15 Best Cat Water Fountains of 2018 Review
Cats are pets with fewer water needs than other animals. But this doesn't mean that they can go without it, either. This presents cat owners with the dilemma of providing a clean water source that's convenient and accessible. Read on to see how cat water fountains can provide this solution.
Quick Comparison: Best Cat Water Fountain
Cat Water Fountain
What Are The Benefits Of Using Cat Water Fountains?
Most pet owners set out an open bowl or bowls of drinking water before they leave for the day. They often come home to discover a bowl that's been fouled with food and hair. Occasionally the bowl's no longer upright. And some cats have been known to even "bathe" their toys in them.
In short, a traditional bowl may have to be emptied and cleaned a lot with the cat or cats in question getting limited clean drinking water from it. You won't need to worry that your cat or cat will risk illness by drinking this dirty water.
Cats will instinctively avoid it. But if the water source is dirty on too many occasions, the cat will start avoiding the drinking bowl even if it has crystal clear water in it.
The design of cat water fountains however, means they can't be tipped as a standard open bowl can. And the water stream of these fountains washes away impurities. And when cats just can't resist messing with it, as this demo shows, cat water fountains mean less of a mess.
Cat water fountains can be especially useful in households with multiple felines. Owners don't have to worry about their "pride" emptying the communal water hole. A constantly replenishing water source means less stale, better tasting water. This means that cats are more likely to drink it.
Have you ever set a bowl of water before a dog or cat and it seems to take a moment for it to be noticed? This is because the brains of these animals are designed to respond to motion. The running water found in cat water fountains not only attracts pets to it more quickly, it reminds them to return to it to rehydrate.
How to Choose the Best Cat Water Fountain for your Cat?
As you'll see in our product review section below, there are a number of choices among cat water fountains. What's the best criteria for choosing a particular product?
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Choosing Cat Water Fountains
It's possible to tip these over, so look for one that's staying put, empty or full.
Cat water fountains made of plastic are generally more inexpensive. But plastics containing chemicals classified as BPA have been linked to allergies in pets, so only buy "BPA free " plastic products if possible. Alternate common fountain materials are stainless steel or ceramic.
These fountains require regular (usually weekly) cleanings. Stainless steel and ceramic fountains are easier to clean than plastic ones. Cat water fountains also have filters, which need periodic changing or at least rinsing.
What To Look For In Cat Water Fountains
Remember who you're buying this for. If the cat is frightened of the fountain or finds it unappealing or confusing, it won't drink from it. A very functional and basic design is your best bet.
Between pet traffic and human handling, accidents are likely. Find a model that holds up.
Cat water fountains come in a range of sizes, from ones that service multi-cat households, to ones that won't panic your "only child" with a deluge.
Remember that it might take several tries for a model to be found that works for both you and your furry friends. So when researching cat water fountains, consider the cost of its various features, such as filters and how often they need to be changed.
The materials that fountains are constructed from affect price as well. Generally, plastic or stainless steel filters range between $18-$30, while ceramic ones retail around $50-$70.
Pros And Cons Of Cat Water Fountains
Controversies And Cat Water Fountains
While there have been no issues with cat water fountains at large, there has been some controversy concerning allowing pets to drink from decorative "table top" fountains.
Be aware that pets are going to make absolutely no distinction between "their" and "your" fountains and drink out of whatever ones they can reach. In the case of cats, this is especially problematic, and cat owners know that there's not much frisky felines can't be kept out of.
Aside from the danger of damage from falls and clogged filters, "decorative" fountains aren't pet proof. This means that there's a potential danger to pets of electrocution and swallowing small parts
The solution may not please cat owners who would like to have their own private decorative fountain. But if you're going to be getting a drinking fountain for any type of pet, you're probably going to have to deny yourself one.
Cats with outdoor access may try to drink from outdoor fountains as well. Provided that these fountains are large and heavy enough, that should pose no problem.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Installing Cat Water Fountains
Remember that the fountain needs to be easily accessible to pets, near an appropriate electrical outlet, and not in a high traffic area.
The fountain should be on a firm, even surface, preferably a floor.
If At First You Don't Succeed
Cat water fountains aren't automatic slam dunks with all felines. If your cat is one of those acquired taste kitties, make sure that they have an alternate source of drinking water until they become acclimated to a fountain.
Have Water Tested
While all of these filters come with filters, not all water actually needs to be filtered or works well with filters. Cat water fountains will work without filters, although some brands may have to be cleaned more frequently if filters are not used.
Hard water is a good example of water that often causes fountain filter woes. Determine your water type before overly investing money in filters.
Pay Attention To That Fountain Pump
Unless you've purchased a "gravity fed" product, your fountain's fountain effect is being operated by an electrically powered pump. While nothing lasts forever, it's not unreasonable to expect to get a year or more out of a pump before trouble occurs or the pump permanently quits.
Yet those combing reviews for cat water fountains will see complaint after complaint about pumps that last only short amounts of time. Usually the problem is that the fountain pump is not being cleaned sufficiently or frequently enough.
Clean, Clean and Clean!
Cat water fountain owners should expect to do at least a weekly "spot" cleaning. Depending on the type of water that you'll be using and other conditions, even indoor fountains and their pumps accumulate mold, algae, scale, and unpleasant white "slime".
Any or all of this can affect the operation and life of your fountain pump. While it's always best to defer to the operating and maintenance instructions of a particular model, white vinegar (a non toxic acid) and a small toothbrush work wonders in fountain and pump cleaning.
15 Best Cat Water Fountain Reviews
1. YOUTHINK Auto Circulating BPA Free 1.6 Liter Indoor Water Fountain
Features of the first contender in our cat water fountains competition include:
This fountain is plastic in design, but is BPA free. The product manufacturer is British, but the product can be used with U.S. electrical systems. Some pets don't care for this fountain's "flower" water delivery system.
If you are like me, have a cat that enjoys drinking directly out of the kitchen faucet, this delivery system is perfect, not to mention more sanitary. This type of fountain system does create a smaller drinking bowl, which reduces room around it and may create tension in some multi pet households.
2. PETKIT Ultra-Quiet Pump Automatic Power-Off Pet Drinking Fountain
Features of this product include:
Many users consider this to be among the best cat water fountains out there for its energy and sensor features, plus superior quality of filters. The only real common complaint here is that this fountain's motor becomes noisier with time and use.
One of the biggest challenges of owning these pet fountains is remembering to refill them periodically. Unfortunately, some cat water fountains warn you of this when components start burning out in response to a dry reservoir.
This fountain's built in sensor warns owners of an impending drought in plenty of time to avoid crisis. Another feature I loved about this product was its day and night water saving adjustment modes. Cats (like other pets and people) sleep at night. They're not up drinking water. So why waste it?
3. PetSafe Drinkwell Stainless Steel Zen Water Fountain
Features of this candidate in our best cat water fountains contest include:
"Old school" cats used to a traditional water bowl might find this fountain's design more comfortable to drink out of. Complaints concerning this product include motor noise and vibrations with extended use, and product deterioration with frequent cleanings.
It's hard to go wrong with stainless steel, due to its sturdiness and cleanup ease. When I'm asked for my advice about what sized fountain bowl is best, I'd suggest something as close as possible to what the cat was drinking out of in its pre fountain days.
Larger bowls allow multi pet households plenty of room to access the "waterhole" without crowding. And I don't think that this fountain design's striking resemblance to one popular feature of a human bathroom is a mistake.
Certainly, I had at least one kitty that appreciated the similarity. And I think that this resemblance helped that and other cats make the transition from bowl to fountain.
4. PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Avalon Fountain
Another cat water fountains product from PetSafe, this fountain features:
Like other cat water fountains made of a ceramic material, this one is easier to keep clean of mold and less prone to allergens. This ceramic construct also makes this a more expensive fountain, and one more prone to breakage.
Cats are often quicker to accept and use new things if they feel they haven't changed the "status quo" too much. This fountain gave my cats the option of not only drinking at different levels, but angles. Therefore, their worlds weren't too disturbingly rocked in adjusting to this fountain.
5. Cat Mate Pet Fountain
Features offered by this fountain include:
Users of this product especially like the ease with which this product can be cleaned. It should be noted that this product is constructed entirely of plastic that is not BPA free. Plastics of this type can cause skin (including "cat acne") and other allergies in some pets.
Multi level drinking stations are a nice feature for multi cat households. It's a given that there will be splashing with any pet's water dish. But it seemed to me that the "anti-splash" feature touted here at least didn't add to the mess. The motor is fairly quiet, and I think that this particular product would be a fairly non intrusive addition to a household.
6. isYoung Pet Fountain Automatic Water Dispenser
Features of our candidate for the best cat water fountain award include:
This fountain is made of BPA free plastic and users like its lack of leaking. It is no longer possible to get filters made specifically for this model, although standard aquarium filters can be used.
I try to stay away from non BPA free products these days, so the materials used to construct this particular fountain are a plus for me. Another feature of this product that I really like is the ease with which it can be taken apart, cleaned, and reassembled.
How often owners clean and maintain these fountains has a lot to do with how long and how well the fountain will work, and isYoung makes it easy here.
The lack of product specific filters shouldn't be a deterrent to purchase. Unless your cat's really having problems with water odor or taste, filters might not be necessary at all.
7. Catit Design Senses Fountain
When choosing among cat water fountains, water hardness can't be forgotten. This product features:
This three liter fountain has a large air to water ratio, which means that water is purified more effectively and tastes better. The fountain's recirculation system keeps water cooler longer, as well.
The pump's motor is very quiet unless the reservoir is nearly empty. Users should note that the pump motor on this fountain often burns out within six months or less.
Dealing as I do with hard water where I live, I have found this fountain's water softening feature to be helpful. Its design also makes for easy cleaning, which should be done frequently if you're running this filter with hard water.
And while you should be removing fountain debris with all of that cleaning, the size and design of this fountain's filters does seem to be effective in capturing debris and the occasional bug. Its elevated design might not be to all feline tastes, but older or infirm cats might find this design easier to use.
8. PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Fountain For Pets
Another PetSafe product which resembles a traditional fountain and has features that include:
The streaming water flow feature has gotten much praise from pet owners, as it encourages more "sharing" among pets, and seems to encourage both cats and dogs to drink more water.
This product is among the most popular and problem free fountains reviewed here, but users should remember that it is not maintenance free.
Pets especially like the multiple water spouts. My dog and cats have used this fountain at the same time and have experienced no "crowding" issues.
For owners who have concerns about using plastic products for feeding and watering (even BPA free ones), this model comes in an equally good stainless steel one.
The fact that this fountain is dishwasher safe will probably be a plus with some users. Just remember to place this and all other fountains in the top rack of the dishwasher.
9. Amzdeal Pet Fountain Dog and Cat Water Fountain Automatic Water Dispenser
One of the most highly regarded cat water fountains reviewed here, this product's features include:
This fountain also features a quiet motor, which requires as little as two watts of power to operate. This product is especially a must for kitties who are disturbed by other makes of fountains, or who absolutely can't part with that toilet bowl.
Speaking of toilet bowls, they're the only cat water fountains in your home with an endless water supply. Fountains burning out because water levels in them aren't adequately maintained is a frequent pet fountain hazard. So Amzdeal's large capacity reservoir is a big help. It's especially helpful if the "furry friends" are going to be home alone for several days.
I also found this fountain's nightlight useful on late night kitchen patrols. While this fountain doesn't take up an enormous amount of space, it was larger and a slightly different shape than other fountains I've tried. This light protected me and other humans from tripping hazards and other messy collisions.
10. PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Dog and Cat Water Fountain
Cat water fountains of ceramic design are hard to beat in terms of cleanliness and being allergen free.
Features of this product include:
The size of this fountain is especially nice for smaller areas as it takes up little room. With regular maintenance, the motor is reliable and makes little noise. Users should note that there have been isolated complaints of online purchases arriving with filters other than the ones advertised.
In addition to the cleaning and health benefits offered by a ceramic filter, I appreciated that this particular model has an appealing, neutral appearance that fits into a number of locations. Maybe my cats will let this double as my serenity fountain.
11. PetSafe Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain
As we review the best cat water fountains, it's impossible to ignore products from PetSafe.
Here's their "granddaddy", with features that include:
This fountain's double reservoir system means less refilling for pets. The company has relocated its pump, which means more room for thirsty animals.
This fountain holds up well, with some owners getting four plus years of use from the product with proper maintenance.
The largest complaint about this product is pump noise from vibrating, which can be reduced with a simple adjustment.
My personal best with this classic fountain was six years (which isn't at all bad), but I've heard reports of users getting as much as 15 years of use out of a single fountain.
Recent changes Petsafe have made to this model are all for the good, and include getting the pump out of the way, and switching to a safer plastic.
You can also check out a more detailed review of the Drinkwell cat water fountain here.
12. Uniclife Dog Cat Automatic Electric Drinking Bowl with LED Light
This pet water fountain offers users a practical design and a quiet and reliable motor. Other features of this product include:
Users have found this particular fountain easy to assemble and clean. Provided that water levels are kept up, the filter's motor is very quiet.
There have been some consumer complaints that this fountain is too easy to flip over, and numerous users have had problems finding replacement filter cartridges. This is a nice fountain for a household like mine, where cats like to drink and lick directly from sink basins.
13. Cat Automatic Fresh Waterfall Drinking Fountain Healthy and Hygienic Pet Waterer
This Dyvee product has one of the longer names in our cat water fountains contest. But it's also popular among private owners, trainers, and veterinarians alike. Among its features:
This product holds up well. It accommodates multiple cat households and often doesn't have to be refilled for four to five days. Its deep bowl means less messy splashing and allows cats to indulge their toilet bowl fantasies.
The only caution with this product is that it is not made with BPA free plastic parts. In using this, I found that the fountain's flow caused less algae buildup than some other brands.
14. Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer
So what does a cat owner do if kitty isn't excited about the traditional cat water fountains out there? They might want to consider this Petmate alternative, with features like:
Enter If your cat's not a fan of traditional fountains, why not a product that works more like a water cooler? Like fountains, this product provides large amounts of clean and filtered water.
But unlike fountains which require electricity to operate, this product uses gravity to draw water down fountain like into the bowl. This product is easy to clean, and both cats and owners appreciate its low noise "gurgling" effect
The reservoir is also available in different sizes. The only real problem with this product is its small drinking bowl size. "Immersive" kitties will find its size inadequate for their needs, and a single one wouldn't work well in a multi-pet household. I like gravity fountains for their simplicity, but they should be cleaned more frequently than electric fountains.
15. YOUTHINK Super Silent Pets Ceramic Drinking Fountain
Another YOUTHINK product with a ceramic option. Its features include:
Households with big cats or medium and larger sized dogs are warned that larger animals can upset this fountain. My "toilet bowl fan" kitties were put off by the fountain construct that dominates this bowl, but my other cat and resident dog both loved licking water from its spout.
Quick Comparison: Best Cat Water Fountain
Cat Water Fountain
The winner of our 2017 best cat water fountains contest is the PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Fountain For Pets. Our winner swept the field for its design, water flow, reliability, and most importantly, its appeal to cats. As noted in our "Values" section above, cats won't use something that disturbs and frightens them.
The 360 fountain offers multiple streams of water that empties into a bowl. This allows cats many opportunities to explore and play with the fountain, making acceptance easier.
Filter cleaning and replacement costs are often an issue with users. With regular care, this fountain especially doesn't require filter use for clean and tasty water. Its plastic design is constructed with BPA free components, meaning owners don't have to worry about chemical poisoning or allergies.
Users can also select a stainless steel version, too. And this fountain's simple and dishwasher safe design mean that it can get a thorough and safe cleaning every time. So in order to insure a cost effective and reliable method of delivering clean and healthy hydration to finicky felines, cat owners should consider this winning fountain.
**Image credits: Amazon.com