Are Cat Water Fountains Really Worth It?

If you’ve been thinking about getting your cat(s) a water fountain, and you wanted to know if it was really worth it then keep reading.


So are cat fountains really worth it? Fountains can be expensive, clunky, and require maintenance. However, they can provide fresher water, promoting hydration. If a cat needs encouragement to stay hydrated, a cat fountain can be a worthwhile solution.


We have done the research so you don’t have to about cat water fountains, so before buying the first fountain you see online. It turns out that there’s a lot of debate about them and the selection is vast.

If your cat has no issue staying hydrated with an old-fashioned bowl of water, then you probably don’t need one.


But even then, there are some surprising facts about fountains that may pique your interest, including a link between evolution and the sound of water that causes cats to have a preference for running water.


Like how some cats love to drink out of our laundry room faucet every morning after breakfast.

cat and sink
Image from​​ KittySpout

Benefits of Cat Water Fountains

There are quite a few benefits that come along with having a cat water fountain in your home. Many of these benefits never would’ve crossed our minds before actually researching them.


The benefits of fountains can be divided into two categories:


Health

Convenience


The health benefits can help contribute to your cat’s happy healthy lifestyle, while it can also improve the overall home environment by making your cat’s drinking habits more convenient for you.


First, the sole idea of cat water fountains is based on a design that keeps the water flowing regularly. When water sits still for a long period of time, it can get dirty, dusty and polluted from bacterial growth.


Because cat fountains keep the water moving, bacterial growth is dramatically reduced.


In other words, the water stays “fresh”.

Filtration system
Image from Kittyspout​​

Another contribution to keeping the water fresh is the integration of a filter. The activated carbon filter removes bad tastes and odors from the water, keeping it fresh.


The granulated carbon is made from coconut shells for extended filtration. Most cat fountains include a filtration system that is designed to remove impurities from tap water. Many of these filters can also catch hair and dust particles, so your cat is only drinking pure, clean water.


Sometimes stagnant water collects a particular odor that can be off-putting. Free-flowing water, on the other hand, remains odorless, which can help entice your cat to drink.


There’s another way that cat fountains encourage felines to drink regularly.


In fact, research suggests that evolution plays a part.


Cats instinctively find the sound of running water to be much more appealing, which means that the sound of water running in the cat fountain can be attractive to your kitty.


This evolutionary quirk may even explain why cats tend to fancy drinking water straight from a dripping faucet!


This brings us to the first benefit that falls into the ‘convenience’ category. Many cat owners struggle with curious cats that jump up on counters.


Often, these cats may be looking for a different water source, such as a sink. Happens all the time in cat owner’s households. Cat fountains can sometimes replace this counter curiosity by providing an engaging source of fresh, running water.


Another benefit of cat fountains is that the reservoir is typically built to hold a significant amount of water.


This is fantastic for pet owners who are outside of the home for long periods of time. Instead of coming home to find a bowl that is bone-dry, the large reservoir of a fountain can ensure that your cat has plenty of water to last while you’re away.


Finally, there is one more aspect of cat fountains that can benefit pet owners. Similar to the cat’s evolutionary attraction to the sound of running water, many individuals find this sound soothing.


A cat fountain that provides the gentle sound of running water can be a therapeutic addition to the ambiance of your home.


Drawbacks of Cat Water Fountains

To be honest, most of the drawbacks to cat fountains affect the pet owner directly, instead of the cats.


Because a cat fountain is a much more complex design than a simple watering bowl, it requires some special attention, which contributes to most of the drawbacks listed here.


First of all, cat fountains can be quite noisy.


While some people find the sound of running water therapeutic, others find it annoying. And if the reservoir runs out of the water, the weird sound of the motor grinding without water can be even more unpleasant.


Another significant drawback of cat water fountains is that they require much more upkeep and maintenance than a traditional water dish. First off, some fountains require assembly, so be sure to check the packaging instructions before you purchase one.


Unlike bowls, cat fountains are much more difficult to clean, too. This is due to the pump mechanism built into the fountain. Regular cleaning is required in order to keep bacteria from building up within the pump and filtration system of the fountain.


In addition to cleaning, there’s another thing involved with the filtration system. Many cat water fountains require a in order to maintain a quality filtration performance.


This means that you’ll need to change the filter regularly if you want the fountain to work properly. The purchase of new filters can quickly add up, leading to the next drawback of cat fountains.


Are Cat Fountains Safe?

The pros and cons of cat fountains really tend to depend on your particular living situation and whether your cat has any issues drinking from a regular bowl.


But whether or not you think a cat fountain is beneficial for your home, it’s important to consider the element of safety above all else.


Not all cat fountains are created equally, so if you’re shopping for a cat fountain, definitely take these things into consideration. In general, most cat fountains are pretty safe when you’re considering their electrical power source.


Cat fountains usually feature a very low voltage to power the pump, meaning electrical shock shouldn’t be a concern.


However, the material of the water basin can influence safety:


Plastic materials may contain BPA, which has been linked to various health risks.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is FDA approved and Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Ceramic basins are also generally considered safe. The difference in filters can also affect overall safety.


While some filters are designed with activated carbon to remove toxins from the water, others are only designed to remove debris and hair.


So in general, cat fountains are considered to be safe.

Filtration system
Image from Kittyspout​​

Do Cats Like Water Fountains?

And finally, the question that could make or break in your decision to purchase a fountain, Do cats like water fountains? Unsurprisingly, this depends heavily on your cat’s unique interests and demands.


Some of us cat owners are working with very picky felines who would raise a pinky while drinking water if they could! If your cat tends to avoid the water dish and opt for hanging out by the sink, then there’s a good chance she will enjoy having a cat fountain.


Even cats that show no fuss about drinking from a plain dish typically adapt well to drinking fountains. Because of the evolutionary history of felines, which leads to a preference for the sound of running water, chances are your cat will like drinking from a fountain.


In general, most cats tend to not be bothered by cat water fountains, so long as the basin is large enough to access without disturbing their whiskers. Now use this information and analyze your situation to determine if you want a cat water fountain or not.

Cat playing with water fountain
I​​mage from kittyspout