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Best Drinking Fountains for Cats

Best Drinking Fountains for Cats
Charlie drinking from the tap

Cats must always have access to fresh water. But don’t expect to see your cat thirstily lapping water in the same way that a dog does. Cats tend to drink little and often. If your cat is anything like our Maine Coon, Charlie, it will drink from anywhere but a waterdish.

Charlie likes to sit on my kitchen draining board and drink straight from the tap (as pictured above). It was this habit that led us to purchase a cat water fountain.

If you’re thinking of getting a fountain for your cat, there are many to choose from. I’ve carried out some extensive research into which are currently the best models. I’ve shared what I found below.

Here are my Top 3 water fountain choices:

My favorite fountain

I love the Petsafe Drinkwell Platinum Fountain.  We’ve used this brand for about 13 years … ever since we realized our cats preferred to drink flowing water.

Best features:

  • It holds almost 5 liters of water!
  • It provides a stream of water as well as a bowl of water
  • The water stream is adjustable
  • It can be cleaned in the dishwasher (apart from the pump)
  • It has a 6-foot power cable
  • The pump is quiet on low stream settings
  • Replacement charcoal filters are cheap

The negatives:

  • For optimum performance, it needs deep cleaning at least once a week
  • The pump is a little noisier on high stream settings

I can thoroughly recommend this brand, having used it for 14 years. Yes, you have to clean it once a week but then all you need to do other than that is check the reservoir is topped up. My top tip is to ensure you pay particular attention to cleaning the pump to prevent it from becoming blocked. The maintenance is not that much of a problem when you consider that your cat will have a constant supply of clean water and also have the choice to drink from a stream or a bowl.

The fact that there’s a bowl of water is its best selling point for me. This means your cat can still have a drink if there is a power cut or the unit stops working.

If you don’t have a power supply close to where you want to position the fountain, hopefully, you will have one that the 6-foot long power cable will reach. This is longer than many other fountain’s power leads.

You can use compatible filters such as these (available on which are relatively inexpensive compared to the branded ones. In our experience, they work just as well and keep the cost of running the fountain as low as possible.

The really great thing about this fountain is that our cats definitely drink a lot more water than they used to from a bowl.

My second choice

My second favorite cat drinking fountain is the iSYoung Cat Fountain.

Best Features:

  • It’s easy to assemble
  • It’s easy to take apart for cleaning purposes
  • It’s made of anti-bacterial resin
  • Low operating noise means its ideal in a small or open-plan home
  • Comes with a mat to catch spills
  • There are a variety of designs and colors available

The negatives:

  • It has a lower capacity of about 1.5 liters
  • The opaque reservoir means you can’t easily see when it needs refilling
  • The water drains away if there is a power cut – for this reason, I would suggest leaving an emergency bowl of water nearby

My third choice

My third choice is the Catit Original Flower Fountain.

Best features:

  • It holds 3 liters of water
  • It has three flow settings
  • It has a triple-action water-softening filter
  • You can easily take it apart to clean
  • The pump is quiet

The negatives:

  • The opaque reservoir means you can’t easily see when it needs refilling
  • The water drains away if there is a power cut

This fountain is easy to assemble once you’ve thoroughly washed all the parts and soaked the filter. The pump is quiet as long as you keep the water level topped up. I like the fact that you can choose different flow setting to suit your cat’s preference.

As with the isYoung above, if there is a power cut or the fountain malfunctions there is no pool of water for your cat to drink from. Again I would suggest leaving an emergency bowl of water nearby.

Why buy a cat drinking fountain?

Many cats prefer to drink from a tap. One of ours definitely does. These cats will often not touch their water bowl all day and will rely on you to turn on the tap for a drink whenever you go near the kitchen. If you’re out all day this type of cat is likely not to drink. In hot weather, this can quickly lead to dehydration. A cat that does not drink enough water has an increased chance of developing kidney or urinary tract problems. Buying a fountain will hopefully encourage tap drinkers to drink more water, whether you are around or not.

How do cat drinking fountains work?

Cat fountains consist of a receptacle with a water reservoir, an electric pump, and a filter. Clean water is pumped up through a spout that a cat can drink from. The water from the spout falls into a bowl, drains through the filter and is pumped out again. The water provided is cleaner and fresher than in a bowl.

Cleaning and maintenance

Always clean a new fountain before use. Keep an eye on the water level and add more as necessary. With time you will know how often you need to top your fountain up. Fountains need to be thoroughly cleaned every week to prevent the build-up of mold, bacteria and water deposits. The filters usually require replacing every 3 to 4 weeks. The pumps should also be cleaned regularly to keep them in good working order and to increase their lifespan.