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10 Best Cat Water Fountains in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

a cat drinking in a water fountainOur 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 10 popular cat water fountains, so you can take your pick from our recommendations.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain
  • Easy to clean
  • Effective filter
  • Three different settings
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain
  • Quiet
  • Choose from three sizes
  • Can be used without a filter
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain
  • 360-degree access
  • Adjustable flow control
  • Stainless steel resists bacteria
  • Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Cat Fountain Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Cat Fountain
  • Modern design
  • Available in two sizes
  • Replaceable charcoal filter
  • Cat Mate Plastic Cat Fountain Cat Mate Plastic Cat Fountain
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Vet-recommended
  • Multi-height drinking
  • The 10 Best Cat Water Fountain – Reviews 2021

    1. Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain — Best Overall

    Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain

    The incredibly popular Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain is our best overall 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.

    Pros
    • Great value for money
    • Three different settings
    • Easy to clean
    • Effective filter
    • BPA free
    Cons
    • Filter needs changing regularly

    2. Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain — Best Value

    Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Cat Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • Choose from three sizes
    • Available in two colors
    • Quiet
    • Can be used without a filter
    Cons
    • Difficult to clean

    3. Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain — Premium Choice

    Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • Stainless steel resists bacteria
    • Adjustable flow control
    • Dishwasher safe
    • 360-degree access
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to clean

    4. Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Cat Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • Available in two sizes
    • Modern design
    • Replaceable charcoal filter
    • Dishwasher safe
    Cons
    • Water in the bowl can get dirty
    • Noisy

    5. Cat Mate Plastic Cat Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • Vet-recommended
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Multi-height drinking
    • Quiet operation
    Cons
    • Plastic can be scratched
    • Difficult to clean all parts
    • Does seem to encourage slime to form

    6. Drinkwell Platinum Plastic Cat Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • 168-ounce capacity
    • Continuous circulation
    • BPA-free plastic
    • Perfect for multi-cat households
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to clean
    • Plastic can collect slime

    7. Catit Design Senses Plastic Drinking Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • Low energy usage
    • Advanced filtration system
    • 100-ounce capacity
    • Dishwasher safe
    Cons
    • Only one flow setting
    • Pump can burn out
    • Plastic can encourage slime

    8. Pioneer Pet Swan Cat Drinking Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • 80-ounce capacity
    • USB and wall plug connections
    • Includes charcoal filter
    Cons
    • Plastic can scratch
    • Can get tipped over
    • Difficult to clean

    9. Pet Fit for Life Plastic Cat Water Fountain

    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.

    Pros
    • Raised drinking platform
    • Quiet operation
    • Four different flow settings
    Cons
    • Plastic can get scratched
    • Not dishwasher safe
    • Flimsy design
    • Top flower attachment comes off easily

    10. Frisco Round Pet Fountain

    Frisco Round Pet Fountain

    This round pet fountain has a continuous flow of bubbling water. The sleek look and neutral color make this an attractive choice if you’re looking for a cat fountain that won’t clash with your existing décor. Frisco says that the pump of this water fountain is quiet, but reviews say that it’s louder than some other fountains out there.

    The transparent base of this water fountain makes it easy for you to see if the levels need topping up, but it’s worth noting that the top section doesn’t clip securely into the base, it just sits on top of it. That means if you’ve got a mischievous cat, you might find that they knock the top off, and then the water fountain stops working.

    Pros
    • 50-ounce capacity
    • Neutral color
    Cons
    • Expensive for the design
    • Noisy
    • Builds up slime quickly
    • Top section comes off easily

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    Buyer’s Guide

    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 bodyweight 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:

    • Lethargy
    • Loss of appetite
    • Decreased skin elasticity
    • Sunken eyes
    • Increased heart rate
    • Panting
    • Dry mouth
    • Depression

    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

    When you’re looking for a new cat water fountain, there are a few important features to bear in mind.
    • If you have multiple cats, it’s best to look for a water fountain with a larger capacity. The same is true if you also share your home with dogs, as they’ll drink more water. If you have just one cat, you may prefer a smaller water fountain.
    • Pump noise. Most water fountains have pumps. These will all make noise, but some will be more distracting than others. If you’re sensitive to noise, then look for a pump that’s as quiet as possible.
    • Cost of replacement filters. A water fountain might be cheap to buy, but if you end up having to buy expensive filters every month, then the cost of those will soon start to add up. Most water fountains that use filters need the filter replacing every 30 days or so. Some can be used without filters, so you could add in pre-filtered water. If you’d prefer to do that, make sure you check the manufacturer’s recommendations first.
    • Cat water fountains typically come in plastic, stainless steel, or ceramic. Make sure a plastic fountain is BPA-free, but bear in mind that plastic can harbor bacteria if it gets scratched. Stainless steel is one of the vet-preferred options, as it resists bacteria and is easy to clean. It can be more expensive, though. Ceramic fountains can look aesthetically pleasing but will break if dropped or handled roughly.
    • Drinking platform height. Some water fountains have a higher drinking platform, which can suit larger cat breeds like Maine Coons.
    • As with any electrical item, sometimes cat water fountains can simply stop working. Make sure to read reports from previous buyers, and make note of any that state that the fountain may have broken down sooner than expected.
    • Easy to clean. Many cat water fountains can be placed in the dishwasher, on the top shelf. Others need to be hand washed, and it can be fiddly to try and scrub out certain sections of the water fountain if it has small outlets.
    • Color and design. If you’ve got a certain colored décor in your house, you might prefer to find a cat water fountain that matches existing colors. Some water fountains are available in neutral colors, and others may be brighter plastic. There are plenty of different options to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that won’t look out of place in your home.

    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.

    cat water fountain

    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.

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    Conclusion

    As the best overall cat water fountain, we selected the Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain. This cat fountain is incredibly popular and for good reason. It offers three different flow settings, 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!


    Featured Image: Chewy