What Is the Best Water Fountain for Cats

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water fountain for cats
Photo by Rihaij on Pixabay

Has your cat ever tried to drink out of the toilet? Or made a break for the sink every time you turn it on? My cats used to try and drink out of any cup we left out. We want our feline friends to be healthy, happy and safe and making they enough daily water is part of that care.

How Much Water Should a Cat Drink?

Cats should drink about four ounces of water per five pounds of body weight. If your cat is the average size of 10 pounds, this means they need to drink eight ounces of water a day. Their diet can also affect their water consumption and if you give your cat dry food, wet food or a combination of both. Other factors include age, breed, indoor or outdoor and level of activity.

Be aware of cat dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include loss of energy, refusal to eat, dry mouth and even panting. Yes, cats pant just like dogs do, although it is much less often and not a good sign. Make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water, preferably from multiple sources around the house, especially with more than one cat. It is important to pay attention to your cat’s drinking habits. If they stop drinking or start drinking from their cat water fountain excessively, call the vet. Addressing dehydration right away can help prevent major medical problems.

Are Cat Fountains Safe and Clean?

You may be wondering, is a water fountain good for cats? Cats prefer running water because it mimics fresh water rather than stagnated water. They can hear and smell fresh water. As cats have evolved, they have learned not to trust standing water. As long as you keep the cat water fountain clean and maintain the water, it will be plenty safe for your cat.

It may be best to avoid a fountain with lots of corners to avoid a buildup of harmful bacteria in the water. To prevent this, some cat water fountains have filters which needs to be changed about every two to four weeks. You should also clean your cat’s drinking fountain at least once a month to avoid buildup, but make sure to follow the recommendations from the manufacturer. If you do not keep up with maintenance on your cat fountain, your cat could get sick.

best water fountain for cats

Suju Foto on Pixabay

Do Cats Like Water Fountains?

Even though it may be convenient for you, you should never put your cat’s water fountain next to their food. An even worse place is by their litter box—you wouldn’t want your fridge in the bathroom. Cats are still animals and they are biologically wired to know that food next to water can be dangerous in the wild. Low traffic and secluded areas are the best places to put your cat’s water fountain. You should always have as many water sources as you have cats. If they don’t seem to like one location, you can try putting it in different places.

If you have other animals in the house, like a dog, put the cat water fountain in a higher place to keep it safe. Since cats are both predators and prey, drinking is a time when they are vulnerable. Putting their water fountain somewhere comfortable and safe will encourage your cat to drink.

Types of Cat Drinking Fountains

Let’s face it, not many of us want to drop hundreds of dollars for a cat water fountain that we hope our cat will like. But there are several different types of cat water fountains. The one that is best for your cat will depend on what your cat prefers. We all know that cats like things to be their way. Size, materials, cost and convenience are all important to consider when picking out your cat’s drinking fountain.


You want to make sure that your cat drinking fountain is the right size for your space. If you live in a studio apartment, a compact fountain is ideal. If you aren’t pressed for space, it is still important to make sure it fits in the planned space..


The most common cat water fountain material is plastic. While it is a cheap option, it may not be the most sustainable. Plastics scratch easily and can harbor bacteria, meaning you need to make sure you clean the fountain and change the filter regularly. We like the Cat Mate water fountain.

Stainless steel cat water fountains are a great alternative to plastic. Most stainless steel fountains are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean. They also have a sleek, minimalist look. Most stainless steel fountains still have some plastic components, specifically the pump. The best stainless steel option is the Comsmart cat water fountain.

Another option for your cat water fountain material is ceramic. The benefits of a ceramic cat water fountain are temperature, cleanliness and appearance. Ceramic cat water fountains also keep the water cool for your cats and they are dishwasher safe. Make sure you buy one with a food-safe glaze to prevent any toxic chemicals in your cat’s water. Many ceramic cat fountains come in beautiful colors and architecture—we love the Drinkwell cat fountain.

Regardless of what kind of water fountain you get, make sure you clean it regularly and refresh the water at least once a week. If it is a cat water fountain with filters, read the instructions for regularly replacing the filter.


Cat water fountains typically come in three styles: gravity-fed, bubblers and automatic.

  • Gravity-fed fountains typically resemble an office water cooler. They have a tank that pulls the water into a bowl for the cat to continually have fresh water. One difficulty with gravity-feed cat water fountains is the mess. You have to be quick when filling them and more often than not, spillage happens. The water can also be easily contaminated with food or other debris.
  • Bubbler cat fountains are akin to a spring—the water is moving, but there is no stream. Some cats prefer these because they are filtered and more enticing than a gravity fountain.
  • Automatic cat fountains include a pump that automatically moves the water.


A basic plastic cat water fountain can range from $20 to $50 and are the cheapest option for cat drinking fountains. A stainless steel cat fountain ranges from about $30 to $60. Ceramic is the most expensive option for a cat water fountain. Ceramic fountains range from $50 to $80, with a handmade ceramic fountain coming in at $200 or more.

Overall Best Cat Water Fountain

cat fountain

The best bang for your buck is the Comsmart cat water fountain. It is stainless steel and has an automatic cat fountain that can hold up to 2.4 liters of water. It has three different modes, so you can find what works best for your cat.

Are Cat Fountains Worth the Price?

Since most cats dislike change, it is important to leave out a familiar water source while they get used to the new cat water fountain setup. You can add small amounts of chicken broth or tuna juice into their water to make it more appealing, but make sure to clean it out afterwards. A water fountain for your cat is a great investment for your furry friend. It encourages them to drink more water and will result in a healthier cat.

About the Author

water fountain for cats

Jenna Gordon

Being a cat mom of two crazy felines, Jenna knows how finicky cats can be. She loves to do research on what is best for her fur babies. She loves to play games and attempt to grow houseplants (they almost always die). She is in the last year of her undergraduate and can’t wait to jump into the real world.[...] Author Details

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