Our cats need to drink enough water every day so they can stay hydrated and feel great. One problem, however, is that cats don’t have a high thirst drive, so they often won’t drink as much as they should. One thing that can discourage cats from drinking is standing water that might not have been changed in a few days or has picked up some odors from the air.
Dehydration can lead to serious health problems for our sweet kitties, so one way of encouraging your cat to drink more is to invest in a cat water fountain. Cats in the wild will always drink from a moving water source, like a stream, over a standing water source, like a puddle. That’s because they know that moving water is likely to be cleaner.
So, indulge your cat’s inner tiger and treat them to a cat water fountain. These provide a bubbling source of water that encourages your cat to drink more. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which one will suit your cat best? That’s why we’ve written reviews of 11 of the best cat water fountains, so you can take your pick from our recommendations.
A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2023
|Best Overall||Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain||
|Best Value||Petmate Fresh Flow Cat Water Fountain||
|Premium Choice||Drinkwell Stainless Steel Pet Water Fountain||
|Best Ceramic Cat Fountain||PetSafe Drinkwell Pet Water Fountain||
|Catit Flower Cat Water Fountain||
The 11 Best Cat Water Fountains
1. Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Fountain — Best Overall
The Hepper Water Fountain is our pick for the best overall cat water fountain. The flowing stream invites cats to drink by replicating a natural water source. This entices cats to drink more water than they normally would, keeping them hydrated and healthy.
Since the water keeps flowing, you don’t have to worry about freshness. A sophisticated three-part filtration system uses an ion-exchange resin filter that works to demineralize and soften the water. A coconut-shell activated-carbon filter removes chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Finally, the taste is improved and purified before the water pours out of the fountain, giving your cat access to clean, decontaminated water every time.
This fountain has the capacity to hold just over 1/2 gallon of water, ensuring that your cat will never be without a fresh drink when they want one. The elegant, stainless-steel design matches any home décor.
To reduce any buildup in the reservoir, this water fountain should be thoroughly cleaned once a week and the filters should be replaced as needed. This will keep the fountain working properly for years to come.
All in all, we think this is the best cat water fountain this year.
At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
2. Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain — Best Value
If you’re looking for the best cat water fountain for the money, then we highly recommend the Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain. If you have multiple cats, this is also available in larger sizes, so you don’t need to worry about filling it up so frequently. You can choose from a 50-ounce, 108-ounce, or 216-ounce capacity.
The no-splash water slide helps keep the water recirculating and well oxygenated, encouraging your cat to drink more. The reservoir on this releases more water as necessary, so you never need to worry about your cat running out while you’re away. The clear plastic indicator panel makes it easy to see when you need to add water.
3. Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain — Premium Choice
As our premium choice, we recommend the Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain. The stainless steel of this fountain helps resist bacteria and keep your cat’s water sparkling fresh. As a bonus, it’s also easy to clean because you can simply put it in the top drawer of your dishwater or clean it with hot soapy water.
The free-falling stream gives 360-degree access, meaning that if you have multiple cats, they can all use this at the same time. The submersible pump is virtually quiet, with the filter only needing to be replaced every 30 days or so. While this cat fountain might be a little more expensive than some other models, stainless steel is vet-recommended as the safest material for pets to eat and drink out of.
4. PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain – Best Ceramic Cat Fountain
Our favorite ceramic cat fountain is the PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain. This is a 70-ounce drinking space that comes in either white, red, taupe, or Himalayan blue. It has a sleek and modern design that will fit into anyone’s home decor, as well.
This option gives your pet continues filtered water with the low-volt submersible pump. With constant cycling, it not only makes the water more attractive to your pet, but it also keeps bacteria from building up in the bowl. Not only that, but this fountain has two filters. One foam filter on the pump keeps hair and debris from clogging the mechanics, and one carbon and coconut shell filter to keep the water pure.
The PetSafe is extremely quiet and non-disruptive. It has an upper and lower bowl, and it’s great for small and medium-sized pets. This option is also easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Finally, the ceramic cat water fountain construction is durable, steady, and won’t tip or spill.
5. Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain
The incredibly popular Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain is another top choice. This 100-ounce-capacity water fountain uses an exclusive design with three different water settings. You can choose from a calm stream, bubbling top, or gentle flow and see which one your cat likes best. The water is immediately re-filtered as it flows away from the top, so you don’t need to worry about any dirt settling in the water.
The filter removes magnesium and calcium, both of which can build up in your cat’s urinary tract and cause infections. It also effectively removes odors, which we all know can put fussy cats off from drinking their water. Using this water fountain is a great way to encourage your cat to drink more.
6. Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Cat Fountain
The Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Cat Fountain helps increase your cat’s water intake while also looking sleek and stylish. Depending on how many cats you have or if you also have dogs and want them to use this fountain too, you can choose from two sizes, 60 ounces or 96 ounces.
This water fountain is dishwasher safe and uses a replaceable charcoal filter to remove impurities in your cat’s water. The stream in this fountain falls into a pool of water, and depending on how messy your cats are, you might find that this collects debris and dust.
7. Cat Mate Plastic Cat Fountain
The Cat Mate Plastic Cat Fountain has a unique design that provides multiple levels for your cat to drink from. The ramps between levels help reduce the possibility of water splashing out and onto your floors. The isolated pump system means this operates incredibly quietly, so you don’t need to worry about irritating background noise.
8. Drinkwell Platinum Plastic Cat Fountain
If you have multiple cats and possibly dogs as well, you might prefer a water fountain with a larger capacity, and in that case, the Drinkwell Platinum Plastic Cat Fountain fits the bill. This large water fountain has a 168-ounce capacity, which means you’ll need to fill it up less often. The clear reservoir on the back of the fountain lets you easily see how much water is left.
The free-falling stream encourages your cat to drink, but it can also splash water over the side. This is made from BPA-free plastic, but as with any plastic water fountain, if it ends up getting scratched, then bacteria and slime can quickly form on these surfaces.
9. Catit Design Senses Plastic Drinking Fountain
If you’re looking for a pet fountain with a minimalistic design, then Catit Design Senses Plastic Drinking Fountain might appeal. The large water-to-air surface platform helps increase oxygenation of the water, helping it taste better and fresher for your cat.
10. Pioneer Pet Swan Cat Drinking Fountain
The Pioneer Pet Swan Cat Drinking Fountain has a stylish design that won’t look out of place in even the most modern of homes. This is made from premium plastic, but bear in mind that even this can get scratched, and bacteria can collect in the small grooves. This is also slightly harder to clean than some other cat fountains. It is dishwasher safe, but you might still need to scrub off more stubborn stains.
The continuous flow will encourage your cat to drink more water, but the top-heavy design of this fountain means it can get tipped over if you forget to keep the water level topped up.
11. Pet Fit for Life Plastic Cat Water Fountain
The Pet Fit for Life Plastic Cat Water Fountain comes complete with a non-skid rubber mat to help keep drips of water from landing on your floor, as well as a feather cat toy for your kitty to play with after they’ve had a refreshing drink. The low-power submersible pump is extremely quiet, so this won’t create irritating background noise.
The raised drinking platform allows your cat to drink from a comfortable height, which is great for larger breed cats that otherwise have to lean down to the floor.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat Water Fountain
If you’re wondering what sort of cat water fountain is going to suit your fussy feline the best, then our buyer’s guide is here to help! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about these handy little appliances.
Why should you buy a cat water fountain?
Cats are fussy creatures and will often prefer to go without water than drink stale, dirty, or stagnant water. This, combined with the fact that they have a low thirst drive, means that they’re at higher risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause health problems for cats, including urinary tract disease and kidney failure.
Cats should always have access to fresh water, but they can be picky when it comes to what sort of water they drink! So, one of the best ways to encourage your cat to drink more is to buy them a cat water fountain.
How much water should my cat drink?
On average, a cat should drink roughly 3.5-4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of their body weight every day. This will vary depending on if your cat eats wet or dry food, as wet food provides a higher percentage of moisture, so your cat may need to drink less as a result.
Dry cat food only contains 8-12% water, while wet food can contain as much as 80% water.
How do I know if my cat is drinking enough?
Check that you’re refilling their water bowls regularly, and if it seems that your cat isn’t drinking, you can look for the symptoms of dehydration, which include:
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Sunken eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
If you think that your cat may be dehydrated, you should take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Important features of a cat water fountain
How do I introduce my cat to a water fountain?
Bear in mind that your cat might not want to drink from a new water fountain right away. When your new fountain arrives, set it up somewhere that your cat spends a fair amount of time, and allow them to approach it in their own time. Make sure to place it away from their food, as cats prefer their food and water to be separated.
For the first few days, place water in the fountain but don’t turn it on. Allow your cat to investigate the fountain before turning it on for an hour or so at a time. Some cats will start using and drinking from the fountain right away, while timid cats may need more time to get used to the idea.
If you have multiple cats and they all enjoy using the water fountain but won’t drink out of it at the same time, then you might want to get another one and spread them around the house. For all resources that cats might compete for, like food, water, litter trays, and beds, the general recommendation is to have one more of each resource than the number of cats.
Why don’t cats like drinking standing water?
One reason that cats don’t like to drink standing water is that their genetic makeup has taught them that standing water might be contaminated with bacteria or other nasties. Running water is generally safer, and in the wild, it’s also easier to hear the sound of a stream. Oxygenated, moving water also tends to taste better.
Another reason is that leaning down to drink from a low saucer puts cats in a vulnerable position, potentially opening themselves up to attack. Now, most domestic kitties don’t need to worry about a predator or competitor attacking them from behind, but this is another evolutionary throwback. Combine that with the fact that we often place their water bowls facing a wall, meaning that your cat has to turn their back to the area that they would rather be watching. Some cats would rather go thirsty than feel vulnerable like this.
As the best cat water fountain overall, we selected the Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain. This cat fountain has a sleek design and with its filter system you’ll know your cat is getting the very best water, plus it is easy to clean, and doesn’t take up much space.
In terms of best value, we recommend the Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain. This easy-to-clean fountain comes in a range of sizes, making it perfect if you’ve got multiple cats. The reservoir indicator panel on the side makes it easy to see when it needs topping up.
We hope that our reviews have helped you narrow down which one of the huge variety of cat water fountains on the market is going to suit your cat the best. With so many different features and materials to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. But we know that any of our top 10 recommendations will be a great choice!
- A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2023
- The 11 Best Cat Water Fountains
- 1. Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Fountain — Best Overall
- 2. Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain — Best Value
- 3. Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain — Premium Choice
- 4. PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain – Best Ceramic Cat Fountain
- 5. Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain
- 6. Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Cat Fountain
- 7. Cat Mate Plastic Cat Fountain
- 8. Drinkwell Platinum Plastic Cat Fountain
- 9. Catit Design Senses Plastic Drinking Fountain
- 10. Pioneer Pet Swan Cat Drinking Fountain
- 11. Pet Fit for Life Plastic Cat Water Fountain
- Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat Water Fountain