With their body made up of around 70% water, your cat needs a supply of fresh H2O every day to keep in optimum health. But as a cat lover you probably already know that your much-loved kit can also be a tad fussy when it comes to their food and water bowls. And a bowl of water that has been sitting around for too long and is less than fresh is not going to capture their attention.
Cats are known to prefer fresh, running water – have you ever noticed your kit likes to sup from a dripping or running faucet in your kitchen? And if you can replicate this fresh supply in their water bowl, they are more likely to get all the daily hydration they need. Which is where a pet water fountain comes in. Specifically designed for felines, these water supply marvels provide clean, running water your cat will love to lap up, and means you are not constantly having to change or refill their water bowl. We take a look at some of the best cat water fountains you and your cat will love to tap into.
The Best Cat Water Fountain
Top of our best cat water fountains list is the PetSafe Drinkwell, which can be used for both cats and small/medium sized dogs and has all the essentials you need to keep them happy and hydrated.
This is a large capacity gravity fountain that supplies 168 ounces of water per reservoir fill, more than enough to keep several cats drinking healthily and means you don’t have to keep topping it up during the day. Made from BPA-free plastic it’s also durable and can be put through your dishwasher for easy cleaning. The water is also carbon filtered, sucking out nasties as well as any bad taste and odors, giving your kit a fresh supply to enjoy. With a free-falling stream, the water is naturally oxygenated, and the spout is accessible for drinking directly from the stream. This may not be the prettiest pet water fountain in our review but for sheer capacity, ease of drinking and durability at a good price, we give the Drinkwell our top marks.
Large capacity gravity fountain
Holds up to 1.3 gallons
Made from BPA-free, durable plastic
Replaceable carbon filter
- Weight4 pounds
Large capacity and durable plastic make this a durable, easy to use fountain
Rubber feet keep it secure and slip-free
The rounded reservoir can’t stand on its own when re-filling so a bit fiddly
A straightforward plastic gravity water fountain, the Replendish is good value for money as the reservoir can hold up to four gallons of carbon-filtered water. Just choose the reservoir size that is right for your pet and the fountain will do the rest for you! What we particularly like about the Replendish, is that it’s been treated with Microban Antimicrobial protection to help stop staining and odor-forming bacteria taking hold.
Design-wise it is practical, and you have a choice of four colors for the drinking bowl, which itself is a good size for your cat to comfortably drink from. The water flow, however, is not as pronounced or accessible to your cat as some of the other products in our cat water fountain review, but if your cat is happy lapping from a bowl it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
Plastic gravity water fountain
Up to four-gallon capacity
Carbon filter for freshness
Microban treated for extra bacterial protection
Available in four bowl colors
- Weight12 ounces
A solid and secure water fountain with a large capacity for a multi-pet family
There’s no pronounced water flow for your cat to lap from
If the look of your small cat water fountain is important, or you want it to fit with your home décor, then check out our Premium Pick, PetSafe’s Pagoda. Made from a rather elegant ceramic and available in a choice of colorways, the Pagoda is a quality piece of cat-care equipment that won’t look unsightly, wherever you put it.
But while looks are important, how does it perform as a water fountain for your pet? Well, as an electric-powered pet water fountain that’s just quiet enough for smaller cats and kittens, we say pretty good! Its water capacity is around 70 ounces, so enough for your cat or small dog without the need for a midday refill and the dual stream ensures there’s plenty of oxygen added to the free-flowing water. The water runs through a replaceable carbon filter and the whole unit is powered via a discreet cable. There’s also a nice design touch with the double layer bowl, with a higher, easy to reach ‘trough’ for older or arthritic pets.
Ceramic dual bowl water fountain
Holds 70 ounces of water
Electric powered pump
Replaceable carbon filter
Top-shelf dishwasher safe
- Weight3.03 pounds
The two-bowl design and the use of ceramic makes this an attractive addition to your home
At the top end of our best cat water fountain review budget
Stainless-steel is a good material for a cat water fountain as it’s durable, hygienic and easy to clean. Oh, and it looks rather cool too. And we really like this handsome high-grade stainless-steel model from Pioneer Pet. Pump-operated, this fountain is impressively quiet and creates a cat attention-grabbing spout of oxygenated water that will entice them in for a refreshing drink. There’s decent water capacity too, as the Raindrop Fountain is available in two sizes, so you can match the bowl with the size and hydration needs of your pet. The carbon filter works effectively to scoop out any water nasties and they have an average three-week shelf life before they need to be changed. And thanks to the metal material, the Raindrop is really easy to keep clean and is dishwasher safe for an even easier cat-owning life. Smart looking, this is also a good choice if you have a skittish or timid pet.
Pump-operated, carbon filtered fountain
Made from high-grade stainless-steel
Water is oxygenated as it flows
60-ounce or 96-ounce capacity
- BrandPioneer Pet
- Weight2.65 pounds
Durable and super-stylish pump water fountain that is also super quiet
It’s a bit of an awkward shape and can be fiddly to get into the dishwasher
If you are a multiple cat family and need something that’s sturdy, low maintenance and can supply clean water at a decent volume, then check out this multi-tier fountain from PetSafe Drinkwell. With a substantial 100-ounce water capacity and two bowl levels, this multi-level cat water fountain is good for both dogs and cats and the elevated bowl works well for older or arthritic pets. Made from BPA-free, dishwasher safe plastic it is durable but relatively lightweight for its size. A low-voltage pump quietly moves and re-circulates the water, while a carbon filter makes sure it is clean and drink-ready. For the less than $30 price, this is a lot of effective cat water fountain for your money.
Dual bowl water fountain
Large 100-ounce capacity
Replaceable carbon filter
BPA-free and dishwasher safe
- Weight2.4 pounds
A versatile cat water fountain that’s ideal for older animals or multi-pet households
There are a few nooks and crannies to keep clean
Can be on the heavy side when moving
For a great value gravity water fountain for your feline, we think PetSafe’s Water Station is another good option. Available in three capacity sizes, this cat water fountain is ideal for a range of pets, from cats and kittens to medium sized dogs and is simple but effective to use. For the less than $17 price tag you get a sturdy BPA-free plastic water reservoir and a stainless-steel drinking bowl which is fed by the gravity reservoir. However, you will need to buy a carbon filter as it is not supplied. The overall design is compact and effective and can be discreetly placed in your kitchen or utility room. And as it is silent, it is a good option for a scaredy cat. To keep the water station clean, simply pop out the metal bowl and pop it in your dishwasher to blast off dirt and any bacteria nasties. Straight-forward, good value and no frills, this is a water fountain that does what it says on the tin.
Gravity system water fountain
Stainless steel, dishwasher safe bowl
Available in three sizes
Easy to assemble and use
- Weight1.1 pounds
A well-priced basic gravity fed water fountain that is discreetly styled
You need to buy a filter separately as it isn’t included
The 360 is an all-round water fountain in the true sense of the word! With its smart stainless-steel bowl, the central spout of the 360 Multi-Pet Water Fountain gives you five free-falling streams of fresh, clean water, meaning it’s accessible to your pet from all sides. Pump-powered, the streams can also be adjusted to a flow rate that makes your cat happy and you can reduce the number of streams working at any one time. Plus, it has a decent water capacity – up to 128 ounces so can cater for several cats at once. Inside you get a carbon filter as well as a foam filter to scoop out cat hair and larger pieces of debris so your kit can drink sparkling clean H2O every time. All without any disturbing noises from the pump mechanism, so it is kitten and timid cat friendly too. The stainless-steel construction is sturdy and easy to clean although it does make it the heavyweight in our best cat water fountains review.
Pump-operated water fountain
Adjustable five stream spout
Carbon and foam filters
128-ounce water capacity
- Weight4.28 pounds
Innovative five-stream spout can be adjusted to suit your cat’s drinking habits
The heaviest cat water fountain in our review
The Catit Flower is a super-cute cat water fountain that’s also a really effective drinking system that your cat will love…or at least be very curious about!
Made from BPA-free, durable plastic, the Catit Flower Fountain is powered by an energy-efficient pump that quietly circulates the water flow for delicious, nicely oxygenated water. The spouts are hidden under a clever daisy head design and you get three water flow settings so you can tailor the fountain for even the fussiest of felines. Use without the flower for a soft gentle stream or add the flower head for a faucet-style stream. Inside you get a triple action replaceable filter that removes calcium and magnesium from the water, while picking up any dirt, nasties and bacteria as well as softening the water. The design will also add some fun and interest to your cat’s favorite location and the whole unit is easy to disassemble and clean.
Made from BPA-free plastic
3-liter water capacity
Flower head fountain with adjustable spouts
Triple filtration system
- Weight1.32 pounds
Cute, clever design that can be adjusted to suit your cat’s drinking style
Triple filtration, to clean and soften the water
The flower head spout could be a little low for very large cats
The Cat Mate Pet Fountain is a flexible fountain system that should appeal to all your furry animals and create some interest and fun as they drink. The BPA-free plastic cat water fountain has three different drinking levels plus an easy to reach – and lick – water fountain spout. Powered by an isolated pump system that gives a nice and quiet operation, older cats and smaller kittens can also use the fountain to get that all-important daily hydration.
The water capacity of 70-ounces is sufficient for the size and the output of the pump and water flow is adjustable to suit your cats’ needs and drinking quirks. Inside you get a polymer carbon filter system to keep the water fresh and clean and thanks to the easy-clean plastic, this is an easy to maintain cat water fountain that should last some time. It is also durable enough to cope with small to medium sized dogs so a great all-rounder for the pet-loving home.
Multi-height drinking station
Isolated pump system
Polymer carbon water filter
70-ounce water capacity
- BrandAni Mate
- Weight 1 pounds
A good multi-pet drinking fountain that is surprisingly quiet
Could benefit from stronger floor grips on the bottom
The Zeus Fresh & Clear is a well-made pet water fountain that is particularly useful for larger or older cats as the elevated design of the fountain and drinking bowl makes it easier for pets to reach down and use. It’s also a good option for a multi-pet household as the reservoir can hold an impressive 200-ounces of water, ready to dispense thanks to the inner pump. We also like the large surface area of the drinking bowl, which helps to oxygenate the water, while an inner multi-stage filtration system keeps the water super-fresh and clean. Made from BPA-free plastic, this is a large cat water fountain and the water flow is not adjustable but it does come out at a workable rate for cats, without being too full on or making a mess when they drink.
Large 200-ounce capacity
Elevated design for easy reach
Large drinking surface area
Multi-stage inner filtration system
Made from BPA-free plastic
- Weight1.68 pounds
Elevated design makes it ideal for older or larger cats
Fountain rate is not adjustable
Best Cat Water Fountains Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying Cat Water Fountain
You want your kit to take to its new cat water fountain like a duck to water so need to ensure it’s the right one for them. When buying a pet water fountain, you should consider:
Size matters when it comes to easy and comfortable drinking for your cat so make sure the water fountain and its drinking reservoir are the right for their age and breed. Cats also have sensitive mouths, so you need to make sure the drinking bowl is wide enough not to irritate their whiskers. And if you have a large cat or are a multiple cat household, it needs to have sufficient water holding capacity to keep their thirst satiated without you needing to replenish it several times a day.
Cat water fountains are available in a range of materials, including plastic, stainless steel and ceramic and each type has its pros and cons. Plastic is the most widely available and affordable although it may not be the most durable and you will need to ensure it is BPA free and safe for your pet. Stainless steel is another good option, although more expensive. Easy to clean and stylish, it is also practical as long as it is rust-proof. Ceramic is more expensive but considered the most hygienic although it is easier to break.
Whichever material you choose, the overall durability of your new cat water fountain is an essential point to consider. You need it to stand up to daily use and potentially abuse if you have several cats and other pets in your home and while parts such as pumps will need to be periodically replaced, the overall unit should be durable and well-built.
- Pump or gravity fed
How the water gets into the drinking bowl is also another important consideration and your choice will depend on the drinking preferences of your cat. Pump water fountains use an electric pump to oxygenate and circulate the water and so are more expensive as well as a little noisy but the water in the bowl will be fresher. You can also adjust the water flow to your kit’s preference. Alternatively, you can opt for a gravity-fed fountain, which sees the water flowing from a height into the bowl until the reservoir is empty. They tend to be cheaper and quieter as there is no need for electricity, but the water will not always be as fresh as pumped water. Gravity fed water fountains can be a good option if you cat is particularly timid and is spooked by noise.
Cats can be fussy when it comes to their water and so you want your fountain to supply them with enticing fresh and clean H2O. Most cat water fountains come with a filtration system to purify the water and remove dirt and cat hairs, as well as any chemicals and smells. There are two types of filtration systems available – mechanical or chemical. Mechanical filters contain a sponge around the pump which the water passes through, and any nasties are filtered out. Alternatively, chemical filters such as activated carbon mop up any toxins or impurities in the water but are totally safe for your feline. You can also get additional ultraviolet filter systems which use UV filters to zap any bugs while an ion exchange filter can also help to soften hard water.
- Quiet operation
If you’re opting for a pump operated water fountain, go for a pump that is low-voltage and is quiet as possible as excess noise from your cat water fountain could disturb your pet and make it less likely that they want to drink from it.
- Ease of cleaning
As your water fountain will be used frequently by your cat or cats, it’s inevitable that it will get a little grimy. And as cats are fussy when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness, you need to make sure you choose a pet water fountain that is quick and easy to clean. A light-colored unit and bowl will certainly let you know when it needs cleaning, and a fountain that can be dissembled and the key parts popped into the dishwasher is going to make your life that bit easier.
Benefits of Cat Water Fountains
Ensuring your cat has access to plenty of clean, fresh water is essential to their health and wellbeing. Here’s why a cat water fountain is the way to go:
- Your cat is susceptible to kidney and urinary infections if they are not sufficiently hydrated throughout the day
- Cats on a dry food diet need access to plenty of clean water
- Cats prefer to drink from a running source of fresh water than a bowl of water that’s been there for a while
- Cats are playful when it comes to water so a water fountain will attract their attention and encourage them to drink
- If you are busy or out of the house all day, a water fountain will take the worry out of having to change or replace your cat’s water supply
How to Maintain Your Cat Water Fountain
Looking after your pet water fountain should be relatively simple and low maintenance. However, keeping it clean and in tip-top condition will prolong its life and keep your cat happy. The drinking bowl will need regular washing and cleaning to keep it bacteria free and if you have a filter, this will need regularly cleaning or changing, depending on the type of filter and as per the fountain’s instructions. And, to keep your water fountain free of the muck, debris and cat hair that will inevitably build up, it is always a good idea to periodically dismantle your fountain and give it a good clean.
Best Cat Water Fountains FAQ:
Q: How does a cat water fountain work?
A: A cat water fountain is designed to provide a continuous flow of fresh, clean water for your cat by dispensing filtered water into a large drinking bowl. The water can either be a free-falling stream or recirculated back into the system and re-filtered. Many models also have adjustable settings so you can control the flow speed of the water. Indoor fountains typically need plugging in, while an outdoor fountain can be attached to a water hose.
Q: How often should cat water fountain filters be changed?
A: This does depend on the type of filter, so always refer to the instruction manual. However, as general rule of thumb to keep your cat water fountain in tip-top shape, you should clean the filter area every 2-4 weeks to prevent mold and moisture build up. Carbon filters also typically need changing around every two weeks depending on the level of usage and how many cats the fountain is supplying.
Q: Where should I place a fountain in my home?
A: Cats can be fussy creatures and are particular about their hygiene. You need to keep the water as clean and as fresh as possible, so your water fountain needs to be placed away from their litter tray as well as their food bowl to avoid any contamination. The fountain also needs to be placed somewhere in the home where your cat feels safe and secure and ideally where they like to spend time and always keep it away from radiators or other sources of heat that can warm the water and make it unpalatable to your kit.
Our Top Pick
Large, durable, easy to use and clean, all at a decent price, the Drinkwell Platinum cat and dog water fountain from PetSafe scoops our top pick title. Made from tough BPA-free plastic, it is pet safe and the gravity fed water flow makes it easy for your kit to drink. Carbon filters nip any dirt and bacteria in the bud and as it is dishwasher safe, it is easy to maintain and keep clean. Our straight up best choice.
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