After 49 hours spent researching the best cat water fountains, we think PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Cat Water Fountain is the best for most people.
This choice is based on several criteria: brand, dimensions, color, capacity, material, water filter, filtration system, stream, adjustable flow, quiet operation, eliminates odor, power source, power consumption, weight, and warranty.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Quality||Durability||Appearance||Maintenance||Value for Money||brand||dimensions||color||capacity||material||water filter||filtration system||stream||adjustable flow||quiet operation||eliminates odor||power source||power consumption||weight||warranty|
|PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Cat Water Fountain||Check Price||4.9||5.0||5.0||4.5||5.0||5.0||PetSafe||10.5 x 8.87 x 5.75 in||Blue, red, taupe, white||70 oz||Ceramic||Carbon||2-stage||Double||Yes||Yes||Yes||Corded||12V||6.67 lbs||1 year|
|PetSafe Drinkwell Seascape Cat Water Fountain||Check Price||4.5||5.0||4.0||4.5||4.5||4.5||PetSafe||8 x 9.2 x 5 in||Grey, white||70 oz||Ceramic||Carbon||2-stage||Spread||Yes||Yes||Yes||Corded||12V||5.2 lbs||1 year|
|PetSafe Drinkwell Sedona Cat Water Fountain||Check Price||4.8||5.0||4.5||5.0||4.5||5.0||PetSafe||9.8 x 12.5 x 5.3 in||Transparent, white||100 oz||Glass, plastic||Carbon||2-stage||Spread||Yes||Yes||Yes||Corded||12V||4 lbs||1 year|
|Ipettie Ceramic Quiet Cat Water Fountain||Check Price||4.4||5.0||4.0||4.0||4.5||4.5||Ipettie||10.7 x 10.7 x 5.5 in||White||71 oz||Ceramic||Carbon||3-stage||Triple||Yes||Yes||Yes||Corded||12V||7.1 lbs||1 year|
|PetSafe Drinkwell BPA-Free Cat Water Fountain||Check Price||4.3||5.0||4.0||4.0||4.5||4.0||PetSafe||14.56 x 15.43 x 10.12 in||Grey||256 oz||Plastic||Carbon||2-stage||Single||Yes||Yes||Yes||Corded||12V||4.06 lbs||1 year|
- 1 Selection Of The Best Cat Water Fountains
- 2 Best Cat Water Fountain Buying Guide
- 2.1 Filtered or Unfiltered?
- 2.2 Amount of Noise
- 2.3 How Much Water Does it Hold?
- 2.4 Weight
- 2.5 Stainless Steel
- 2.6 Ceramic
- 2.7 Plastic
- 2.8 Ease of Cleaning
- 2.9 Size of the Bowl
- 2.10 Power Cables
- 2.11 Battery Operated vs. Plug-In
- 2.12 Accessibility for Disabled/Older Cats
- 2.13 Appearance
- 2.14 Longevity
- 2.15 Ability to Keep Dirt and Grime Out
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Sources
The best cat water fountain is a much better way to ensure that your kitty always has access to fresh, clean water than an old bowl on the floor still filled with yesterday’s stale water.
Nowadays, it’s much easier to find great water fountains that are affordable and simple to set up.
Cats are very particular creatures. They usually have some sort of routine in their lives, from the kitten food or cat food that they like to eat, to whether they prefer a cat scratching pad or a cat scratching post. Some prefer a cat bed, others like dozing in a cat tree.
Thankfully, with technology, taking care of their needs and how particular they are is easier than ever. For example, while you still need a setup that includes a cat litter box, a cat litter mat, and cat litter, you can get an automatic cat litter box that cleans itself.
Taking kitty out into the world is easier than ever because there’s more than just a cat collar you can use. You can opt for a cat cage or cat carrier, or you can use a cat leash and cat harness to give them more freedom while still keeping them secure.
Some things never change – cats still love their cat toy selection and their catnip. Dreaded visits to the vet for checkups, shots or the occasional cat flea treatment will always be required. And certainly the need to provide a cat with fresh food and water hasn’t changed. But now we can buy an automatic cat feeder and water fountains to make sure those staples are always available.
A cat water fountain provides fresh, cool moving water for your furry friend. Cats instinctively prefer circulating water over a still pool. And, really, wouldn’t you opt for a fountain instead of day-old water with some hair floating on top?
Selection Of The Best Cat Water Fountains
Best Cat Water Fountain Buying Guide
Filtered or Unfiltered?
When you’re seeking out a water fountain, you want to be sure that you consider whether the water should be filtered or unfiltered. While you can find a cat water fountain without a filter, many cats prefer the taste of filtered water and it’s generally healthier as well.
Thankfully, filtered fountains are easy to maintain and the replacement filters are relatively cheap and easy to find. The filters are quick to replace, and they last for months as long as you take care of the pre-filter.
Amount of Noise
Cats have very sensitive ears, and they will likely avoid any sort of water fountain that makes a lot of noise while they’re trying to drink water from it.
Because of this, manufacturers have developed multiple styles of quiet cat water fountains that won’t bother cats or their humans. The motors inside have been specially developed so that it doesn’t stress a cat out when they get close and start drinking from it.
How Much Water Does it Hold?
A majority of the cat water fountain cooler options that you’ll find use a water bladder or cooler-style design in order to hold multiple quarts of water. It’s rare to find options that hook to a spigot or faucet.
You don’t want to be refilling their fountain every day, so be sure that you find options that have a high capacity. Some of the largest options can hold 4 gallons of water or more.
You need to be sure that you have a fountain that has a certain amount of heft when it’s empty – but not too much so. If your cat accidentally moves it, they could get wet and then be opposed to using the fountain in the future.
On top of that, you’re going to be cleaning it out on occasion, so you want to be sure that it’s light enough to lift without any strain or struggle.
The most popular option is the stainless steel fountain. They are very attractive; their finish stands out and looks fantastic in any room.
They are very practical as well. The material is rust-proof and very easy to keep clean. Stainless steel fountains are known to last a long time. Many cat owners have cited that they are able to use their stainless model for years and years, no matter how many cats they own.
Another option you may find during your search is ceramic water fountains for cats. Ceramic also looks very good and is simple to clean. In some cases, the time between cleanings is much longer due to ceramic’s hygienic properties.
Ceramic is, however, much heavier than stainless steel which could make it hard to lift. These fountains are also a bit more expensive than their stainless steel and plastic counterparts.
If you’re looking for a low-cost fountain that can withstand a lot of use, then you want to look at plastic as an option. They’re very accessible and you can find them for almost any budget.
When looking for plastic options, be sure that they are heavy enough that they don’t move around or tip over. Also, look for BPA-free plastic products. This will ensure that your cat is safer by reducing the risk of getting any unwanted chemicals into their water.
Ease of Cleaning
To keep your cat as safe and healthy as possible, you want to be sure that you can clean their fountain quite easily. You’ll find that cat water fountain algae can be quite common, so you want to keep an eye on it.
Clean your cat’s water fountain at least once a week to prevent the growth of algae and other bacteria. Frequent cleaning will also ensure the longevity of the fountain as well.
Size of the Bowl
The cat water fountain bowl is another essential consideration, as your cat needs to be able to fit their face into the space without any problems.
You want to be sure that you have a space that is wide enough for your cat to dip their head toward the bowl area without the possibility of it getting stuck or getting water on their ears or face. It will make it much more comfortable for your cat to use the water fountain.
While there are a handful of cat water fountains that use gravity to work, most of them have internal motors. Those motors are electrically powered and the majority of options are corded – with a cable that you plug into the wall.
Manufacturers have worked hard to conceal these cords as best as they can to protect the cat and prevent humans from tripping, but proximity to an outlet should be considered. Cord length varies, but most models range between 5 to 10 feet.
Battery Operated vs. Plug-In
Lately, a small number of battery operated cat water fountains have hit the market, and they work just as well at the electric options that you need to plug into the wall.
Battery powered models typically contain a rechargeable battery. All you need to do is take the battery out of the unit and then charge it using the supplied charging cable. Many of these also have a cable that you can plug into the wall so that the water fountain is still functional when the battery is charging.
Accessibility for Disabled/Older Cats
Senior cats or those with a disability may have a difficult time bending over to get a drink from their water fountain, so you want to look for something that provides appropriate accessibility.
One of the best solutions in this case is multiple levels of bowls. That way, your cat can choose where they want to get the water from, instead of being forced to bend over to get at the water. This option is also excellent for multi-cat households and is perfect for a kitty that has to wear a cat cone while recovering from surgery or some other injury.
Your fountain is going to have a prominent place in your kitchen, and even if your guests don’t notice it, you will. So, you want to be sure that you get something that looks nice and that matches your kitchen well.
Nowadays, many of these fountains have a variety of choices in terms of color, appearance, and size. With all the available options, you’re sure to find one that fits well in your home, but don’t forget that functionality should come first.
The best cat water fountains are not necessarily a small investment, so you want to be sure that you get a model that is going to last you a long time.
Ceramic and stainless steel are the most likely to have a long lifespan, even with multiple cats. There are a handful of plastic options out there that will last a long time if you take care of them well and keep them clean.
Ability to Keep Dirt and Grime Out
Some fountains are better at keeping dirt, food, and other undesirable items out of the water bowls. They’ll have a pre-filter that holds hair and junk back, and a lip that makes it hard for that stuff to get into the bowl area in the first place.
The best cat water fountain is one that can be cleaned easily, but that also reduces how often you’ll need to clean the entire device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why use a water fountain instead of a water bowl?
While stainless steel and ceramic cat bowls are very hygienic, there are still many cats that prefer drinking from a water source that moves. It likely has to do with their natural instincts.
In the wild, animals recognize that moving water is much safer than still water. In the wild, still water is likely to make them ill because of the bacteria and other dangers lurking in there. So, since cats have only been domesticated for a short period of time (relatively speaking), they still have that worry in the back of their brain.
Can I get a water fountain that connects to a water supply?
While most water fountains for cats have a refillable container to hold the water, there are a small handful of models that allow you to hook it up to a pipe, faucet, or spigot.
These options typically have a hose and are connected to your sink or spigot through what is called a “diverter valve” which controls where the water goes. This allows you to continue using your sink or spigot while also providing your cat with a fresh flow of water.
What about water fountains for multi-cat households?
A water fountain is an excellent solution for multi-cat households! Not only does it provide them with fresh water, but they often have much larger holding areas for water than a typical bowl. So, you won’t have to fill it up quite as often as you would other options.
Multi-level pet water fountains are also a good choice for multiple cats because it provides them with the most options and makes it easier for multiple cats to drink at one time.
What is a pre-filter?
A pre-filter is a place in the filtration system where, before the water gets to the last, finer filter, it goes through something that looks like a large piece of foam.
Pre filters are essential because they prevent cat hair and other debris from getting into the cat water fountain pump. This results in fewer pump cleanings and helps your fountain to have a much longer lifespan, as well.
Do I have to worry about my long-haired cat using a fountain?
Not necessarily. Many people worry that their long-haired cat can get their fur caught in the motor and other moving parts, but the mechanics of fountains are hidden away in spaces where cats cannot get to them.
If you’re concerned that your cat will get wet and drag water across the house, then you’ll want to find a model with an upper basin. This makes it easier for your cat to drink and less likely that they’ll accidentally get their fur in the bowl.
- Effect of water source on intake and urine concentration in healthy cats, US National Library of Medicine, Dec 14, 2009
- Environmental Enrichment for Indoor Cats, US National Library of Medicine, Dec 2, 2010
- Treat Your Pets Like Family, FoodSafety.gov, Jul 15, 2014
- The surprising physics of cats' drinking, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nov 12, 2010
- Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine, Apr 7, 2016
- 10 Best Cat Water Fountains: Your Ultimate List, Heavy.com, Oct 16, 2018
- The best water fountain for cats and dogs, Engadget, Apr 29, 2018
- The Best Water Fountain for Cats and Dogs, The Wirecutter, Nov 1, 2017
- Top 5 Automatic Water Dispensers for Cats, The Spruce Pets, Sep 27, 2018
- The best cat fountains you can buy, Business Insider, May 30, 2017