep it in optimal working order
What We Like
The overall design of this unit would fit into most decor. The two-part filtration system gives your pet the optimal tasting and smelling drink every time.
6. Mospro Pet Fountain
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The Mospro Pet Fountain comes in two sizes: 1.6 and 2 liters. This unit is designed to hold the water, so there’s no need to replenish it as often.
The whisper-quiet motor won’t disturb you or your pets and uses two pieces of replaceable activated carbon filters, which can be used repeatedly.
This cat water fountain has three water flow settings: flower waterfall, flower bubble, and gentle fountain mode, perfect for all kinds of pets.
The recessed sink and water circulation system are designed to increase the contact area of water and air, which provides more oxygen to the water.
- Made of finely polished antibacterial PP resin material
- BPA-free, non-toxic and odorless, with food-grade certification
- The quick-release structure is designed for easy removal and cleaning
- Aesthetically pleasing design and economical
- Stores the water for less replenishment.
- Multistage filtration will require more cleaning
What We Like
This fountain’s capacity to store water is great for busy people or for those that need to be gone overnight. The unit is whisper-quiet and appealing to look at.
Providing your pet with a water fountain offers many benefits, like increasing your pet’s desire to drink more. Cat water fountains are also designed to remove chemicals, odors, and bad tastes through a filtration system.
Whether you choose one of these top five models or find one that suits your individual needs, water fountains are a healthy addition to any pet parent’s home.
Everything You Need To Know About Cat Water Fountains
Cat water fountains are one of those things you don’t technically need to raise a happy and healthy kitty, but they sure are a nice touch!
Have you noticed your cat being picky when it comes to his water bowl? Does he prefer the running tap?
If your cat is healthy but exhibits this behavior, you may have a reluctant drinker on your hands.
However, don’t despair; there may be a simple solution.
Below, we’ll go over literally everything you need to know: the types, how and when to use them, and more. We’ll also look at some of our expert picks!
Comparison Of Different Types
Knowing your options for the different types of cat water fountains will go a long way towards helping you narrow down your final choice.
By “types,” I mean a few different things. I know, that’s confusing. Let me just keep going, and you’ll see what I mean.
Gravity vs. Automatic
First things first, do you want a fountain that runs on gravity or electricity?
Gravity water fountains aren’t really “fountains” any more than our water tank in our home is a faucet.
Let me explain. Gravity fountains are those that have a bowl on the bottom and a “tank” of water on top.
Here, let me show you a picture; that’s probably easier than me trying to describe things the way I see them in my head!
Basically, as your cat drinks, water comes down from the tank and replenishes the supply in the bowl. They rarely contain a filter, so technically, your cat isn’t getting “fresh” water.
On the other hand, fountains that run on electricity (or batteries), are a lot different.
Some attach to a water supply in your home, while others use multiple filters to constantly clean the water within their chambers.
There are multiple types, but essentially they all work like this: a cat triggers a fountain, filtered water bubbles or flows, a cat drinks the fresh water, and a cat walks away.
Water goes back into the filtering chamber until next time, and the process repeats.
When I talk about cat water fountains, I’m thinking more along the lines of the second option: fountains that are powered in some way. Let’s explore the different types.
Cat-Powered vs. Automatic Motion Sensor Fountains
As you start looking into corded cat water fountains, you’ll find that they fall into two major categories: cat-powered and automatic.
I honestly have no preferences here. Both have their pros and cons.
Cat-powered fountains are great for a busy household where someone or something is always on the move.
On the other hand, motion sensor fountains may be easier to get your cat to use.
Plus, it just feels more natural to me. In the wild, our cats don’t have to trigger a bubbling stream. It’s just there.
If you prefer the second option, check out our top picks for the best automatic cat fountain.
Fountains That Are Ideal for Short-Nosed Cats
Your cat’s face shape is another major factor to consider when choosing the right fountain.
Persians and other cats with flat faces have different needs than kitties with longer “snouts.”
While a regular fountain isn’t necessarily dangerous (unless your cat has breathing problems) for short-nosed kitties, it’s also not exactly ideal.
Think about how you’d feel if your whole face was basically submerged every time you took a drink!
Stainless steel vs. Plastic Fountains
When it comes to the actual drinking fountain, you have even more options to consider.
Do you want something made from ceramic materials? Stainless steel?
Are you okay with just a good BPA-free plastic fountain?
I can’t tell you which to choose, as it depends on your preferences and budget.
Personally, I like stainless steel because it’s easy to keep clean. My favorite is pictured above.
I also love the idea of ceramic, but I’m a klutz, so I worry that I’ll break it.
Still, it beats plastic, in my opinion, because, again, it’s easier to maintain.
That said, plastic isn’t an awful choice, per se. Just make sure it’s BPA-free and what not.
Also, understand that you’ll need to replace them more often (see safety tips below).
Noisy vs. Quiet Water Fountains for Cats
The noise factor is the very last thing I consider when shopping for cat water fountains.
Honestly, I don’t need the quietest fountain in the world.
My cat’s water fountain is far enough from the bedrooms—and even the living room—that the sound doesn’t really bother me.
However, if you live in a small apartment or plan to keep the fountain in your room, try one of these quietest water fountains.
Once you’ve finally settled on the perfect fountain, there are a few more things to consider before setting it up and letting your cat go to town.
Safety and Other Considerations for Cat Water Fountains
Are cat water fountains safe for a cat that likes water?
The short answer is yes, obviously. Otherwise, we wouldn’t spend so much time finding good ones for you!
We don’t recommend anything that could put your cat in harm’s way here, after all.
Let’s just quickly go over some of the highlights of that piece here and briefly discuss some safety tips.
Set it up in the right place
Choosing the right location is absolutely key to giving your cat a safe and satisfying fountain experience.
Obviously, you’ll want to keep it where your cat usually goes for a drink. For us, that’s the kitchen.
Beyond that, though, you need to consider where you’ll be plugging it in.
Choose a spot close enough to an outlet that you can avoid running dangerous cords all over the place.
At the same time, you want it far enough away so that water doesn’t splash back into the outlet!
Keep up with the cleaning
Regardless of what type of fountain you get, you absolutely must follow the manufacturer’s directions for keeping it clean.
For unfiltered fountains, that means changing the water daily—or at most every other day.
If you go with a filtered option, read the manual to find out how often you need to replace it.
For gravity and filtered fountains, do a complete cleaning once every other week for single-cat households.
If you have multiple cats, go with a weekly cleaning routine.
Even fountains that attach right to your sink need cleaning, so don’t think you can skip this step if you invest in one.
During your weekly (or every other weekly) cleaning, pay attention to the parts to check for damage and look for any frayed wiring.
Replace plastic fountains regularly
One of the reasons I prefer stainless steel over plastic is that the former can last a lifetime.
Plastic, however, breaks down a lot faster. It’s also hard to keep clean.
So, even if you’re meticulous about following cleaning directions, chances are you’ll need to replace it at least once a year (and that’s me being generous).
As I said, these are the highlights regarding cat water fountain safety.
Check out that post I shared with you above for more in-depth information. It was written by a former vet tech.
That about covers everything you need to know about cat water fountains!
Like I said, they’re not a vital purchase, but they definitely make life a little easier.
How Much Water Does My Cat Need Each Day?
If you are concerned that your feline friend isn’t drinking enough water, you may be worried about nothing.
Daily water intake of your pet will depend on many factors. The size of your cat, the time of year, and your feline’s diet will all determine how much water your cat needs.
- For example, large cats like the Maine Coon will need more.
- Likewise, if it’s hot out, you’ll want to make sure Kitty is drinking more.
- If you feed your cat a dry diet, he will need more water to help digest the food; kibble only contains about 10% moisture, whereas canned food is around 80% water.
According to Preventive Vet, a healthy cat (in normal circumstances) will require between 3.5 and 4.5 ounces of fresh water per 5 pounds of body weight each day.
Signs of Dehydration in Cats
If you are concerned your pet may be experiencing dehydration, watch for these signs and symptoms
Loss of Appetite
When a cat doesn’t eat, it could be a sign of trouble. Dehydration may not be the cause, but it will be a side effect if it goes on for too long.
If your cat hasn’t eaten for 24 hours, get her to your veterinarian for a thorough checkup.
Perform the “skin tent test” to check for dehydration; just pull up on your cat’s skin around its shoulders and watch how fast it settles.
Skin that springs back into place is normal, while slow-moving skin could be lacking adequate water intake.
Dry, tacky gums could be a sign of dehydration.
Lethargy or Depression
Is your cat extra sleepy or lazy? Does he lack the energy to play as usual? These could be signs of a lack of water.
Vomiting or Diarrhea
If your cat has experienced excessive vomiting or diarrhea, he could also be in danger of dehydration.
Dull and sunken eyes can be a sign of dehydration.
Unlike dogs, cats don’t usually pant, but they might if they are overheated, which can go along with a case of dehydration.
Not urinating as often
A good reason to scoop your litter box on a daily basis is so you can monitor your cat’s output. Too little urine could be a sign of dehydration and other urinary tract conditions.
The next time you have your cat taken to the vet, ask him or her to show you how to take your pet’s pulse rate. Having this skill can help you determine whether Kitty’s heart is racing or is too slow—it could save her life!
Check out this video for a visual on how to do the skin tent test and test for other signs of dehydration in cats.
If your cat is exhibiting any of these signs, encourage her to drink more water. If Kitty refuses, then be sure to get her to the vet for treatment.
Benefits of a Cat Water Fountain
For decades, pet parents have selected a bowl (most likely based on looks or convenience), filled it with tap water, and placed it on the floor for Kitty to lap at.
The problem with this method is that the water quickly becomes stale, warm, and subject to all manner of debris. If your cat is like mine, the minute a “floaty” shows up in the dish, he’s done!
A standing bowl is also not the best method for the cat’s natural drinking “stance.”
According to research, and observation, cats use the tip of their tongues, along with inertia (gravity’s opposite), to get the water they need from source to mouth.
They do this by touching the water and quickly drawing their tongue back up to their mouth. Watch your feline the next time he’s at the water bowl.
So, it only makes sense that flowing water would be more appealing to the physiological makeup of the feline body.
Another benefit of a cat water fountain is that most use filters to remove debris, hair, and (more importantly) chemicals found in tap water.
This keeps the water fresh and appealing to those finicky felines. Lastly, cat water fountains continuously move the water in the bowl.
This not only aerates the liquid but also makes it easier for animals to judge the water level, which most seem to appreciate.
Okay, so we covered pretty much everything you need to know about the what, when, where, and why.
Now let’s take a look at a few of our favorite cat water fountains. Think of this as the grand finale to this guide!
Do you have any of these cat water fountains? Tell us your favorite below!
Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.
Last update on 2024-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API