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The 5 best cat water fountains

Is your cat not interested in their water bowl? Here are 5 vet-recommended cat water fountains to keep your cat hydrated.

Updated September 22, 2021

Created By

Victoria Lancaster,

Our favorite cat water fountains

Best cat water fountain reviews

What we love: We love that the PETLIBRO Cat Water Fountain has a carbon water filter water and two different water flow settings. You can test both options to see which interests your cat the most. This fountain’s noise level never rises above 30 decibels (which is equivalent to a whisper). All of its pieces are simple to pull apart and put back together again, so you can easily clean it every 2-4 weeks. For the price, this cat water fountain is worth trying for your feline.

What customers say: With 4.5 stars on Amazon, this cat fountain is a hit among customers. Cat owners love the 2.1 L capacity of this fountain, which allows for clean drinking all day. Due to its ample size, this fountain is suitable for cats and dogs, and pet owners love this flexibility. They also appreciate the fountain’s simple design — making it easy to build and clean.

Materials: BPA-free ABS material

Water capacity: 71 ounces

Size: 8.86 x 5.6 x 5.5 inches

What we love: If you have multiple pets, we love that the PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain will hold 168 ounces (which is over a gallon of water). The fountain’s replaceable carbon water filter keeps your cat’s H2O fresh at all times, removing any bad particles or stinky smells. To clean the parts of the fountain, you can simply pop them in the dishwasher.

What customers say: With 4.4 stars on Amazon, this product is created by PetSafe, a leading manufacturer of pet behavior and lifestyle products. Customers love the adjustable water stream which they can use to find the right flow that encourages their cat to drink the most water.

Materials: BPA-free plastic

Water capacity: 168 ounces

Size: 15.88 x 10.63 x 10.5 inches

What we love: We love the significantly low-energy consumption of the Veken Pet Water Fountain. When the fountain runs out of water, it stops working automatically and flashes to let you know that it needs refilling. The triple filtration system keeps your cat’s water clean and tasty with an activated carbon layer. Some cats won’t touch water if it has a bad taste, so this filter will help combat that. Keep an eye on your cat’s water level with the handy water-level window.

What customers say: With 4.4 stars on Amazon, customers say this fountain is simple to use and assemble. Reviewers say that given the water fountain’s heavy flow of water, it’s actually surprisingly quiet. They love the LED features which allow you to choose between three different color displays.

Materials: BPA-free plastic

Water capacity: 95 ounces

Size: 8.7 x 8.7 x 5.5 inches

What we love: The AONBOY Cat Water Fountain is the only stainless steel option on our list. It’s great for those who are particularly interested in their fountain’s cleanliness. The material also makes it incredibly durable. The fountain’s pump has two filters, one of which is particularly great at getting rid of any hair or fur that may catch in the fountain — the filter only needs cleaning every four weeks. For cats that get thirsty throughout the night, this fountain features a handy nightlight.

What customers say: With 4.6 stars on Amazon, customers applaud this fountain for both its material and its sleek design. With a 2.5 liter capacity, customers say they don’t have to worry about their cat running low on water when they’re out of the house. The 360-degree design of the fountain is a welcome addition to many customers’ homes. 

Materials: Stainless steel

Water capacity: 84 ounces

Size: 4.72 x 4.72 x 7.48 inches

What we love: The high-quality ceramic material of the iPettie Tritone Pet Drinking Fountain is easy to clean and eco-friendly. It also looks much more appealing than some plastic fountains. The quiet water flow allowed by the lotus design of the fountain appeals to cats. We love the three-step filtration system of this fountain which both captures debris or bacteria and softens the water. You should note that the fountain needs cleaning more often than others, around once per week.

What customers say: With 4.6 stars on Amazon, customers say this fountain really is as quiet as a whisper. Cat owners also say that this fountain seems appealing to their pets above other plastic drinking fountains. The reservoir of water is also open-air, which means that if it’s not plugged in or the electricity stops, your cat will still have drinking water.

Materials: Ceramic

Water capacity: 71 ounces

Size: 10.7 x 10.7 x 5.5 inches

Cat water fountain basics

  • For a picky cat, a fountain could be the trick to keeping your cat hydrated — In fact, some cats refuse to drink water from a normal bowl. 
  • Fountain cleanliness is crucial —  There are specific steps you should follow when cleaning your cat’s water fountain.
  • Hydration is key to a cat’s healthIf your cat doesn’t drink enough water, it can lead to a variety of health issues.

What’s a cat water fountain? 

Whether you’re a long-time or new cat owner, you probably know that hydration is really important to your cat’s short and long term health. Drinking water prevents your cat from developing certain illnesses and infections like a urinary tract infection.

For whatever reason, some cats just don’t like drinking water, especially out of normal ceramic bowls. Our vets agree that cat water fountains are a great way to keep your cat hydrated. Cats love drinking from running water sources, like the tap. With a cat water fountain, you can say goodbye to your cat’s boring water bowl and sneaky drinks from the faucet.

What to look for in a cat water fountain

There are a few key components you should look for in your cat’s water fountain.

Noise. Fountains with loud filters are not only disturbing to those living in your home, but they can also be disruptive to cats. A loud fountain might discourage them from drinking water. Some cats like the trickling sound of water, so pay attention to the noise descriptions when looking for a new drinking fountain. If your cat is sensitive to noise, choose a fountain with gentle water flow. 

Filter. The filter is key in ensuring your cat has access to tasty and fresh water. Fountains with two or three filtration systems tend to be better at water circulation to remove dirt, debris, and odors.  Many fountains will include a carbon or charcoal filter, but you’ll have to purchase replacements. 

Size. The ideal size of your fountain depends on where you want to put it, how big your cat is, and how many pets you have. Make sure the fountain you choose allows for ample and comfortable room for your cat to drink. Fountains with larger water capacities are better if you leave your cat home for long stretches throughout the day. 

Material. Fountains typically come in materials like stainless steel, plastic, or porcelain. While one is not necessarily better than the other, steel and porcelain tend to be easier to clean than plastic. The plastic fountain options are likely a little better for a lower budget. 

👉 Look for fountains with BPA-free plastic and materials. 

Easy to clean. It’s absolutely crucial that you clean your cat’s water fountain often. The material isn’t the only thing that affects the ease of the cleaning process. Pay attention to how the parts fit together, and whether or not they’re easy to take apart. If you prefer to wash your fountain with a dishwasher, make sure the parts are dishwasher safe. 

Appearance. Your cat’s drinking fountain probably is in your kitchen or laundry room, so you might want to pay a bit of attention to the actual aesthetics of the fountain. This comes down mostly to your style, but ceramic and stainless steel fountains tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than plastic fountains. 

How to clean your cat’s water fountain, in steps 

While all models of drinking fountains may have slightly different steps when it comes to cleaning, there are a few general rules to follow. 

Unplug and drain the fountain — First, you should make sure the fountain is completely drained of any remaining water. Make sure your fountain isn’t plugged into an outlet when you begin the cleaning process. 

Deconstruct the fountain — To make sure all the parts of your cat’s fountain are clean, you’ll need to take the entire fountain apart and remove the main tank and motor.

Rinse debris — Rinse all the parts of the fountain. If the fountain parts are dishwasher safe, wash them in the machine. If not, use natural or pet-safe dish soap to clean the parts. If you’re using a dishwasher, wash the parts of the fountain separately from your other dishes. 

Use replacement filters — If your model of drinking fountain suggests you replace the filter, you should invest in replacement filters. Most fountains will recommend which refills to purchase, so they’ll fit your fountain.

🚨 It’s incredibly important to frequently clean your cat’s water dispenser (according to the product instructions). Be sure to clean the pump to prevent mold or slime from growing, which could make your cat sick.

Water fountains vs. normal bowls

You may be wondering why you can’t just feed your cat their water from a normal bowl. For some cats, a normal ceramic or metal bowl encourages your cat to drink enough water. For others, the added motion of a water fountain may help encourage them to drink more frequently. Cat water fountains also tend to keep water cleaner than normal bowls.

👉If you prefer to feed your cat water from a regular bowl, opt for an elevated bowl which might entice them to drink more.

Hygiene

Due to the filtered elements of water fountains, they’re typically more hygienic. When tap water sits for long periods of time in a still bowl, it can collect debris that can be potentially harmful to cats. Tap water also contains calcium and magnesium which can also cause health issues.

Motion

Believe it or not, cats aren’t crazy about drinking from still water sources. They find moving water, bubbles, and splashing enticing. This gives water fountains with spouts a huge advantage over normal bowls.

The importance of keeping your cat hydrated 

It’s true that cats don’t naturally drink much water. However, hydration is crucial in preventing your cat from developing conditions. Both UTIs and chronic kidney disease can be a result of a build-up of toxins. When cats drink water (from a clean water bowl or fountain), it flushes unwanted toxins out of their systems. 

Frequently asked questions

Do vets recommend water fountains?

Our vets recommend cat water fountains for all cat owners. They say that fountains are proven to encourage cats to drink more, which consequently keeps cats healthy and less likely to develop infections.

How much water should my cat drink per day?

Your cat needs a daily amount of about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water. This number varies depending on their weight. Ask your vet to be sure. Another tip for getting more hydration is to try feeding your cat wet food instead of dry food. Wet food locks in more water and moisture.

Why do cats like water fountains?

Cats have a naturally low-thirst drive — but they love running water. That’s because natural water in the wild tends to be moving or running (like with a waterfall). Therefore, drinking from water fountains with running water feels instinctive to cats. Your cat’s hydration is important to their long term health. In general, you should try to pay attention to your cat’s daily water intake.