Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big cat drinking fountain test 2021. Here we present all the drinking fountains for cats that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best drinking fountain for cats. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting cat drinking fountain videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a drinking fountain for cats.

Contents




Summary

  • Cats prefer to drink from running water and outside of meals. It is not in their nature to drink standing water directly after eating. So a drinking fountain provides the ideal circumstances.
  • Pay attention to the flow direction and volume of the splashing your cat prefers in order to purchase the right model of cat drinking fountain.
  • Good material and a simple design of the drinking fountain can make weekly cleaning easier.

The Best Cat Drinking Fountain: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a cat drinking fountain

Why do I need a cat drinking fountain?

Many cat owners have the problem that their pets do not drink enough. Water is extremely important for cats! Their organism consists largely of water. A cat weighing 5 kg should drink at least 250 ml of water a day.

The reason that cats drink too little is their basic instinct. These tame animals are still used to taking enough water from their prey. That is why they only feel thirsty when they are in extreme need of water.

For your cat's health, it should drink as much as possible. Cats prefer fresh running water that is outside the food area. (Image source: pixabay.com / suju)

On the other hand, cats are picky. They prefer running water that is fresh and contains less dirt and bacteria. If cats drink too little, health problems in the bladder and kidney area can occur. That's why it makes sense to invest in a drinking fountain. It will motivate your pet to drink more.

How does a cat drinking fountain work?

The function of a drinking fountain for cats is very simple. The water is usually in a bowl. This is pumped upwards by a water pump and then flows back into the basin. Cats are attracted by the movement and the splashing.

Did you know that a drinking fountain awakens the primal instinct in your cat? Even wild cats reacted strongly to movement and preferred running water.

How much does a cat drinking fountain cost?

The prices for cat drinking fountains are quite different. We advise you not to just consider the cheap models. They usually don't last as long and replacement parts will be needed soon. Quality, material and size play a role in the price. For example, a small plastic drinking fountain costs around €20. For a small ceramic fountain, the price is already around 40€. Larger drinking fountains are also available from 40-50€.

Type of drinking fountain Price
Simple plastic fountain 20 - 30€
Stainless steel 35 - 80€
Ceramic drinking fountain 40 - 60€

For more complex cat drinking fountains, spare parts are often necessary. Here you can find a list of the costs for spare parts:

spare part price
filter 5 - 25€
pump 15 - 30€
hose 5 - 10€

What are the alternatives to a cat drinking fountain?

There are only a few alternatives to drinking fountains for cats. One option is to keep the tap running lightly throughout. However, this will quickly increase your water costs. For a more profitable result, you can place several water bowls in your home. Even if it is only standing water, the cat will have the opportunity to drink at its favourite places. It is in their nature not to drink where they eat.

Decision: What types of cat drinking fountains are there and which one is right for you?

What distinguishes a cat drinking fountain with a filter and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A water filter has the task of collecting dirt from the water. This includes dirt from metals, bacteria and limescale. This keeps the water fresh - and cats love fresh water!

Attention: A filter should be changed regularly! Contaminated water is worse than a drinking fountain without a filter!

However, you will have to pay more for the filter. If it is defective, it will have to be replaced. In addition, a filter must be cleaned in order to function effectively; this in turn means more work.

Advantages
  • Improves taste
  • Removes bacteria
  • Traps cat hair
  • Less limescale
Disadvantages
  • More difficult to clean
  • Higher cost
  • More complicated to use

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a cat drinking fountain without a filter?

Cat fountains without filters have the advantage that they are easy to operate. This saves you patience and money. In part, the water remains fresh because it is flowing. However, to avoid calcification, the fountain should be cleaned regularly. The biggest problem with these drinking fountains is that hair gets stuck. Especially with longhaired cats, it could become a problem if there is a lot of hair floating on the water.

Advantages
  • Cheaper
  • Easier to use
  • Simplified cleaning
Disadvantages
  • Regular descaling
  • Cat hair floats

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a ceramic cat drinking fountain?

Ceramic cat drinking fountains cost more, but have the advantage that they are easy to clean. The material does not scratch and can even be put in the dishwasher; ceramic is resistant to both heat and rust. The coolness of the material keeps the water fresh and cold.

Ceramic drinking fountains are scratch-resistant and have a good grip due to their heavy weight, but they can break easily. You should always make sure that the ceramic fountain for your cat is made of high-quality material; this way you avoid lead poisoning.

Advantages
  • Easy to clean
  • Heat resistant
  • Rust resistant
  • Heavy weight
Disadvantages
  • Higher cost
  • Possible lead poisoning
  • Can break

What are the features of a stainless steel cat drinking fountain and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Stainless steel cat drinking fountains are robust and have a stylish appearance. So they do not disturb the aesthetics of your home. The material is easy to handle and easy to clean. It also withstands warm water.

Cat drinking fountains made of stainless steel do have a light weight - but that also means they will be knocked over more quickly. Inferior stainless steel is at risk of rusting. Scratches can also occur quickly, which in turn are a source of bacteria.

Advantages
  • Robust
  • Stylish appearance
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Rust faster
  • Scratches can occur
  • Light weight

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate cat drinking fountains

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible cat drinking fountains. The criteria you can use to compare cat drinking fountains with each other include:

  • Material
  • Flow of the water
  • Weight
  • Drive
  • Cleaning

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what the individual criteria are.

Material

The materials of a cat drinking fountain can be very different. They all have different advantages and disadvantages. We have compiled the most common materials in the following table:

Cat drinking fountain material Properties
Ceramic Most owners of a drinking fountain go for ceramic - although the cost is slightly higher. Ceramic drinking fountains bring many advantages, such as a heavy weight, rust and heat resistance. You can easily wash a ceramic fountain in the dishwasher. Unfortunately, it can also break quickly.
Stainless steel Cat drinking fountains made of stainless steel are very beneficial. They look good and are robust. They are also easy to clean. One problem is scratches, which form quickly and pose an increased risk of bacteria. Also, stainless steel fountains made of cheap material rust faster.
Plastic Cat drinking fountains made of plastic should be avoided if possible. Of course they are cheaper - but that is the only advantage. Often these fountains are very crooked and therefore difficult to clean. In addition, limescale accumulates very quickly on plastic. Because of their light weight, ceramic fountains slip away when the cat drinks.

So you should not only pay attention to the aesthetics, but also to the practical use. The quality of the material should be as high as possible to guarantee the longevity of the drinking fountain.

Flow of the water

Because of the different preferences of cats, there are many different models of drinking fountains. They differ, among other things, in the flow movement and the drinking surface. Many cats love the fast flow and splashing of water.

A jet of water, a fountain and a hose are ideal here. If the fountain is to encourage the cat to play, a small waterfall is just right. Other cats are very shy and avoid loud and rapid noises. Accordingly, a different model of drinking fountain is needed here. The water should land as quietly and gently as possible in the basin via a small waterfall.

Weight

The weight of your cat drinking fountain also plays an important role. If the drinking fountain is too light, it will shift while drinking and move step by step. Accordingly, the water will quickly spill over. If your cat is playful, choose a heavier drinking fountain. This will be difficult to move or knock over. Ceramic fountains are especially popular for this purpose.

Drive

Most drinking fountains for cats run on a power cable. This means they can be switched on permanently. Nevertheless, they are bound to one place. Be careful if your cat likes to chew through cables.

Nevertheless, power cables are more advantageous for cat drinking fountains. Drinking fountains that run on batteries or rechargeable batteries need to be constantly recharged. This makes it easy for water to get into the electronic circuit. In addition, the battery takes up more space in the fountain, which means less water can flow.

Cleaning

Since a cat drinking fountain should be cleaned at least once a week, it is a great relief if your fountain contains as few individual parts as possible. The surface should also be flat and not angled to facilitate access.

Facts worth knowing about cat drinking fountains

How and how often do I clean my cat drinking fountain?

Your cat drinking fountain should be cleaned at least once a week. It collects a lot of dust, hair and saliva that can be harmful to your cat's health. Factors such as the location of the fountain, the ambient temperature and the frequency of use will affect the level of contamination.

Caution: when the water becomes dirty and a slimy film forms, it is almost too late. Cleaning would have been necessary here for a long time!

Proceed as follows when cleaning:

  1. Unplug the power cable of your drinking fountain and remove the remaining water
  2. Remove the filter and the water pump. These parts are best cleaned with vinegar essence or lemon juice. Take special care to remove limescale so that both parts work without problems.
  3. The basin and the surface of the fountain are best cleaned with a soft sponge. You can use vinegar cleaner or a little salt solution. Chemical cleaners, however, should be avoided as they can lead to poisoning.
  4. After cleaning, it is important to rinse all parts again with clean water. This will prevent any residues of the cleaning agent from mixing with the cat's drinking water.

A small tip: Cat drinking fountains made of ceramic can even be cleaned in the dishwasher. So all that's left is the filter and pump, which have to be cleaned by hand.

How often should I change the water in my cat drinking fountain?

There is no fixed rule for changing the water. Of course, the general rule is "the more often, the better". It is best to fill up a glass of water every day and change it every 2 - 5 days with the cleaning. This avoids unpleasant odours and the formation of algae.

How and when do I descale my cat drinking fountain?

A drinking fountain for cats should be decalcified regularly. This can be done, for example, when changing the filter. Of course, the lime content of the water also plays a role here. If your water contains a lot of lime, you can also use filtered water.

Attention: not only the cat drinking fountain, but also the pump and filter should be decalcified to guarantee optimal function.

To descale your cat fountain, you can use household descaling agents such as vinegar essence or lemon juice. Afterwards, it is important to rinse the agent well so that no residues are left that could mix with your cat's drinking water.

How often do I change the filter of my cat drinking fountain?

Changing the filter for drinking fountains becomes necessary when it is heavily soiled. In general, the filter should be washed every time the drinking fountain is cleaned to keep it more efficient. The filter should be changed every 4 - 6 weeks.

How do I get my cat used to the cat drinking fountain?

Most cats are immediately attracted to running water and drinking from the cat fountain is not a problem. If your cat is very shy, it will need to get used to the drinking fountain slowly. You will need some time and patience.

To find out if your cat would use a drinking fountain, try running the tap. Now observe whether the cat drinks from it. (Source: pixabay.com / wei lee)

First ask yourself if you have placed the cat drinking fountain correctly. The drinking fountain should definitely be on at night, as most cats only drink at night. It should also be placed far away from the litter tray and food bowl.

By the way, you can test whether your cat likes running water by using a running tap. If the cat likes to drink from it, it will also like to use a drinking fountain for cats.

A little trick is to mix the water with a little milk or unsalted chicken broth at the beginning. This makes it more palatable for your cat.

What to do if the cat plays with the drinking fountain?

Is your cat playful and enjoys the exercise in the water? This should not be a problem. Even if the cat does not drink directly from the fountain, it will take in water indirectly. This is done by licking the wet paws. To keep the floor clean, we recommend that you stretch a cloth under the fountain to absorb water.

What should I do if my cat's drinking fountain is too noisy?

If the motor makes loud noises, you can leave the fountain switched off for the time being. This will allow your cat to sniff it and drink from the non-flowing water. Slowly he will get used to the hum of the motor. Loud splashing water does not bother most cats. They find it much more attractive. There are even tower additives that make the water flow even more and thus increase the noise. Cat drinking fountains can improve the cat's drinking behaviour and at the same time, as indoor fountains, provide better humidity in the home office.

Can I make a cat drinking fountain myself?

Of course, you can also make a cat fountain yourself. However, make sure you use high-quality materials that your cat cannot injure itself on.

  • You will need a small aquarium pump and a hose. Place the pump in a bowl and fill it with water.
  • Cover the pump with a flowerpot with the above opening. The water should run out of this opening through the hose.
  • Place stones around the flowerpot so that your cat cannot knock it over. The stones should not stain the water!

Image source: pixabay.com / rihaij

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